Are there any change management readiness assessment tools that can be used in child welfare settings?

Organizational Readiness for Change (ORC) is a key overarching concept for assessing an organization’s motivation and capability to implement policy, practice, or systems change. Readiness for change reflects a comprehensive attitude to an organizational change in policy or practice that is influenced by the nature of the change, the change process, organizational context and leader, team member, client, and partner attributes. The concept of readiness may be divided into measurable core concepts. Tools to assess organizational readiness for change can be useful in determining whether an organization is ready to begin a new program or change effort, as well as whether an organization is ready to move on to the next stage in its implementation of a change.1

Brief literature review and selected resources

Readiness indicators can be assessed through a range of strategies, including: surveys of public agency leaders, staff, private providers, clients served, or community members; focus groups eliciting different group perspectives; and direct observation of program or service delivery components.

An organization’s readiness at one of the four phases of the implementation process (exploration, installation, initial implementation, and full implementation)2 does not automatically ensure readiness for later stages. Readiness assessment is a part of each step in the change process and part of an ongoing discussion among all parties involved. Because readiness can increase or decrease throughout the implementation phases, assessing it in the face of unexpected challenges will help the team to adapt or modify the existing approach accordingly.

An emerging body of work conceptualizes readiness in three areas of consideration: (a) motivation of the people within the organization to adopt new evidence-based innovations, (b) general organizational capacities, and (c) intervention-specific capacities.3

Select resources

US DHHS, ASPE Issue Brief, Willing, Able, Ready: Basics and Policy Implications of Readiness as a Key Component for Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions (2014).
This brief provides an overview of organizational readiness constructs, offers guidance about assessment instruments, and provides examples of how federal staff can assess an organization’s implementation readiness by using specific language in funding opportunity announcements.

PII TTA Project: Guide to Developing, Implementing, and Assessing an Innovation, Vol. 2: Exploration (2016).
This guide includes tools and guidance for assessing a variety of factors related to selecting and assessing an innovation, including institutional readiness and fit.

Organizational readiness assessment instruments

Several assessment tools are available for use and adaptation. They range from short and targeted to lengthy and comprehensive. The table below provides examples of organizational readiness instruments for review and consideration.

Researchers have also created a tool for selecting assessment tools, titled Ready, Set, Change! This online survey assists agency leaders in selecting an assessment instrument that is most aligned with organizational needs and priorities. This online survey can be accessed here4

Select resources

Organizational Readiness for Change – Social Agency Staff Version (TCU ORC-SA) (2009)
This tool assesses motivational factors, program resources, staff attributes, and organizational climate. It has been adapted for the social service agency context.5

Organizational Change Management Readiness Guide (2014)
This guide provides California state departments with a practical overview of OCM to help prepare an organization for change during transition.

Guide for Developing and Implementing Child Welfare Practice Models: Considerations for Assessing Readiness (2012)
This worksheet provides readiness considerations for implementation of a new practice model.

Checklist to Assess Organizational Readiness (CARI) for EIP Implementation (2011)
This assessment tool addresses the level of readiness for behavioral health services organizations implementing evidence-informed practices.

Georgia Technology Authority (n.d.)
This tool was prepared for use in Georgia with all state and local government agencies and focuses on commitment, capacity, capability, and culture.

Change Readiness Assessment (n.d.)
This tool, authored by the Australian government, explores stakeholder readiness for change prior to implementation.
Template download

Change Impact Assessment (2017)
This tool assesses the social change effect of a technical project (information system, reorganization, process change, etc.) during the planning phase.

Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change (ORIC) (2014)
This scale measures organizational readiness for innovation implementation and change in healthcare settings.

Contact: Christopher Shea for instrument:

Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment (ORCA) (2009)
This tool helps identify and monitor organizational strengths and weaknesses to support implementation of evidence-based practices.

Contact: Christian Helfrich for instrument:


1 The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. (n.d.). Implementation measures. Retrieved from
2 Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., Friedman, R. M. & Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network (FMHI Publication #231).
3 Scaccia, J., Cook, B., Lamont, A., Wandersman, A., Castellow, J., Katz, J., & Beidas, R. (2015). A practical implementation science heuristic for organizational readiness: R = MC2. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(4). Retrieved from:
4 National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (2017). Selecting a tool to assess organizational readiness. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University. For more information, see
5 The TCU-ORC instrument has been researched within the health industry and is considered statistically valid and reliable. For more information on all of the scales available from TCU, visit


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