Development and validation of the “Observing Staff Support” Tool: An observational tool for managers and regulators auditors

Dr Tal Araten-Bergman1, Professor Christine Bigby1, Dr. Lincoln Humphries1, Professor Teresa Iacono1

1La Trobe University, Australia

The Active Support Measure has been used by researchers to measure the quality of staff support. Exploratory factor analysis indicated the Active Support Measure has two factors: Supporting Engagement in Activities and Relationships with the Person being Supported. Although this tool has been used successfully by researchers to conduct observations, it requires extensive training to complete. As such, it is not easy for regulators, managers or others not trained in research to use. The aim was to develop a simple and valid observational tool that can be used by non-researchers and is based on the conceptual framework of the Active Support Measure.

A mixed‐methods design was used. Items and guidelines were developed and then tested for validity and reliability through several stages involving review by experts, managers, and field testing in services.

The new ‘Observing Staff Support’ Tool consists of eight main items and two additional items scored on a 3-point scale. Preliminary findings suggest the tool has acceptable psychometric properties.

The new tool offers a simple and easy way for managers and regulators to assess the quality of staff practice using observation.


Tal Araten-Bergman, Ph.D. School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport College of Science, Health & Engineering and Living with Disability Research Centre, La Trobe University.