what we do

Evidence Reviews


We understand the importance of making decisions based on the best available evidence. Evidence reviews use proven methods to establish the current state of knowledge; they use robust, transparent methods to identify and evaluate research and present relevant findings in a clear, practitioner focussed reports. 


We have a significant track record of accomplishment in conducting high quality evidence reviews having completed over 20 in recent years. We pride ourselves in our ability to distil large amounts of complex information into concise, usable and actionable reports, relevant to both policy and practitioner audiences. 

We are experts in employing systematic methods for all types of evidence reviews; all our processes are transparent, reproducible and auditable. Our search methods ensure all the relevant literature is identified. We then use a carefully designed process to select the most relevant studies and to individually appraise each piece of literature. Our accessible reports then ‘tell the story’ of the findings in a succinct form for policy and practitioner audiences.  

Our teams routinely include leading sector experts who inject their specialist expertise at key stages of the project to further enhance the quality of the final output. Using this model, we deliver high quality evidence reviews on a broad range of topics as our extensive track record shows. 



Client: Department for Education

Title: A review of literature on the children’s homes workforce

Brief: The Department for Education (DfE) commissioned the RTK Ltd to conduct a review of the existing literature on the subject of introducing arrangements for the registration of staff working in residential children’s homes. We set out to examine evidence concerning the possible merits of further regulation, and the potential impact it may have on standards of care provision and safeguarding of children in particular, and the children’s homes workforce more generally.

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Client: Department for Education (Teaching Schools Council)

Title: Subject-specific and general pedagogical knowledge of teachers

Brief: The Department for Education(DfE) commissioned the work on behalf of the Teaching Schools Council (TSC) about pedagogical practice at primary school level. The TSC wanted to understand the relative importance of subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and subject-specific pedagogical knowledge for Primary school education. 

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Client: Leeds City Council 

Title: An evidence review of the impact Family Group Conferencing (FGC) and Restorative Practices (RP) have on positive outcomes for children and families. 

Brief: Leeds City Council (LCC) received the largest grant from the DfE Social Care Innovation Programme for their programme, ‘Family Valued’.The Family Valued programme focussed upon restorative practice (RP). A key element was the expansion of the Family Group Conferencing (FGC) service to a scale not previously seen in the UK, including for families experiencing domestic violence. As part of a wider evaluation, LCC commissioned the RTK to conduct a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) designed to establish the state of the evidence concerning the impact of restorative practices including FGC on outcomes for children and their families. 

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Client: The College of Policing

Title: Systematic Search and Synthesis of Evidence on Skill Requirements and Gaps in the Role of Police Constable and Special Police Constable

Brief: The College of Policing are committed to evidence-based practice and are keen to establish what works in policing. The College wanted to review the existing evidence on specialist police skills. 

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Client: National Children’s Bureau - Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP)

Title: Perinatal mental health work in Lambeth

Brief: Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) commissioned the RTK Ltd to conduct research to inform its plans for a community-based perinatal mental health (PMH) intervention.LEAP asked the project team to review the evidence on effective PMH community-based interventions, including feasibility and generalisability considerations for Lambeth. Their specification set out the need to look at the impacts of social deprivation, cultural diversity and population mobility on intervention design. The RTK project team were also asked to map all levels of current PMH service provision within Lambeth, including CAMHS, and analyse health data describing women at significantly increased risk of developing mental health problem. Finally, LEAP asked that the project interview representative key stakeholders and summarise their views on how existing community-based perinatal mental health provision in Lambeth could be improved.

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Client: Public Health England

Title: An evidence review of links between smoking and dementia risk

Brief: Public Health England commissioned the RTK Ltd to develop and disseminate the evidence base concerning the prevention of dementia, with specific reference to the impact that smoking has on dementia risk and disease progression. 

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Client: The Health Research Board, Ireland 

Title: Evidence review on the role of case management in drug and alcohol rehabilitation services (Read more…)

Brief: The Health Research Board (HRB) required two evidence assessments relating to the work of the Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (DATF). The focus of the first review was on the efficacy and effectiveness of prevention programmes delivered outside of school settings. The second review was required to assess the evidence concerning community based drug intervention services. 

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The reports can be accessed here:




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Client: Basildon Council

Title: Outcomes Based Accountability: Building capability, capacity & competence in Basildon Council

Brief: To deliver a programme designed to build the capability, capacity and competence necessary to implement a systematic approach to programme management, Outcomes Based Accountability, in Basildon Council.

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Client: Department of Energy and Climate Change

Title: Evidence review of how heating controls affect domestic energy demand. 

Brief: The Department of Energy and Climate Change wanted a review of the evidence on how heating controls effect domestic energy demand. 

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Client: Bates Wells Braithwate/ The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) 

Title: An independent review into the economic and wider impacts of proposed changes to the charitable status of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals

Brief: The PDSA commissioned the RTK Ltd to summarise existing evidence concerning the potential impact of their proposal to expand their charitable objectives by widening their remit on economic/financial issues, and on ‘public benefit’. The Charity Commission wished to ensure that the potential impacts of the proposed impacts of the proposed changes were explored in sufficient detail to enable ministers to make informed responses to any objections raised. 

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Client:  United St Saviours

Brief: The United St Saviour’s Charity of Southwark commissioned the RTK Ltd to examine the current state of evidence concerning good practice in the planning the local housing needs of older people. 

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