National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) Mandatory Evaluation Guidance (22-23)

If you are unsure about your organisation’s band, please check your funding agreement.
 

1. Band 2 and 3 NPOs

Requirements

1. A band 2 or 3 NPO must complete four evaluations, where:

  • At least two adhere to the Core evaluation type
  • The remaining two adhere to either the Core or the Flexible evaluation type

The Flexible evaluation type is new and allows the NPO to choose their own dimensions for that evaluation. A comprehensive description of what both the Core and Flexible evaluation types must include is given below.

2. Within a month of completing each of the four evaluations, the NPO must then:

  • Create an Insights Report and submit the data to Arts Council England (ACE)this process occurs entirely within the Culture Counts platform.
  • Share the Insights Report with their Relationship Manager via email – this requires the NPO to save the created Insights Report and send it to their Relationship Manager manually via email.

3. Band 2 and 3 NPOs must also create a second report type – the Annual Summary Report. This is an annual, combined report of the NPO’s four submitted evaluations. It shows comparisons between the different evaluated works and provides opportunities for reflection. In preparation for June’s Grantium submission, the NPO must:

NPOs are encouraged to include additional questions within their surveys, and there are suggestions made within the platform to make this simpler for specific types of work (e.g. Online Works or Participatory). However, this is not mandatory.

Beyond the minimum requirement of four mandatory evaluations, all NPOs are welcome to undertake as many additional evaluations as they like. There is no requirement to share these evaluations with ACE and they can be designed in any way that NPOs choose.

 

Band 2 & 3 peer review

In addition to including at least one peer review in each evaluation, it is a mandatory requirement for all band 2 or 3 NPOs to register at least one peer reviewer from their organisation to the Peer Matching Resource, available via the Toolkit. This peer reviewer may be invited by other NPOs to provide a review.

It is expected that each NPO will provide four peer reviews over the course of each evaluation year. In some instances, this may not be possible. If the NPO is uncertain whether they will be able to provide four peer reviews per year, they should discuss this with their Relationship Manager.

 

 

2. Band 1 NPOs and Sector Support Organisations (SSOs)

Requirements

There is no requirement for band 1 NPOs or SSOs to use the Impact & Insight Toolkit but, if they do choose to use it, we expect them to follow the standards set out here for at least one Core or one Flexible evaluation each year. Findings from this evaluation should then be shared with their Relationship Manager, using the agreed reporting template.

If you are a Band 1 or SSO and are finding it difficult to secure a Peer Reviewer, please contact Counting What Counts to discuss your options.

 

3. Core and Flexible evaluation types

There are two types of evaluation which may contribute to NPO mandatory requirements, these are Core and Flexible. For both evaluation types, survey data resulting from specific questions must be collected from four respondent groups. These requirements are shown in the tables below.

Core evaluation type

*The dimensions in these categories i.e. ‘ACE Core dimensions – self and peer reviewers‘ and ‘ACE Core dimensions – public respondents’ are shown in Appendix B. (In the platform these appear as drop-down menus)
** Standard demographic questions are shown in Appendix C

Flexible evaluation type

***The dimensions in these categories i.e. ‘Cultural Experience‘ and ‘ACE Participatory‘ are shown in Appendix B. (In the platform these appear as drop-down menus). Please note, in a Flexible evaluation at least 4 of the flexible dimensions must be the same across all respondent groups

 

4. NPO event/activity choice

We encourage NPOs to evaluate a range of their work (e.g. theatre productions in a main house and studio). NPOs can use the Impact & Insight Toolkit to evaluate any public facing work, including participatory work and work that is delivered online or outdoors.

NPOs will find the Toolkit most valuable if they use it to evaluate work where they can learn something interesting about the experiences of their audiences, or where they have a particular hypothesis about programming or marketing that they wish to test. NPOs can discuss their event choices with their Relationship Manager if that would be helpful.

 

5. NPO special circumstances

Where an organisation is primarily participatory, the NPO should discuss with their Relationship Manager whether more than two of their evaluations can be built around the Participatory dimensions instead.

Touring and receiving NPOs can use the Culture Counts platform to carry out a shared evaluation of the same event. Each organisation will need to submit a separate report on the event to their Relationship Manager; this will count towards the quota of mandatory evaluations for both organisations.

Band 2 and 3 NPOs that do not have four events per year to evaluate, such as biennials or those with a limited public programme, should discuss suitable usage with their Relationship Manager.

 
 

6. Sampling guidance

Counting What Counts has produced guidance specifically on appropriate sample sizes for different types of event, including participatory events which typically involve smaller groups of people. The minimum number of public responses required in order to meet the mandatory requirements is one; however, it is advised that NPOs follow the guidance available to ensure maximum insight is gained.

Appendix A – Respondent groups

Public

An Impact & Insight survey completed by a representative sample of the audience.

Self prior

An Impact & Insight survey from a relevant member of staff outlining the creative intentions for the work (ideally NPOs should engage at least three members of staff for each evaluation).

Self post

An Impact & Insight survey completed by the same staff members that completed the Prior survey.

Peer post

An Impact & Insight survey completed by relevant peers (ideally NPOs should engage at least three peers for each evaluation).

Please know that it is possible to conduct the Self post and Peer post surveys within one survey.

 

Appendix B – Question categories

The following are displayed as ‘drop down’ menus in the Culture Counts platform.

 

ACE Core Dimensions – self and peer reviewers

• Captivation: It was absorbing and held my attention
• Challenge: It was thought-provoking
• Concept: It was an interesting idea
• Distinctiveness: It was different from things I’ve experienced before
• Relevance: It has something to say about the world in which we live
• Rigour: It was well thought through and put together
• Excellence: It’s one of the best examples of its type that I have experienced
• Originality: It was ground-breaking
• Risk: The artists/curators really challenged themselves with this work

 

ACE Core Dimensions – public respondents

• Captivation: It was absorbing and held my attention
• Challenge: It was thought-provoking
• Concept: It was an interesting idea
• Distinctiveness: It was different from things I’ve experienced before
• Relevance: It has something to say about the world in which we live
• Rigour: It was well thought through and put together

 

ACE Participatory

• Organisation: ‘The project was well organised’
• Responsiveness: ‘The organisers responded well to the needs of the group’
• Support: ‘People in the group supported each other’
• Acceptance: ‘I felt like I could be myself’
• Belonging: ‘They made me feel part of the team’
• Voice: ‘My ideas were taken seriously’
• Enjoyment: ‘I had a good time’
• Experimenting: ‘I felt comfortable trying new things’
• Friendship: ‘I felt close to other people involved in the project’
• New People: ‘I got to know people who are different to me’
• Contribution: ‘I felt that my contribution mattered’
• Feedback: ‘I got helpful feedback’
• Artistic Skills: ‘I improved my artistic skills’
• Confidence: ‘I feel more confident about doing new things’
• Creativity: ‘I feel more able to express myself creatively’
• Empathy: ‘It helped me understand other people’s points of view’
• Identity: ‘It helped me to see myself differently’
• Motivation: ‘I feel motivated to do more creative things in the future’
• Skills: ‘I gained new skills’
• Stretch: ‘I did something I didn’t know I was capable of’

 

Cultural Experience

• Concept: It was an interesting idea
• Distinctiveness: It was different from things I’ve experienced before
• Challenge: It was thought-provoking
• Captivation: It was absorbing and held my attention
• Relevance: It has something to say about the world in which we live
• Rigour: It was well thought through and put together
• Risk: The artists/curators really challenged themselves with this work
• Originality: It was ground-breaking
• Excellence: It’s one of the best examples of its type that I have experienced
• Local Impact: ‘It’s important that it’s happening here’
• Presentation: ‘It was well produced and presented’
• Imagination: ‘I expect it will open my mind to new possibilities’
• Cultural Contribution: ‘It provides an important addition to the cultural life of the area’
• Inquisitiveness: ‘It made me want to find out more about the artwork’
• Enthusiasm: ‘I would come to something like this again’
• Escapism: ‘I was so immersed that I lost sense of time’
• Coherence: ‘All the different elements of the piece came together well’
• Resonance: ‘It will stay with me for a long time’
• Beauty: ‘It was visually beautiful’
• Relatability: ‘I could relate to the emotions expressed by the characters’
• Independent Interpretation: ‘I felt free to make my own meaning with the work’
• Intimacy: ‘I felt close to the artists/performers’
• Appropriately Pitched: ‘It respected the emotional maturity of its audience’

*Please note that the wording of these statements is that of a post-event public survey and that within the platform, wording will vary slightly depending on the type of survey being created.

 

Placemaking

• Local Impact: ‘It’s important it’s happening here’
• Connection: ‘It helped me to feel connected to people in the community’
• Heritage: ‘It made me feel connected to a shared history/culture’
• Participation: ‘It encouraged me to participate in community activities’
• Celebration: ‘It celebrated my own cultural heritage’
• Nature: ‘It made me feel connected to nature’
• Access: ‘It gave me the opportunity to access cultural activities’
• Place: ‘It made me feel proud of my local area’
• Awareness: ‘It opened my eyes to issues in the environment’
• Understanding: ‘It helped me to better understand the place and people where I live’
• Content: It reflected a broad and inclusive range of voices’
• Respect: ‘It gave me greater respect for cultural diversity’
• Community: I feel a sense of community here’
• Pride: It strengthened my cultural pride’

 

Frequently Used Custom

• Heritage: ‘I was clear about what we were here to achieve’
• Insight: ‘It helped me gain new insight or knowledge’
• Interpretation: ‘The information about the exhibition was clear and helpful’
• Celebration: ‘It celebrated my own cultural heritage’
• Family: ‘I explored and learnt together as a family’
• Networks: ‘It connected me with other people in my field
• Achievement: ‘I was amazed by what we achieved’
• Intensity: ‘I felt deeply involved in the process’
• Opportunity: ‘The project opened up new opportunities for me’
• Intention: ‘I felt able to shape the intention of the project’
• Clarity: ‘I was clear about what we were all here to do’
• Creative Legacy: ‘I now have creative ambitions I didn’t have before’
• Worldview: ‘It helped me understand something new about the world’
• Mental Wellbeing: It had a positive impact on my mental wellbeing
• Trust: ‘I trusted the other people involved’
• Respect: ‘I was treated as an equal’
• Physical Health: ‘It has a positive impact on my physical health’
• Vibe in place: ‘I enjoy the vibrancy here’

 

ACE Literature Specific

• Completion: ‘I feel more confident about knowing when my work is finished’
• Language: ‘I enjoyed the author’s use of language’
• Skills (writing): ‘I improved my technical writing skills’
• Network: ‘I have increased my network of people to support with my writing’
• Illustration: ‘The pictures were just right for the story’
• Layout: ‘I liked the way the words and pictures appeared together on the page’

 

ACE Dance Specific

• Balance: ‘The elements were well-balanced’
• Cadence: ‘It was well-paced’

 

Combined Arts Specific

• Blend: ‘I appreciated the mix of art forms in this work’

 

ACE Music Specific

• Sound: ‘I loved the sound of this performance’
• Unity: ‘The musicians performed as one voice’
• Use of musical elements: ‘The piece exploited different musical elements in an interesting way (Tempo, timbre, structure, dynamics, pitch/harmony, texture, beat/rhythm)’

 

ACE Visual Art Specific

• Interpretation: ‘The information about the exhibition was clear and helpful’
• Place: ‘It gave me a new perspective on its location’
• Visual Impact: ‘It drew me in and made me look’

 

ACE Museum Specific

• Interpretation:’ The information about the exhibition was clear and helpful’
• Visual Impact: ‘It drew me in and made me look’

 

Appendix C – Standard demographics question set

Age: What is your age?
Gender: How would you describe your gender?
Postcode: What is your postcode?

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