Becoming A Peer Reviewer

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The Impact & Insight Toolkit encourages participating organisations to select peers to review their work, providing unique and well-informed perspectives.  Band 2 and Band 3 NPOs are required to nominate at least one peer reviewer from their organisation to the Peer Portal database so that other participating NPOs can invite them to act as peer reviewers.

Being invited to review an organisation’s work means that your professional opinions are highly valued, and the host organisation considers you to be an expert in your artform or specialist area, who is well placed to offer feedback on their work.  The peer’s role is to experience the work of an organisation (for example, a show, a concert, an exhibition or a publication) and respond to an Impact & Insight Toolkit Survey.

Coloured pens in a cup

Why become a peer reviewer?

  • To use your skills and knowledge to help develop creative projects and support artform innovation
  • To provide invaluable feedback to a variety of different organisations, helping them achieve their desired creative intentions
  • To help build an ecosystem and community of supportive creatives in your area
  • To understand what other people are creating and trying to achieve in your creative ecology or further afield
  • To help you better understand the work you are making
  • To experience different types of work and expand your knowledge base
  • To use your experience as evidence of your CPD within the field

Why would an artistic or cultural organisation want a peer reviewer’s perspective on their work?  

  • To embrace a fresh set of professional eyes that aren’t involved in the internal development of a project
  • To understand whether they are meeting their creative intentions with their work
  • A selection of peer reviews coming from a variety of backgrounds can provide a well-rounded perspective on their work
  • To help embed a rich process of critical reflection across the sector

Who should be a peer reviewer?

  • Someone who has knowledge and expertise, either regarding a specific artform or spanning various artforms
  • Someone who is able and willing to make fair and honest judgements, and give constructive criticism and feedback to help support another organisation’s development 

How will a peer reviewer’s response be used by the organisation and by the Arts Council?

  • A peer reviewer’s response is invaluable as it contributes to an organisation’s overall understanding of their work
  • The Impact & Insight Toolkit is a self-evaluation tool, in which the key insights come from the comparison of self, peer and public responses
  • Using the reporting function of the Impact & Insight Toolkit, the mean average of the results gathered from peer reviewers will be viewed alongside public and self-assessment results. This comparison of self, peer, and public results allows an organisation to see how far they have met their creative intentions for a piece of work.
  • Your open text answers are also an important part of the peer process, providing self-assessors with additional interpretative context about your feedback
  • It is crucial you know that your feedback won’t have a direct effect on funding decisions made by Arts Council; the insight gathered through using the Impact & Insight Toolkit will inform conversations between NPOs and their Relationship Manager, contributing to shared, well-rounded perspectives on their work.
  • The aggregate data set will help the sector better understand the value, diversity and impact of work being produced by NPOs

What does being a peer reviewer entail? What are the peer reviewer’s responsibilities?

  • If an NPO asks you to be a peer reviewer and you accept, you will then be invited to attend the event and complete a short survey
  • If you are interested in reviewing an NPO’s project as a peer, you can also contact an organisation directly


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For more information on peer review within the Impact & Insight Toolkit, click here.

For further support you may email the team at

The information on this page was last updated on 17 April, 2019.

Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash