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Reviewing and scoring information resources

In 2006 Advicenow was commissioned by the Legal Services Commission to produce a database of resources to be used by CLS Direct telephone operators to help callers manage their problems.

We looked at over a thousand published information resources and selected 542 of them which were scored against a set of criteria. Our analysis of this data provides a measure of the effectiveness of available resources.

  • Only four percent (21) resources scored four or more for skills and support indicators
  • 27 percent (149) resources scored zero for skills and support.
  • Less that half, 46 percent (294) scored 4 and above for information about the problem.

The report makes specific conclusions for new materials and suggests it should:

  • include an overview to orientate the person through their problem
  • have key legal points and cover procedures and processes
  • be applicable at an early stage in a problem
  • deal with recognising when and how to get help
  • acknowledge emotional aspects to problems
  • offer step-by-step guides, route maps and standard letters
  • incorporate guidance on the skills needed to manage a problem

The report recommends that further work should take place to develop a framework for quality standards with full discussion within the advice and legal sector on the purpose and effectiveness of information materials.

Martin Jones

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