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Training Resources

On this page you will find a range of training resources. Some are online and immediately accessible mostly in video format.

Further down the page you will also find details of evidence-related training courses provided by different institutions in the West of England region. Some of these are free of charge, and some come with a course fee.

Online resources for finding and using Evidence

These online resources have been designed to teach or refresh you skills in finding and using evidence.

They are freely available nationally to increase capacity and capability in designing evidence-based care. They are particularly aimed at staff in the health and social care sectors, and can be used as adhoc leaning resources or incorporated into local training.

The resources were created by staff from CLAHRC West and the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) with technical support from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). Please acknowledge these organisations when you share them.

You can view the videos in any order, but when run sequentially (totalling 20 minutes), they make up key components of the successful classroom-based workshop run across the West of England, ‘Finding the Evidence’. The slide deck used for this workshop is also freely available and can be found below the video links. For more information contact Jo Bangoura.

Q: What is evidence-informed commissioning?

This short video gives you real-world insight into evidence-informed commissioning, as told by commissioners, GPs and other staff working in the West of England. It explains why it is so important in our current climate and is succinctly sets the scene and context.  You may want to share it in a meeting or show it at the beginning of a teaching session. (Duration: 3:20)

Q:  What is the Evidence Works toolkit?

Take a short tour around the Evidence Works toolkit. It will provide you with a structure, tools and resources to find, appraise and use evidence in your work.  (Duration: 4:02)


Q: How do I get started with searching for evidence?

Firstly, to get started with an evidence search it is helpful to understand how to structure your search question to get the most relevant search results. Using the ‘PICO’ framework will help you, as described in the ‘Identify‘ step in the Evidence cycle on this toolkit.

It is also explained in this short, animated video, using the example of ‘exercise is older people’. This video was produced by UWE, Bristol and is reproduced with their permission. (Duration: 5:57)

Secondly, watch this video to learn how to get started with searching for evidence using the databases accessible via NHS Evidence.  Go to the ‘Access‘ step of the Evidence cycle on this toolkit for further information.  (Duration: 9:24)


Q: What are the common sources of bias and how can I critically appraise evidence?

This University of Glasgow website has a helpful article on the common sources of bias in evidence. There is also a set of critical appraisal questions that you can apply to any article of your choice to help you review the quality and applicability of the evidence.

Q: Where can I find the workshop slide deck?

Finding the evidence workshop slides (PPT)

This slide deck of 33 slides, is used to deliver a 2-hour workshop called ‘Finding the evidence’ to commissioners across the West of England footprint.  It is available for download on this side through the link above.  The slides may be adapted for use in your local training session; speaker notes are included.  Please acknowledge NIHR CLAHRC West and the West of England AHSN as the original creators when you use or adapt these slides.

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The workshop made me go out and check some of these things and not take them at face value

Evidence workshop participant

Evidence related training courses

  • CLAHRC West  – CLAHRC West provide excellent training courses relating to evidence and evaluation, free of charge to its partner organisations. Popular workshops are currently on offer to complement this Evidence Toolkit, and its non-identical twin, Evaluation Toolkit. The workshops, each lasting just two hours, are design as an introduction or a refresher to get started with using evidence – called ‘Finding the Evidence’ – and planning a service evaluation – ‘Getting Started with Service Evaluation’. They can be scheduled on your premises at a mutually convenient time.  To find out more visit the CLAHRC West training pages, or email
  • In addition, CLAHRC West have listings on their website of all research-related training opportunities across the West of England, as well as their own. A range of topics are offered, including critical appraisal, service evaluation and health economics.
  • Online tutorial on critical appraisal (Healthcare Improvements, Scotland)
  • Online tutorial – finding and appraising the evidence (Health Knowledge)
  • Primary Care Library Service Training on literature searching and critical appraisal (please refer to the Library Service in your own area)
  • Public Health Evidence Service Variable provision of training or signposting provided by individuals in local Public Health teams
  • School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University short course programme covering research methods and skills: free for Public Health employees