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Impact & Insight Toolkit
Version 1 (2019 – 2023)


The Impact & Insight Toolkit was commissioned by Arts Council England (ACE) to provide a tool to be used by band 2 and 3 National Portfolio Organisations (NPO) and other ACE funded organisations and projects from 2019-2022 (extended to 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic).


Strategic Development Strand

The Strategic Development Strand presented an exciting opportunity for ACE funded organisations to work with Counting What Counts to build the best possible Impact & Insight Toolkit to meet the needs of the arts and cultural sector.

Organisations that registered to be involved in the Strategic Development Strand were invited to workshops and to engage with online activities, according to their interests.

Originally intended to be a 12-month long project, the number of requests and suggestions made by workshop attendees indicated that the Strategic Development Strand was an ongoing process of collaborative development and improvement over the course of the project.

In March 2019 we held an initial round of six Strategic Development Strand workshops in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and two in London. For the full report on the opening meetings we held in March 2019, read our Summary of the First Round of Strategic Development Strand Workshops report.


Artform & Museum Metric Strand

The Artform & Museum Metrics workshops were designed to enable NPO representatives to work together to create new dimensions for evaluating audience and peer experience of individual artforms and museums. Workshops ran in October and November 2019.

Alongside the Artform & Museum Metrics workshops, Counting What Counts and NPOs have been working on other activities relating to the development of Impact & Insight Toolkit dimensions:

  • 2 webinars were held in November 2019 to explore how the participatory dimensions could be improved
  • One to one discussions with NPOs occurred, regarding dimensions for evaluating the emotional responses of audiences and peers (‘sentiment’ dimensions)
  • 2 workshops with literature NPOs occurred to explore how the Toolkit can be developed to support evaluation within the literature sector

We incorporated the insights from all these engagement activities, alongside the outputs of the Artform & Museum Metrics workshops, within our Summary of Artform & Museum Metrics Workshops report. The report provides a comprehensive account of how NPOs would like to improve, expand and organise dimensions within the Impact & Insight Toolkit.



The Quality Metrics National Test
(2015 – 2016)


The Quality Metrics National Test was the precursor to the Impact & Insight Toolkit. The reports below detail the process and its findings, and provide an excellent background on the Toolkit’s beginnings.


Quality Metrics Final Report

The Quality Metrics National Test involved the recruitment of 150 National Portfolio Organisations (NPO) and Major Partner Museums (MPM) to use the quality metrics and Culture Counts platform to evaluate three events, exhibitions or performances between November 2015 and May 2016. The metrics originate from a commission in 2010 by the Department of Culture and the Arts in Western Australia in which Michael Chappell and John Knell were entrusted to work with arts and cultural organisations to develop a metrics system which uses a combination of self, peer and public assessments to capture the quality of cultural experiences.


Quality Metrics National Test – Participatory Metrics Report

This report was designed to build on previous Arts Council England funded work led by Matthew Bourne / New Adventures. Within the Quality Metrics National Test, 10 NPOs were recruited to refine and test a set of participatory metrics developed through a previous trial. The core aim was to produce an improved set of participatory metrics that aligned with CYP quality principles and would be suitable for the diversity of organisations represented in the portfolio.


Testing the Accessibility of Arts Council England’s Quality and Participatory Metrics

Shared Intelligence, The Mighty Creatives and Sarah Pickthall, a specialist in disability inclusive best practice, were commissioned by Arts Council England in December 2016 to test the accessibility of the Quality and Participatory Metrics that had been developed by and with the sector, to help organisations understand and measure the quality of their work. This report outlines their findings.



Manchester Metrics Pilot


The Manchester Metrics Pilot began in 2012, inspired by the 2011 Public Value Measurement Framework (PVMF). The pilot was support by Arts Council England and a consortia of 13 ACE funded organisations in the North West of England. Independently to the PVMF, it asked organisations to determine which key outcomes could best capture the quality and reach of cultural experiences and cultural production.



Public Value Measurement Framework


The concept of the dimensions and the first set of metrics were created as part of the Public Value Measurement Framework (PVMF) commissioned in 2011 by the Department of Culture and Arts (DCA) in Western Australia. This work was undertaken by Michael Chappell of Pracsys (Australia) and the John Knell of Intelligence Agency (UK).