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SMCI Associates is an independent research and development consultancy set up in October 2005, We have established a strong reputation for delivering high quality professional work in a wide range of international, national, regional and local settings.

Our expertise includes:
• Education;
• Health;
• Social Care;
• Children Young People & Families; and
• Professional & Organisational Development.

We work through a network of very well qualified and experienced associates from a wide range of backgrounds.

What our clients say about us

The approach to the evaluation of our work was thoroughly professional. I was immediately reassured that there was a clear structure and rational process to the evaluation that would meet our needs. It was particularly helpful that this structure was developed to use tried and tested approaches, but was also ‘bespoke’ to our organisation in that the methodology for identifying areas of analysis and methods employed to pull out evidence were selected to fit our Terms of Reference.
Our timeframe for undertaking a fairly complex evaluation was incredibly short, it showed exceptional experience and professionalism that Sheila was able to undertake such a thorough review and produce a professional and truly useful report in the timeframe; the fact that she was also prepared to travel to London to present the findings (which was outside the scope of the expected TOR was greatly appreciated).
Jessica Camburn, Director, ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance)

I was really impressed with the level of meticulous preparation in advance of any of the workshops. Equally, prior to consultation questionnaires being finalised, the same standard of enquiry was in place to ensure the best possible outcomes. Following the consultation, the willingness to engage in advance of the report being finalised was also very much appreciated by the Board.
Distance was accommodated through conference calls meetings etc. The one aspect that might have been problematic was naturally the different contexts/jurisdictions. However, I felt SMCI more than endeavoured to address this
I was very pleased with SMCI’s work, willingness to negotiate, flexibility and commitment to quality.
Clare Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, National Education Welfare Board (Republic of Ireland)

Sheila was enthusiastic about undertaking the work commissioned. She understood what was required, and delivered the event and report on it to time and to the standard required. The number of delegates signing up for the event was lower than anticipated, but Sheila adapted the event to suit the audience.
Christine Macpherson, Assistant Director, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

It was a pleasure to work with you on the evaluation. I admire and commend your professionalism, patience and positive responses in the face of the many challenges posed throughout the past few months.
Joan Broader, Director of Children and Family Services, Extern Ireland

Sheila worked with Woodland Community Primary School for a period of over 2 years, from before the school opened, in order to support us in developing and putting into place a robust evaluation framework for our extended services. Throughout the time she worked with us Sheila was always reliable, approachable, flexible and very supportive. She was also very perceptive and able to provide challenge. Most importantly she helped us develop a very successful evaluation framework, the results of which have included a national award for the school for measuring the impact of extended services!
Tracy Liddell, Partnership Manager, Woodland Community Primary School

SMCI worked very hard to accommodate our timescale which was very tight. They arranged meetings and agendas and gave a clear indication of what information was required.
The team were responsive to suggestions and accommodating of the complexity that meant a wide range of perspectives had to be collated and included in the report. We enjoyed our experience working with SMCI who were helpful and knowledgeable. Thank you.
Gerry Dykes, Independent Living Services Manager, Renfrewshire Council

Your understanding of the context in which we are working, and the professional but friendly way in which we worked together – it very much felt that we were ‘speaking the same language’. We had the usual client issue of having competing priorities which meant that sometimes it was difficult for us to keep to our agreed schedule. But you were very responsive to this. We were very happy with everything - Thank you.
Karen Adams, Educational Projects Manager, NHS Education for Scotland

I enjoyed my engagement with SMCI, and their professional, honest, approachable and flexible style of working.
Leslieann Scott, Programme Manager, Extern Ireland

The practice placements work is really moving on now as part of the Recruitment and Retention Delivery Group. Your report is so useful.
Ann Rae Practice Education Co-ordinator (South East Region), NHS Education for Scotland

We had a good experience in working with you, and it was always a pleasure to meet. Your personal approach is a key strength.
Chris Dabbs, Chief Executive, Community Health Action Partnership (now Unlimited Potential)

I found your report to be detailed, informative and well organised. Key issues were raised in the report that linked very well with other work that we are already doing. The linkage helped us think of new initiatives of providing education and training support to our clients. The work was very impressive.
Mudenda Munkombwe, Development Officer, NHS Education for Scotland

The evaluator was very helpful and approachable which would have come across during the parent interviews, this is important for gaining the true views of parents. The evaluation of courses included the learner voice, attainment and destinations. The report will be used to inform colleagues across the Rochdale consortium to inform future planning for collaborative courses. On behalf of the schools in Heywood and Hopwood Hall College I would like to thank you for all your work.
Wendy Hobson, 14-19 Cluster Coordinator, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

The team were responsive to suggestions and accommodating of the complexity that meant a wide range of perspectives had to be collated and included in the report.
Bob Parry, Associate Director, NHS Education for Scotland

What our clients found most useful about our work

Positive, helpful attitude. Knowledge of the health and health care fields. Experience of identifying and using evidence-based guidance. Range of different methods to assess the service, used with a diversity of stakeholders, within a formative approach to evaluation.
Chris Dabbs, Chief Executive, Community Health Action Partnership (now Unlimited Potential)

Having the regular steering meetings in order to discuss stage of evaluation and also being consulted on the development of the evaluation tools as this allowed for any issues to be identified and changes agreed in terms of the manner and direction of the evaluation process. The final document obviously is going to be of great benefit in relation to demonstrating the impact of Extern with the weight of independence as evaluators. Also the level of flexibility provided by SMCI in terms of changing time lines and document edits and reviews was extremely helpful.
Leslieann Scott, Programme Manager, Extern Ireland

The gateway telephone helpline was a pilot project which brought together 4 voluntary organisations telephone helpline services. SMCI evaluation contributed to partners working together more effectively, realising the potential of joint working and encouraged them to reflect on their own procedures and practices.
Alison Clancy, Development Officer, Parenting Across Scotland

Having the evaluator visit clients personally at an event, and explaining to them the purpose and aims of an evaluator. Clients have fed back to us that they felt very comfortable with this, and felt quite empowered that their views counted. I feel that having an external evaluator gave an opportunity for clients to give a more honest opinion of the service.
Andy McNeill, Manager, Re-Energise
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