Evidence-based Practice is a unit where learners will get insight into the collection of qualitative and quantitative evidence to promote critical thinking.

5CO02 Evidence based Practice 

Evidence-based Practice is a unit where learners will get insight into the collection of qualitative and quantitative evidence to promote critical thinking. The unit evaluates the value of decisions made in an organisation by examining information or evidence from an ethical perspective.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, learners will have understood the following concepts assessed at the end of the learning unit.

  • Gain an understanding of strategies that enhance critical thinking and the application of evidence to improved decision-making.
  • Learners understand the value of making correct ethical decisions and developing strategies to solve people practice challenges at work.
  • Learners should gain insight on how to measure the value of people practices to the organisation.


  1. Critical thinking \strategies and their effectiveness in decision-making

Evidence-based practice application to people practice and decision-making

Learners are required to understand how they should use evidence to make sound decisions that they can justify themselves. The decisions should also be justifiable to others through practical interpretation and analysis of evidence that they obtain. Learners get insight into the rational model, bounded rationality, and group thinking models, which are relevant in determining their decisions. Evidence should be from various sources, and learners must be keen to understand the dangers of being biased when making judgements and conclusions regarding different issues in business.

The right organisational decisions are made when managers and employers get to diagnose problems effectively and at the same time identify the challenges and opportunities that should be considered before making final organisational decisions. There are tools and methods identified to ensure that employers understand the environment where businesses operate. Examples of these tools include Porter’s Five Forces model, Ansoff matrix, strategic review, cause and effect, critical incidence analysis, balanced scorecard and McKinsey 7S model, all relevant in collecting information from the environment. These tools are made effective when the employer uses different methods to collect information, including interviews and observations. The employers may also use the information to evaluate the organisational metrics and use the collected data to support the organisation and people.

Principles of critical thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that HR professionals consider very relevant in reflecting on the organisational objectives and ideas and arguments that enhance improvement in decision-making. Learners need to understand critical thinking principles such as the objective, rational thinking to create a level of consciousness relevant to making organisational decisions. Learners also get insight on how they should be keen to present reasonable arguments before making final decisions. There is also a great need for learners to be aware of the possibilities of being biased when making decisions and should therefore focus on making sure that they understand the critical thinking concept in the most appropriate way possible.

Ethical perspectives in decision-making

Being ethical means following the code of conduct, behaviours, and guidelines effectively ensures that dilemmas are well managed, and that correct and moral decisions are made. Learners understanding this concept will learn ethical theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, communitarianism, and altruism. Learners also get insight into ethical values such as fairness, honesty, equality, democracy, and the management of ethical dilemmas. All these values and principles guide learners in understanding the value that ethics has on their decisions in the workplace. Nevertheless, learners should be aware of the different rationales and explanations relating to ethical theories and arguments. This means that as professionals, learners should understand the capability and performance approaches to managing issues at work.

  1. Decision-making strategies effectiveness in solving people practice issues

Interpreting analytical data

Learners pursuing the unit will understand the value of analysing raw data to make sure that they understand the trends to issues, themes and the cause and effect of some issues regarding the achievement of organisational values. The data is considered evidence relating to processes and outcomes that professionals need to make appropriate decisions at work.

Decision-making processes and potential solutions to people practice issues.

The decisions made at work are relevant in developing solutions effective in creating positive outcomes. An essential concept that learners should understand in this learning outcome is the six thinking hats. Additionally, learners should be aware of the evaluating decisions to manage risks and manage organisational finances. Good decisions result in benefits such as improved productivity, stakeholder engagement, positive workplace relations and culture, and increased awareness within the business. Understanding the financial implications to organisations after making certain decisions is an aspect that helps determine how well the professionals can manage costs and budgets.

  1. Measuring the impact and value of people practice on organisations

Measuring financial and non-financial performance

Financial and non-financial performances in business help integrate the different ways through which action is taken to support improved performance within the organisation. Financial performance measures include revenue collected, the gross and net profit, return on investment, and cash flow. Non-financial performance measures include service level agreements, benefits given to stakeholders, levels of customer satisfaction, employers and employee compliance to legal matters and their compliance to environmental standards.

The data professionals use in informing people practices is relevant in helping learners calculate the levels of organisational performance. For example, analysing quantitative and qualitative data using charts and tables, reports, and other presentations help learners understand how they should effectively measure performance at work. In addition, the HR and L&D activities that professionals should learn to obtain evidence and make appropriate decisions ate the use and analysis of reward data, compliance data, recruitment data, retention data, and financial data.

Collate findings for stakeholders

Learners must understand their roles and responsibilities in organising data obtained and presenting it as findings to the stakeholders. The data is presented regarding the stakeholders’ interests, and activities that support people practices should also be considered effective in ensuring that appropriate decisions are made. Initiatives are developed to support people and organisations. Learners in this level should also understand the impact and values that the people practices concept has towards creating organisational value. The impacts may be positive or negative, and they may have direct or indirect impacts on the people and the organisation. Learners should measure the impacts of the evidence to ensure that organisational goals and objectives are achieved. Measuring the effectiveness of the evidence helps learners find out how well they can improve people practices and at the same time make informed decisions. The methods for measuring people’s value to organisational performance and success include return on investment, ROE, Cost-benefit analysis and evaluation and validation. The information obtained helps improve people well-being and manage some of the problems that might limit the organisation from attaining success.


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