• Identifying the indicators

    Identify appropriate indicators by looking at each success goal and thinking about the changes you would expect to see if the strategies were effective.

    Think about how those changes could be measured. Ask yourself the following questions.

    • How would you know if there was an improvement in voluntary compliance?
    • What would tell you if there was a change in community confidence?
    • How did you know there was a problem in the first place?

    Example of a potential indicator

    Success goal

    Potential indicator

    Sustained improvement in voluntary compliance with reporting obligations.

    Change in the effective tax rate.

    At this stage, don't be too concerned with how difficult it might be to measure the indicator. Avoid choosing only indicators that are easy to measure - you may find that even though an indicator can't be measured at the moment, it may be useful at a later date when more data becomes available.

    Use a combination of indicators that focus on both the broad and the detailed level to help you to identify whether there has been an observable change in compliance behaviour and community confidence. This can also help you to understand whether your compliance strategies are responsible for the change.

    When identifying your indicators, consider whether they are capable of showing the following.

    • Sustainability - identify indicators that can demonstrate your progress and whether a positive change is maintained or declines over time. Select indicators that can show change over the immediate, intermediate and long terms.
    • Indirect or flow-on effects - include indicators that can show whether the strategies have had an effect on the wider population beyond the part of the population directly targeted by your strategies.
    • Unintended consequences - consider indicators that will show whether any unintended consequences have emerged as a result of your strategies.

    Identifying potential indicators often results in a list of 15 to 25 indicators. While this number would be impractical and costly to track, the discussion between people from diverse backgrounds and capabilities is invaluable in identifying indicators that might otherwise be overlooked.

      Last modified: 13 Jan 2015QC 25789