BACKGROUND : Sensemaking of the extreme vagaries and external considerations that influence decision-making and judgement during business rescue events (BREs) are currently sparse but details about evaluation criteria are desperately needed. AIM : Learning from and applying post-mortem analysis (PMA) is investigated to propose an evaluation framework. SETTING : Following the problems by and expectations of the Regulator to 'govern' the business rescue (BR) industry, a recent decision to decentralise the accreditation of business rescue practitioners (BRPs) changed the landscape significantly. METHODS : From literature and interviews, the study identified seven interactive evaluation criteria from PMA thinking to be included in a conceptual framework. RESULTS : Following the determination of the contextual difficulty evaluation, the measurement criteria included: taking management control, initial feasibility judgement, viability analysis, decision-making, BRP competencies, the rescue plan and compliance within the supreme task. One mediating factor, namely the BRP dominated. Secondly, the evaluation process can be costly to ensure validity of the data, collection and evaluators. Finally, BRE evaluators (executors/decision makers) require a high level understanding of contextual issues that may disproportionately influence an evaluation. Expert and master level competencies are required to inform the proper judgement of the evaluation criteria and variables. CONCLUSION : The study addresses educators' need for a framework for PMA to guide the teaching of BRP competencies, direct the regulatory authorities (and professional bodies) accreditation framework for licensing BRPs, inform banks as creditors to enhance their information systems, advise upcoming BRPs on outcomes while courts may consider the framework as useful for judging issues.