Fair Start Scotland evaluation report 1: implementation and early delivery review

This Fair Start Scotland (FSS) evaluation report covers evaluation findings and data analysis relating to the implementation and early delivery of FSS employment support services in the first 6 months of delivery.

Appendix 4: Evaluation methods used in this report

Stakeholder interviews and online surveys 

Rocket Science UK Ltd was commissioned by the Scottish Government to gather stakeholder feedback on the implementation and early delivery of FSS. Interviews took place in November and December 2018, while surveys ran from December 2018 to February 2019. 

The work had three components:

  • A total of 26 in depth interviews with Service Providers (12 interviews), Scottish Government staff (six interviews) and DWP staff (eight interviews);
  • An online survey of Service Provider front line staff across the nine contract areas which attracted 171 responses (approx. 50% of all FSS frontline adviser staff); and
  • An online survey of JCP Work Coaches which attracted 90 responses.

Participant focus groups

Ten focus groups took place across Scotland in November 2018, conducted by Scottish Government analysts.  


Participants in these focus groups were recruited directly by Service Providers, and do not therefore represent the experience of all participants of FSS. Participants in the groups were those who: 1. were engaged with the service; 2. were engaged enough with the service for Service Providers to consider them to participate in the research; and 3. were engaged and confident enough to attend the focus group on the day. 

Locations & accessibility:

One focus group was held in each of the nine Lots (with the exception of Glasgow where large numbers of participants led to two groups being conducted concurrently). However, due the size of some of the larger lots, it was also made clear that if potential participants were not able to attend a focus group in person, but still wanted to contribute to the research, that a telephone interview could be arranged. All focus groups were held in locations that were both accessible in terms of public transport, as well as accessible in terms of building access. 

Delivery & outputs:

In total, 78 participants took part in the focus groups, with a further 7 taking part in telephone interviews, taking the total number of FSS participants who were directly engaged in this stage of the evaluation to 85.

How to access background or source data

The data collected for this social research publication:

☐ are available in more detail through Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

☐ are available via an alternative route 

☒ may be made available on request, subject to consideration of legal and ethical factors. Please contact Kirstie.Corbett@gov.scot  for further information.

☐ cannot be made available by Scottish Government for further analysis as Scottish Government is not the data controller.     


Email: Kirstie.Corbett@gov.scot

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