The Money Advice Service’s role in debt co-ordination

We are responsible for the co-ordination of debt advice across the UK and have a role in driving up the levels and consistency of quality across the debt advice sector. See About our debt work for more information.

Overview in what the Money Advice Service is seeking to achieve

When we published our longer term programme of work for debt in 2012, we outlined our intention to develop and disseminate an evaluation framework. The framework is based on desired and agreed client outcomes resulting from debt advice. This will enable us and the sector to measure the impact of debt advice across all intervention channels, and will provide an important reference for future commissioning of services. We will use the data that we collect through our own independent evaluation, to help us influence policy makers and creditors so that processes remain robust and relevant over time.

In addition to ourselves using the evaluation framework to baseline and monitor the face-to-face services that we fund, we have published the framework as part of a toolkit to enable debt advice services across all channels to evaluate and develop themselves accordingly. The objective was to produce a self-completion survey that could be used by clients who had received advice through any channel.

Current challenges in outcome recording

It is widely recognised that there is limited measurement of client outcomes following debt advice and where it does occur, there is inconsistency in respect of desired outcomes across the debt advice sector. The evaluation framework will enable this consistency and will facilitate the measurement of the impact of debt advice across a single agreed set of client outcomes.

What services is it suitable for?

The evaluation framework is suitable for use by any debt advice organisation in the UK to use with clients who have obtained debt advice regardless of the channel of delivery used.

What opportunity does the framework present to the sector?

The evaluation framework provides debt advice organisations with the tool to evaluate the impact of the advice they provide, and the ability to evidence where the service changes people’s lives. It provides a transparent and consistent process where the results can be used by the organisation to highlight the value of their service to funders, and to attract additional funding. In addition it will highlight where clients are not taking action and will easily identify where improvements can be made to improve client outcomes. It will therefore be clear to funders, management committees and advisers the difference that the organisation is making to clients.

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