Impact Assessment Case Study Process

HEIs’ annual reporting requirements under the System Performance Framework 2023–2028 include the submission of an Impact Assessment Case Study (IACS). Impact Assessment Case Studies (IACS) are linked to a positive funding mechanism that supports and recognises excellent performance within the higher education and research system. Performance Funding was introduced in 2019 and since then more than €20 million in Performance Funding has been awarded to HEIs. Impacts and learnings from successful case studies are highlighted in ‘Institutional Stories of Impact’ on the HEA website. Under the System Performance Framework 2023–28, a revised IACS process will continue to provide institutions with an opportunity to demonstrate exemplary and significant contributions towards the delivery of national priorities.

The purpose of IACS is to:

  • Demonstrate the impact of the higher education and research system on society.
  • Showcase initiatives where institutions have successfully delivered on national policies and strategic priorities.
  • Enhance dissemination of good practice and learning across the system.
  • Gather evidence to inform policymaking and to identify areas for potential further development and investment in the system.
  • Inform the allocation of annual performance funding.


IACS process 2024

The Impact Assessment Case Study process in 2024 will inform the allocation of €5 million in Performance Funding and will operate as a pilot. A number of changes have been made to the process aimed at improving the process and aligning it with the new System Performance Framework 2023–28. Learnings from the pilot will be used to refine the IACS process for 2025-2028.


Revisions to the process and documentation have been made in response to:

  • Feedback from HEIs and individuals on the IACS process, gathered via survey in 2023.
  • Input gathered through consultation on the SPF in 2022.
  • Feedback from previous IACS expert assessment panels.
  • Findings and recommendations in IACS process auditors’ reports 2019–2023.
  • Review of previous IACS processes under System Performance Framework 2018–21.


Key updates and improvements include:

  • Publication of an information pack with an end-to-end overview of the IACS submission and evaluation process.
  • Updated eligibility requirements and conditions.
  • Revised evaluation criteria, scoring rubric and weightings.
  • Simplified submission template with embedded guidance and increased word counts.
  • Provision of an Irish Language version of the template, available on request.
  • Provision of supplementary support to HEIs (e.g. FAQs process; briefings).



Impact Assessment Case Study Information Pack:

Information on the submission and evaluation process, including eligibility and conditions, evaluation criteria and guidance on case study preparation are outlined in the IACS Information Pack.

IACS submission:

Case studies from eligible HEIs should submitted to using the editable template provided by the HEA. An outline of this template is presented in the Information Pack for reference. The deadline for submission is 5pm on 18 September 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Queries relating to the IACS process will be addressed through an FAQ process. Queries may be submitted to FAQs will be made available through this webpage.

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