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Scottish Enterprise's Impact Appraisal and Evaluation Guidance


Scottish Enterprise undertakes and commissions a large number of project and programme appraisals and evaluations each year. We aim to identify the contribution that these projects and programmes make towards growing the Scottish economy: in particular their impact on employment and Gross Value Added (GVA). These impacts, both forecast and actual, inform decisions about public spending to ensure that public funds are used in an efficient and effective way. To achieve this, it is important that all our appraisal and evaluation work is of a high technical standard and uses similar methodologies.


This Guidance aims to ensure that any assessments of the impacts of our interventions are undertaken in a consistent and transparent way using similar approaches. This will help Scottish Enterprise (SE) and other public bodies compare the impacts of different types of interventions, with the confidence that similar methodologies have been used and similar assumptions have been made. This will assist those who make judgements between different policy and spending priorities by providing them with valid comparisons based on consistent measures.

Target Audience

There are a variety of audiences for the Guidance:

  • Consultants whom SE commissions to undertake work on its behalf;
  • SE's own Appraisal and Evaluation Team;
  • Operational staff who are developing projects and who could find the outline of the approach taken useful; and
  • Partner organisations who may be interested in learning from the approach to assessment taken by SE.

Guidance Structure

The Guidance has a hierarchical structure:

  • An Overview document giving broad details of the key concepts and how to assess them; and
  • A series of Information Sheets giving detailed technical guidance and justification on these concepts and approaches. These sheets are referred to at relevant points in the Overview document.

Guidance Use

The Guidance is structured so that it can be used in a number of different ways:

  • For people who are new to impact assessment the starting point should be the Overview which provides a general introduction to impact assessment and the key concepts; and
  • Others may be interested in learning more about specific aspects of impact assessment and how SE wants this to be dealt with. They can go straight to the relevant Information Sheet, all of which are listed on the right-hand side of this page.

Accessing Guidance

Each section of the guidance is a separate Word document. If you are using the Chrome browser then the document will not automatically open when you click the link. Instead it will be added to your Downloads folder. You can open and view the document from there. Alternatively you can use a different browser and depending on your settings it will either be downloaded automatically or you will be prompted to choose to save/open it.