CASP stands for Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. CASP provides resources, learning and development opportunities to support critical appraisal skills development in the UK; at its core is the aspiration that health care practitioners in the UK have access to resources and training that help them appraise information underpinning decision making for its reliability, and validity. This is part of the wider aspiration of evidence based practice in health and social care in the UK
CASP is a non profit making entity, subsidised places for training are offered to NHS/Public Sector workers and participants from the charity & voluntary sector. For the International training week CASP works with Partnerships In Health Information (PHI) to enable information professionals from Africa to take part on a subsidised basis. CASP is part of Better Value Health Care, and is based in Oxford.
CASP’s learning resources include:
- A set of eight critical appraisal tools to use when reading research, these include tools for Systematic Reviews. Randomised Controlled Trials, Cohort Studies, Case Control Studies, Economic Evaluations, Diagnostic Studies, Qualitative Studies and Clinical Prediction Rule. These are free to download and can be used by anyone under the Creative Commons License.
- Critical Appraisal Skills Workshops are offered for Systematic Reviews, Randomised Controlled Trials and Qualitative Studies, these are provided on a competitively priced tariff.
- Training the Trainer courses are offered once a year for an International audience and more frequently for UK based participants. These combine experiential learning in a typical CASP workshop environment with a finding the evidence module, and a two day facilitated peer to peer CASP teaching and learning experience. The aspiration is that participants take their skills back to their funding organisations and cascade CASP to a wider audience. As part of the course teaching materials are made available for use and adaptation.
Background – CASP is now in its 20th year!
The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was developed in Oxford in 1993 and has since helped to develop an evidence based approach in health and social care, working with local, national and international partner organisations. CASPs workshops and resources aim to help participants put knowledge into practice by learning how to systematically formulate questions, find research evidence, appraise research evidence and act on what they find.
Dr Amanda Burls, one of the founders of CASP in Oxford. has also played a key role in the development of the CASP International Network (CASPin), a non-profit making organisation for people promoting skills in finding, critically appraising and acting on research evidence. CASPin has been an informal network since 1998, and members have developed similar critical appraisal skills programmes in Spain (CASPe), Hungary, Poland, Romania, Japan, Norway and India. Many individuals have organised CASP workshops in about 30 other countries, settings and audiences, particularly South America, and Central and Eastern Europe.