Why Evaluate?

Evaluation can be about accountability and justification, a measuring 'stick' that can be used to justify the existence of the project in the first place, its work and its continuation. It can adopt a largely inspectorial and judgmental ethos with an underpinning rationale about value for money and quality standards.

Evaluation can be about project improvement, a developmental process or a 'torch' that helps to illuminate problems and recognise good practice. The ethos in this case can be diagnostic and interpretive with an underpinning rationale about collective learning. It becomes a process that reduces the likelihood of repeating mistakes and using mistakes, when they happen, as critical learning incidents upon which improvements can be identified and implemented.

Neither expressed purpose is more, or less, valid than the other. Whilst it is true that the torch approach is becoming increasingly popular and that many project managers are unhappy with the 'measuring stick' model, rigorous 'measuring stick' evaluation is essential if the public interest is to be protected.

Why Use Mentor?

Mentor is an evaluation planning tool. It is designed to assist Vocational Education and Training practitioners and programme managers in the process of developing evaluation methodologies and procedures that are appropriate within their own circumstances and operational environments.

It facilitates key stakeholders in the evaluation process to make informed decisions with regard to the nature of their evaluation.

How Do I Use Mentor?

The prospective user of the evaluation wizard can find Mentor here. There is a straightforward registration and log in system, after which the user creates a new evaluation. The process of working through the wizard is supported by detailed help pages that give examples and suggest further reading.

Mentor Screenshots

Log in screen for Mentor, indicating status of the process. Once the cycle is completed, it is possible to generate a report. This report can inform the production of a tender brief for the evaluation in question.

Question screen wihin the wizard. This screen asks the users- Who needs to provide information during the evaluation process?


Help screen in Mentor offering assistance about various approaches to measuring data. Plus and minus factors are explained with examples.

Mentor in Eval4

Mentor was tested across a number of European settings during the Eval4 project. The intention within the project partnership was not to create a new version for each setting. Rather the project set out to learn from the specific demands of the evaluation cultural contexts and the needs of the local stakeholders. According to this learning, adaptations and translations were made.

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