This Assessment Can Help You Manage Your Human Service Staff


By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

Founding Editor,

In a recent bSci21 article titled 20 Performance Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Behavior Change, the authors provided a detailed overview of a popular assessment tool in Organizational Behavior Management called the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC).  In this article, we will talk about a variation of the PDC developed by Jim Carr and others called the PDC-HS.  The “HS” stands for Human Service, and is designed specifically for the industry.

The PDC-HS helps managers alleviate performance problems specific to human service settings that might not respond to simpler solutions.  The tool achieves this by providing stakeholders with information leading to a more fine-tuned performance solution tailor made to the unique situations encountered in a human service setting.

The team worked with 15 staff members at an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention center for children with autism and targeted the cleanliness of treatment rooms.  The PDS-HS consisted of 13 interview questions that were asked to supervisors regarding room cleanliness, while the 7 remaining questions required direct observation of staff behavior.

The PDS-HS indicated a lack of staff training in specific areas, as well as a lack of performance feedback in particular domains.  The authors then designed a tailored staff training package coupled with publicly posted graphed performance feedback for each room.  In short, after the intervention, percentage of staff cleanliness tasks completed increased to the upper 90% range, from baseline levels in the 20%-40% range.

More details are provided in the hyperlinks above, including a free-text version of the PDS-HS study.  Do you think the PDS-HS would be useful to your organization?  Let us know in the comments below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns and  Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues.  He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at

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