Validation of the Generic Program Performance Measure (GPPM)

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Key Words

correctional program performance, treatment gain, dropout, recidivism,  program performance measure

Why we did this study

Correctional programs are a key component of a correctional strategy that promotes the safe and successful reintegration of offenders into the community. In order to assess the progress and performance of offenders participating in these programs, valid and reliable tools are required. CSC has developed a measure for this purpose called the Generic Program Performance Measure (GPPM) which is used by program facilitators to measure offenders' pre- and post-program skill development, motivation, and attitude change. The GPPM comprises 17 items and consists of three scales: Effort, Performance, and Responsivity. The GPPM has been used nationally in CSC since 2005, and the study assesses the reliability and validity of this measure.

What we did

Degree of treatment change was measured for all participants according to gender, Aboriginal status, program type and intensity level. Psychometric properties were assessed through a factor analysis and a reliability analysis. Finally, predictive ability of the GPPM with respect to dropout and recidivism was evaluated.

What we found

Results indicated significant treatment gain after completion of a correctional program for all groups. Internal consistency was found to be high (α = .933 for pre-program scores; α = .921 for post-program scores). An exploratory factor analysis revealed a two factor structure for this measure. Items originally comprising the Effort subscale loaded onto one factor, and the remaining Performance and Responsivity items loaded onto a separate scale. This suggests that these items could be combined to form a single scale.

Pre-program scores were found to correlate moderately with program dropout with an acceptable degree of predictive validity. Neither pre- nor post-program scores were found to meaningfully predict recidivism; however, offenders who did not demonstrate any treatment gain were significantly more likely to return to custody after release than those who demonstrated an acceptable level of treatment gain.

What it means

This study demonstrates that the GPPM is a psychometrically reliable and valid measure of program performance. Program facilitators can reliably use this measure to guide program performance assessment. Pre-program scores can be used to identify offenders most at risk for program dropout. Offenders who receive low scores both pre- and post-program are at higher risk for recidivism, and additional resources may be required targeting these offenders.

For more information

Usher, A. & Stewart, L. (2011). Validation of the Generic Program Performance Measure (GPPM). Research Report R-255. Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service of Canada.

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, contact the following address:

Prepared by: Amelia Usher


Research Branch
(613) 995-3975