Page last updated 02/02/2015 11:08:43

About CST

As noted elsewhere on the site, CORE System Trust (CST) holds the copyright of the CORE instruments but seeks to promote their use without payment of reproduction fees (see Copyright and Licensing). 

The instruments evolved on prior History about “core measures” and the CORE instruments themselves have also evolved over the last twenty years, more specific history coming shortly (2/2/15) and with many inputs, see Acknowledgements.

CST is an informal association, currently of three people all of whom have been involved in the development of the CORE instruments and CORE system from the offset and bring three different and complementary sets of experience and perspectives.  We aim to protect the copyright and to encourage and support use of the instruments within the spirit we had in mind from the start.  The focus is on the instruments and your use of them but we include a bit of biographical information below. 

Though those are the aims and person power of CST, this wordle, of words in titles of papers linked with the instruments as of late 2014, gives a rather nice sense of how extensively the instruments have had impacts.CORE-wordle3

Protecting the copyright

This is not to make money but only to the extent that this (a) ensures that everyone can be sure they are using the same instruments where that’s appropriate and (b) sets a high standard for approved translations.  The instruments are copyright to us (where things are slightly more complicated this will be very clearly stated on the site) but from the outset they have been “copyleft” on paper, i.e. free to reproduce without changes in any way, but also without payment of any fees.  Since the start of 2015 they have been fully copyleft under the Creative Commons licence, see Copyright and Licensing so free not only to reproduce on paper as they had always been, but also to include in any software again provided they are not changed in any way and without payment of any fees.

Supporting use in the spirit of CORE

There were many aspects to the “spirit of CORE” but primary among them were ideas about “bottom up” decisions about usage being made by practitioners as appropriate to their work, and about collaboration between practitioners, researcher/practitioners and researchers to explore and develop the most useful ways to use the tools.  We were always particularly keen that they should be used in PRNs: Practitioner Research Networks and in the philosophy of PBE: Practice Based Evidence as well as in EBP: Evidence Based Practice.  We continue to publish, almost entirely in collaboration with users of the instruments, to promote such work (including work in this spirit that may not use CORE instruments, we never saw them as the only viable tools) and we hope to use this web site to promote such work too.

Michael Barkham


I am a clinical psychologist by training and have spent over 30 years engaged in psychotherapy research, holding professorial posts at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield. As part of the research carried out within the Sheffield Psychotherapy Projects in the 1980s, I developed an interest in measure development and the use of outcome measures in routine practice.

Together with Chris and Frank, I was part of the team that developed the CORE-OM and associated derivatives. The application of CORE measures in routine practice helped to underpin the development of practice-based evidence within the psychological therapies.

I have been fortunate to work on a range of quality outputs that have utilised the CORE datasets and helped to provide a complementary evidence-base for the psychological therapies to that yielded by randomised controlled trials alone.

I am currently Director of the Centre for Psychological Services Research at the University of Sheffield and my current interests lie in combining the strengths of practice-based evidence and trials methodology.

Chris Evans


Like Michael and Frank, I have been involved with the CORE system from the very first MHF meeting in 1994.  By background I am a “Medical Psychotherapist”, i.e. a psychiatrist who has specialised in psychotherapy.  I started in psychiatry in 1984 and was immediately clear I wanted to pursue a career in psychotherapy as both a practitioner and researcher. As well as the Royal College training, specialising in analytic psychotherapy, I have also trained in Group Analysis and Family/Systemic Therapy.

I have worked in settings from high secure hospitals to community based NHS and charity psychotherapy services and have a particuar interest in personality and “personality disorder”.  I have taken a school fascination with maths into my research and been particularly interested in the mathematics and statistics of how we attempt to measure subjective experiences.

That interest, with a passion for open standards, copyleft distribution and, later, open source software, led me to the CORE project.

In CST I have lead responsibility for translations and psychometric and statistical questions and issues.

Frank Margison

Frank_Margison_photoI am a psychiatrist working in general psychiatry and psychotherapy. I was involved in setting up Society for Psychotherapy Research UK from its inception in the early 1980’s, and was UK vice-President for three years. I have worked on several research strands – including psychiatric problems in parents, and developing and teaching the psychodynamic-interpersonal model of psychotherapy [PIT] as well as being a clinician in Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust at Gaskell Psychotherapy Centre and for the last five years working as visiting psychiatrist in student counselling at University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Since being one of the grant holders of the MHF grant that developed CORE-A I have been actively involved in establishing CORE within clinical governance- in the NHS and the university counselling sectors. It is imortant to have routine measures that are easy to administer. Building these measures into a system that can support practice has been something I have been committed to for many years and one of my troles as a Trustee for CORE has been to build up experience of clinical governance of using routine measures.

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