Management Responsibilities Toolkit Preparation

Monitoring and evaluation


Effective monitoring and evaluation systems report on the participation, retention and achievement of disabled learners and tauira and identify any barriers to these areas.

Best practice standards

  1. Institutional barriers and the impact of these on disabled learners are identified and reported by senior management through the disability action plan monitoring.
  2. There are a range of monitoring and evaluation systems to measure progress with goals and targets to remove these barriers to participation, retention and achievement of disabled learners.
  3. Effective systems are in place to provide a forum to raise, discuss and advocate on issues affecting disabled learners.

“One of the things I would like most is for disability to be taken as seriously as Māori and Pacific issues are … setting down some targets that we have to meet, some reports that we have to provide, and that those are viewed as seriously as our other priority groups. I think that’s really important."

- Manager, Disability Support Services.


  • Monitoring and evaluation systems could include:
    • Measuring progress with targets and goals for disabled learners and their support.
    • Climate surveys to assess if staff feel confident creating an inclusive environment and providing learning support for disabled learners.
    • Development of an advisory group to review and advise on disabled learner outcomes and identify and resolve any barriers in the tertiary environment. Ideally this would include disabled learners, disability support services and other staff from all levels of the organisation, and community networks.
    • Ensuring information from complaints and appeal processes is integrated into planning.
  • Reporting institutional barriers and the impact of these, this should include:
    • Assessing how staff across the institution comply with the relevant policies, procedures, legislative and government requirements for disabled learners.
    • Recommending strategies to improve learning support for disabled learners.
  • These systems should not be punitive so disabled learners come under a microscope:

“Student Success advised me that a learner we work with was at risk. I questioned why! It was because they were tracking at a B - . This was fantastic considering the complex health challenges the learner was facing, so was in my books a success."

- Disability support services staff

What you need to know

  • 58% of disabled learners, enrolled in Bachelors or higher qualifications, completed their qualification. Once in tertiary education, these disabled people are equally likely to complete their qualification as non-disabled people – the difference in completion rates at Bachelors level and all other levels for non-disabled learners is not statistically significant.
  • There is a shortage of data around tertiary participation and disabled learners.

Engaging disabled learners

  • Structured focus groups with disabled learners and learner surveys that question whether people are satisfied with the learning support and services they received from staff in relation to their impairments, and institutional barriers that need to be resolved.
  • Consultation with disabled learners about specific services (e.g. those with different impairments, Māori disabled learners, other cultural and diverse groups, international learners and those considering tertiary education).
  • Ideally tertiary providers should have a recognised voice for disabled learners:
    • One option is to develop a network for disabled learners.
    • Disabled learners should also have an effective avenue for independent advocacy, for example, within learner associations and bodies.
    • Having disabled learner advocacy networks or independent advocacy as part of disability support services may create conflicts of interest that make it hard for these learners to raise issues with the staff responsible for their learning support.

Useful links

Collecting Data.

This page is current as of May 2022 Print this page