Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Self-evaluation and Arts Council England

Organisations funded by Arts Council England do not have to use this framework. However, evidence suggests that it is not possible to run an arts organisation successfully without periodic review as a basis for validating future plans. Each organisation is free to use the processes and frameworks for self-evaluation that work best for them and/or which satisfy the requirements of their other funders.

There is no standard format or style for self-evaluation and we do not expect organisations to work their way through this framework from beginning to end. For example, it may be appropriate for large organisations to develop a process which focuses on different areas in different years. Small organisations will self-evaluate in a way which reflects their size and the limited resources available to them.

The process of self-evaluation is owned by the regularly funded organisation. If invited to do so, the Arts Council may contribute to the self-evaluation but we will not normally expect to see it. Our interest is in the action plans that result from it.

Arts organisations which are regularly funded by us will have the opportunity to discuss their plans and the evidence which supports them at their annual review. In advance of that meeting, we will ask organisations to send us: 

  • a short summary of what they achieved during the previous year 
  • a short summary of what they learned during the year, informed by their self-evaluation process
  • a copy of their future plan (this will frequently be an update of the organisation's rolling plan)

This information replaces the narrative section of the annual submission. Annual statistics will continue to be collected from regularly funded organisations, but this data is for portfolio monitoring purposes only and plays no part in the assessment of individual organisations. Of course, arts organisations will frequently use the data they share with us for their own self-evaluation purposes as well. We will periodically publish aggregated data which arts organisations may find useful as a bench-marking tool.

The annual review will look back at the previous year and discuss how well the organisation achieved what was set out in its funding agreement with us, but the focus of the meeting would be forward-looking and used to discuss the developing plan for the coming year.

If we think an organisation's plan is weak, not ambitious enough, or inappropriate given the nature of our funding agreement, or if our help has been requested, then we may ask to see some or all of the evidence and information that supports it. 

For further information about our relationship with our regularly funded organisations, please see The relationship between regularly funded organisations and Arts Council England