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Staff Programme Quality Survey (SPQS)  

The SPQS is a self-assessment tool used to measure the quality of staff delivery practices in terms of the environment they create.

About the tool

The Staff Programme Quality Survey (SPQS) is a staff self-report survey designed to allow programme staff to generate and use self-assessment data on the quality of staff instructional practices during provision. The SPQS can be used as a pre-test to inform improvement goals and training priorities and alongside a post-test to assess improvements in the quality of delivery practices. 

What it does

The four aspects considered by the SPQS are: Safe Environment, Supportive Environment, Interactive Environment, and Engaging Environment.   

The staff delivering the provision will assess their own practice, ideally then forming a self-assessment team that meet after the completion of the SPQS to discuss the scores, to identify areas in which they are doing well and areas in which there is room for improvement.  

When to Use it 

The SPQS self-assessment process can be done at any time during the course of provision, depending on the goals of the organisation (e.g. continuous quality improvement, programme evaluation, or both). For example, it can be completed mid programme to get a general idea about how well staff are implementing best practices. It can be completed at the beginning of a programme to inform improvement goals and training priorities, and then at the end of a programme to assess improvements in the quality of delivery practices. It can also be used several times over the course of a programme period to get a more reliable estimate of the quality of practice across the entire programme.   

The SPQS can be used on provision with young people ages 5 and up but is most applicable to those aged 10 and older who are developing their full range of socio-emotional skills.  


The SPQS can be administered digitally or on paper. 

Strengths and Limitations


  • The tool is easy to understand and use and should only take about 20mins to complete.  

  • The SPQS can be used in one-to-one provision or within the context of group-based provision. 


  • The tool is still undergoing a validation process although previous experience strongly suggests it will provide reliable valid information.  


Data collected with the SPQS measurement tool can be entered into the YMCA George William College Data Portal. This will enable you to view individual assessment scores, change in programme scores over time and the results for your whole organisation.   

This information can be used to build a culture focused on quality including developing programme improvement goals and providing information about how specific aspects of programme quality relate to young people’s level of engagement with the intervention and socio-emotional skill growth.

Practitioner Overview

An easy to read quick overview of the tool and how to use it. 

Download here

The Tool

A printable version of the SPQS tool 

Download here

The Technical Guide

If you are interested in understanding more about the theory of change, reading about the tool in depth, and the validation process, download the full guide here.

Download here

Visual guide

Watch this handy video on the SPQS tool.

Watch here