An Evaluation of the Personal Development Partnership

This report reviews the management and outcomes from the Personal Development Partnership programme.

Appendix 4: Costs

Costs calculated and presented by Isobel McPherson CHRE


At the inception of PDP, the central theory was that using the Personal Development Advisor (PDA) to create and support connective journeys through the partner organisations would produce better outcomes than those achieved by the individual partners alone.

Once engaged by the PDA there are various options of journey open to the young person and various support requirements depending on the needs of the young person. This in turn affects the costs at case level. Some young people and their journeys need considerable input (high tariff) while others can be addressed with much lower input (low tariff) cases. Others lie in between. The purpose of the cost analysis was to:

  • establish indicative costs of getting a young person to a positive destination using PDP and sustaining them for three months
  • establish the 'additionality' impact of the PDA on getting more young people to start a journey with the partner courses and getting more young people to complete those courses

It was not possible to establish the comparative partner impact on positive destinations due the different ways in which PDP and their partners collected, collated and reported positive destination data.

Costs by Depth of PDP Journey

The costs reported below (Table 4.1) have been constructed by using two information sources:

  • information about expenditure provided by the PDP partnership
  • the PDAs provided a range of data on individual high and low tariff cases. This was done for three groups of young people engaging with PDP (existing justice issues on referral; no justice issues on referral; those under 16) who had reached a positive destination. This provided the potential range and depth within and across PDP cases.

The cost included the available 'on-costs' covering: partner expenditures for hosting and supporting the PDAs, the costs of the PDP development manager, the project development, monitoring and reporting costs.

All partners agreed to a common cost for each completed programme ie £3,000: this was not a full economic cost but an agreed working cost to smooth the cost variation across partner programmes.

Table 4.1 shows the potential range of costs for different journeys through the PDP model. The two figures in each category represent the range of costs between lower tariff and higher tariff young people. The costs were less for the young people who participated in fewer programmes. The cost ranges in all categories are narrow, reflecting both the young people they work with, nature of the PDA role, and the way in which they work with partners regardless of Hub.

Table 4.1: Costs by Depth of Journey

PDA Only: No Partner Programmes Used PDA plus 1 Partner Prog PDA plus 2 Partner Prog PDA plus 3 Partner Prog PDA plus 4 Partner Progs
£102 to £164 £3,138 to £3,493 £6,096 to £6,395 £9,261 to £9,789 £12,089 to £12,707

Setting aside the young people who do not need any partner programmes then the PDA cost ranges between 1% and 14% of the cost of a full programme.

From the above, an indicative average cost[3] = £7,922 for those utilising partner programmes

PDA Additionality on PDP Partner Outcomes

The 'additionality' factor has been constructed by establishing:

  • the number of young people who were referred by PDP to each partner programme v the number who were referred without PDP support. Then, in each group, the number of young people who actually started the programmes
  • the number of young people who started the partner programmes v the number of young people who completed the programmes by PDP support and no-PDP support
  • comparing and statistically testing the results using Confidence Interval Analysis for unpaired 't' tests.

Improving Take-Up of Partner Programmes

Only one partner was able to give comparable data. The impact of having the PDA to prepare and support the young person on to the partner programmes resulted in:

  • Under 16 Programme : 43% of non PDP young people starting versus 82% of PDP young people referred to the same course (CI: 0.267-0.513)
  • Over 16 Programme : 49% of young people starting versus 65% of PDP young people referred to the same course (CI: 0.0246-0.295)

PDP compares very favourably when the additional PDA costs are in the range of less than 1% to 14% per course

Improving Completion Rates for Partner Courses

There were five partner programmes for which comparable data existed and the addition of PDA support made a difference to completion rates in three. For one of the programmes that lacked an outreach service, the difference made by the addition of the PDA (75% v 94%) was statistically significant (CI: 0.0932-0.287). Even in partner programmes where there was an outreach component, there was a higher positive impact (+19%) than PDA maximum additional cost (+14%).

PDP Costs v Alternative Costs of Falling through the Gap

The young people targeted by PDP were those who were on the cusp of offending/getting involved in low level offending, disengaged from school, leaving school with no positive destination and little relevant skills. Getting young people into training and/or employment was one of the key positive destinations for PDP. The Job Seekers annual allowance cost has been put at £16,000 per young person per annum. Seventeen young people went on from PDP into employment and 89 went into training: if costed at the Highest High tariff case the potential saving was £3,293 per young person over being on Job seekers allowance for one year.


Email: Ban Cavanagh

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