Setting numeric criterion is an essential part of an assessment plan. For each measurement, a unit should set satisfactory performance criteria. A numeric criterion is a short statement describing the level of performance which will indicate that the unit is successful in achieving the outcome. A numeric criterion helps a unit determine whether or not a change is warranted. If a numeric criterion is met, then a unit should be satisfied with the level of performance on the outcome and may decide the outcome does not need to be measured again for a while. If a numeric criterion is not met, then staff should discuss the results and come up with an action plan to improve performance on that particular outcome.
If a unit is struggling with how high to set a numeric criterion for an outcome that has not been measured before, they might consider collecting some baseline data to help them establish a reasonable and realistic criterion.
Typically, if a unit says it is not possible to come up with a numeric criterion for their assessment, then the overall assessment plan probably needs work. Again, assessment is about improvement and not about a list of job tasks to be checked off. A unit may also need to develop and use a rubric to quantify a qualitative measure.
Regardless of whether or not the numeric criterion was met for a particular outcome, units are asked to reflect on and document how the outcome can continue to be improved in the annual continuous improvement report.