I am an experienced researcher, facilitator and trainer with a focus on developing customised evaluation projects, and building evaluation skills and capacity. My background and experience is from 25 years working in the voluntary and community sectors where I have successfully established myself as an independent evaluator, researcher and training consultant. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Dundee, School of Education and Social Work, with a focus on Evaluation that Empowers. I am an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Dundee.

Key Competences

Research and Evaluation Methods – Experience of using a range of methods including: qualitative and participatory approaches; innovative ways for gathering stakeholder feedback, such as using a community researcher model; using case study and narrative methods; knowledge of different evaluation models including: Logic Modelling, Participatory Appraisal; and quality assurance models such as Investing in Volunteers and How good is our community learning and development? / Third Sector Organisation?

Training – Experience of design and delivery of innovative learning and training to support professional practice, evaluation, youth work and volunteer programmes including: Action Learning; Online Learning; resources and tool kits. I have led the development of a number of accredited programmes including modules to MSc level.

Third Sector knowledge – A 25 year career in the third sector providing support to: staff, volunteers and voluntary organisations at local and national levels. Main fields of knowledge and experience include: youth work; volunteering; training and development; and research and evaluation.

Education and Professional Qualifications

  • Professional Doctorate CLD – Evaluation that empowers – an iterative investigation into how organisations can become evaluation-minded, University of Dundee (2016).
  • MSc Practitioner Research Studies: Becoming a Thriving Leader: research project, University of Dundee (2006).
  • SQA – D32 /33 Assessor Verifier Awards (1998).
  • Managing in Voluntary and Non-profit Organisations, Open University (1994).
  • BA Social Sciences, Open University (1988).
  • Advanced Cert. in Outdoor Education, University of Lancaster (1980).
  • Certificate in Education, Dartford College of Education, Kent (1976).

Career History

  • Evaluation and Professional Development Services – Director (2005–to date).
  • Volunteer Development Scotland – Depute Chief Executive (2002–2005)
  • Volunteer Development Scotland – Head of Training (1992–2002)

Other career experiences

Trained initially as a teacher, I have taught in schools, adult education, and on work-based degree programmes. My training skills and expertise were developed through outdoor education and leadership courses at Brathay Trust, Ambleside.