Partnership Assessment Tool

Bob Hudson is co-author of the highly successful and widely used Partnership Assessment Tool. The Strategic Partnering Taskforce at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned the Nuffield Institute for Health to develop this Assessment Tool. It draws heavily upon an extensive programme of research carried out by the Institute and also upon work undertaken with the former NHS Executive - (Trent Region). This has been used successfully in the field of health and social care partnerships. This current assessment tool has been revised and adapted in the context of Strategic Partnering arrangements for public/public, public/private, public/voluntary and public/private/voluntary partnerships.

The Assessment Tool is based on six Partnership Principles which our research and fieldwork has shown form the building blocks for successful partnership. The purpose of the tool is to ascertain from partners how far they feel that these building blocks are in place. The assessment exercise is based on individual partners identifying and sharing their views of the partnership. It therefore highlights areas of conflict and consensus to be explored, but it also allows partners to discuss the meaning and relative importance of their responses. The results of the assessment exercise can be produced graphically with accompanying text and offer a common language for partners to discuss both the opportunities for developing more effective working and the perceived barriers to this happening.

The purpose of this tool is to provide a simple, quick and cost-effective way of assessing the effectiveness of partnership working. It enables a rapid appraisal (a quick 'health check') that graphically identifies problem areas. This allows partners to focus remedial action and resources commensurate with the seriousness and urgency of the problems. Using the Tool thus avoids exhaustive, lengthy and costly investigations of partnership working in general. And for those just setting up partnerships the Tool provides a checklist of what to ensure and what to avoid.

How Can PAT Help You?

PAT provides a practical way of:

The principles upon which the Tool is based are generic: it is, therefore, applicable in a wide range of contexts, not only between authorities but within them.

BHC will be happy to advise on how PAT can be used to help you develop your own partnering relationships.