Skip to main content

What is the SPS-C Measure?

The Service Provider Strategies-Checklist (SPS-C) is a 24-item observational checklist that captures service providers’ use of five types of intervention strategies in life skills programs, including teaching/learning techniques, cognitive strategies, handling/physical interventions, socially-mediated strategies, and non-intrusive strategies. 

Why do we need the SPS-C measure?

There is a growing interest in the development of fidelity measures to assess whether interventions are delivered as intended. The SPS-C has the potential to increase understanding of the strategies used by service providers to facilitate positive youth outcomes, to describe the strategies characterizing particular programs, and to provide feedback for service providers in life skills programs. The SPS-C is completed by an observer.

How was the SPS-C measure developed?

Items were based on (a) an existing checklist of intervention strategies for school-based therapy (McDougall et al., 2000) and (b) therapist-described strategies ascertained in a qualitative study involving residential immersive life skills program service providers, who were interviewed about their key intervention approaches and strategies (King et al., 2015). The SPS-C has evidence of high inter-rater agreement (King et al., 2016). Evidence of construct validity is shown in the same study.


McDougall, J., King, G. A., Malloy-Miller, T., Gritzan, J., Tucker, M. A., & Evans, J. (2000). A checklist to determine the methods of intervention used in school-based therapy: Development and pilot testing. Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics, 19(2), 53–77. doi:10.1080/J006v19n02_04

King, G., McPherson, A., Kingsnorth, S., Stewart, D., Glencross-Eimantas, T., Gorter, J. W., . . . Isihi, A. M. (2015). Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with disabilities: Service providers’ perceptions of experiential benefits and key program features. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(11), 971–980. doi:10.3109/09638288.2014.949353

King, G., Kingsnorth, S., McPherson, A., Jones-Galley, K., Pinto, M., Fellin, M., . . . & Savage, D. (2016). Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with physical disabilities: A pilot study of program opportunities, intervention strategies, and youth experiences. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 55, 242-255. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2016.04.014