Measuring Outcomes


A key characteristic of an IAPT service is the effort individual therapists put into demonstrating the outcomes that are delivered.

Routine outcomes measurement is central to improving service quality - and accountability.

It ensures the person having therapy and the clinician offering it have up-to-date information on an individual's progress, which is of therapeutic value in itself. At an overview level, where individual patients are anonymised, service providers and commissioners can see a performance pattern for the service.

All IAPT services collect the IAPT Minimum Data Set (MDS) and return centrally via the Open Exeter Bureau Portal Service. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) manage the data collection and routine reporting. For more information including information about the IAPT Data Standard and guidance on how to submit data including the data submission schedule visit the HSCIC website.


The IAPT Programme has recently published new guidance to support data collection, click on the links below to view:


The IAPT Data Handbook is for everyone working in, managing, or supplying data  services to an IAPT service. This includes clinicians, commissioners, and data leads or technicians and system suppliers.

The purpose of this handbook is to:

  • Enable local partners to make the best use of IAPT outcomes data to put patients  at  the  centre  of  the  care  pathway,  deliver  outcomes appropriate  to  need,  and  improve  clinical  practice  and service quality
  • Provide definitive guidance to enable services to collect routine outcome measures using standard clinical metrics, in the context of automated (electronic) data collection and reporting systems
  • Introduce the IAPT Data Standard which develops the extant IAPT Minimum Data Set and will form the basis of the national data collection, thereby enabling local services to prepare for the implementation of the new information standard approved by the NHS Information Standards Board

Additionally, version 2 strengthens some of the key themes in data collection and analysis that all IAPT services will be striving to develop or enhance. Chapter 1 discusses the function of data in IAPT and in particular the importance of data in reducing inequalities. The handbook complements  the  approach  described  in  the  IAPT  Equality guidance for commissioners, Being Fair. Including All (October 2010) available from

A  training presentation has been developed which is centred on this handbook.

Glossary and references sections have been added to improve the handbook's suitability for the trainee community.


Further Resources