Selecting an Evaluator

There are many resources available for finding an evaluator.  In Illinois, there are opportunities for partnerships with local universities, colleges, and community colleges, as well as opportunities to contract with third-party evaluators.  

To learn more about selecting an evaluator visit pages 43-47 of the DOL Framework or view the WIOA Wednesday Webinar PDF Presentation and recording, “Evaluation Under WIOA:  Planning and Performing an Evaluation” from May 6, 2020, below. 

Evaluation Under WIOA: Planning and Performing an Evaluation- May 6, 2020


This video describes the importance of selecting an evaluator and the process in doing so.

A high-quality evaluation is dependent on a well-conceived preliminary evaluation plan and careful selection of the evaluator who will conduct the study. To obtain a high-quality evaluation, one needs to select an evaluator with the expertise and capacity to conduct the type of evaluation being pursued. In general, we recommend a state agency use one of the three approaches to secure an evaluator:

  • In-house unit;
  • Partnership with a university or other organization; and
  • Third-party firm or organization selected via an RFP process.

This section provides guidance on the qualities to look for in any potential evaluator, and processes and considerations for each of the three approaches.

Consider partnering with a local community college or state university to conduct an evaluation.  Each of the WIOA Core Partners has resources to help you:

In a typical approach to acquire the services of a third-party evaluator, states may use an RFP bidding process. In general, the sponsoring agency and the evaluation planner will need to work with a procurement office to prepare the Statement/Scope of Work (e.g., tasks, timeline, deliverables), articulate bidder qualifications (corporate and staff), and provide a general budget estimate as to the basis for the development of the actual RFP. In addition, publicizing the RFP is critical to attracting as many qualified bidders as possible.

Getting the Word Out—Publicizing the RFP: Once approved, the RFP is posted in the public domain. The state agency likely has a process for formally announcing the RFP and requesting responses that are similar to what the federal government does for its evaluations and other procurement actions. However, to ensure the RFP announcement reaches the broadest range of potential evaluators, additional outreach may be useful to increase the number of responses. All additional “marketing” should comply with the state procurement process. The following advertising avenues may be appropriate to consider, and when doing so, be sure to include information on where to find the official state announcement and copy of the RFP:

  • Send letters or emails that announce the RFP to a likely group of evaluators (universities/community colleges);
  • Post a notice about the RFP on evaluation-focused websites;
  • Post a notice about the RFP on the state agency’s website;
  • Announce the RFP on any social media sites associated with the agency