What is an IPS fidelity review?

An IPS fidelity review uses the 25-item Supported Employment Fidelity Scale (2008) for quality improvement.

In line with international practice the fidelity reviews will take place over 2 days with 2 reviewers and will include an observation of employer engagement practice.

Fidelity reviews are the best way of measuring how a service is doing and how effective their delivery of IPS is. Evidence has shown that services with a higher fidelity score tend to get more job outcomes for their clients which is what we are all here for.

  • This is a supportive process designed to help a service understand how they are doing against the 25 items on the fidelity scale. 
  • Each item will be scored  between 1-5 based upon the evidence provided by the service this also includes a series of interviews and observations of staff practice.  
  • The aim is to support services to reach a score of 100 or above this is known as good fidelity.  It’s not to catch anyone out and it certainly isn’t an audit.  
  • A report will be written by the reviewers, this will include recommendations on how the service can improve. This will be discussed with the service after the review and your IPS Grow lead will be there to support you all the way through the process.

IPS fidelity reviews have an important role in:

  • Supporting services to implement high fidelity IPS, but also help experienced services avoid fidelity drift.
  • Support quality improvement and increased job outcomes in line with national benchmarks.
  • Enables services to understand what they are doing well, and create a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Enables follow up technical assistance to be targeted.
  • Ensures effective accountability for all stakeholders.

What is the ethos of a fidelity review?

The purpose of a fidelity review is to help more people get jobs.

Over a dozen studies have reviewed the relationship between IPS fidelity and employment outcomes and have consistently found better employment overall for services with higher fidelity.

Fidelity reviews are not an evaluation of a service, but are development-focused, helping a service to improve the quality of the service they deliver and ultimately improves clients’ lives.


Who is conducting the reviews?

IPS Grow will lead and coordinate the reviews, which will be delivered in partnership with the IPS Grow consortium partners, Social Finance and the Centre for Mental Health.

We will take a strengths based approach to support services to identify what they are doing well, and how we can support them to increase job outcomes and the quality improvements. This will be offered through follow up technical support, workshops and communities of practice.

What do you need to do?

If you’re an IPS Provider, one of the IPS Grow Leads will be in contact directly around timing for reviews.

Commissioners need to complete the booking form online to confirm the number of reviews required for their region. This booking form will be available mid September 2021.

flowchart has been developed to help you prepare for your reviews.
You can also access a series of resources to support you with your review on the IPS workspace on the FutureNHS Collaboration platform.

You can access the fidelity review manual here.

How will fidelity review scores be recognised?

We are currently working on an IPS Charter and quality mark system that will be launched in September.

This reflects feedback from IPS services who have told us that they value everyone across the sector making a commitment to a “level playing field” around targets, fidelity etc.

I think it is absolutely essential that there is a check and balance on IPS. I feel this process [with IPS Grow and RAND] has exceptionally high integrity.

John Bolland, IPS Service Manager, CNTW Employment Team (a service who had a recent fidelity review)

Please click here to access the IPS Grow Key Performance and Outcome Framework.