Arts Council England has published our refreshed strategy – Great art and culture for everyone. The second edition of our strategic framework sets out our continuing commitment to our mission across arts, libraries and museums, and at the heart of our strategy are our five goals. It brings together our responsibilities across the arts and culture and aims to set out a clear vision of what success will look like, and how we intend to measure progress towards our goals.

With this in mind we are now working with the arts and cultural sector to integrate quality principles and a set of metrics which allows us to measure the value and impact of our investments in regard to Goal 1: Excellence is thriving and celebrated in the arts, museums and libraries and Goal 5: Raising the standard of work being produced by, with and for children and young people.

Quality metrics: capturing the quality and reach of arts and cultural activity

We hope this will help us to become better investors; help arts and culture organisations to strategically plan for future challenges and help us all tell a richer story about the value of arts and culture.

What is really important about both of the pieces of work set out below is that they are being led by the sector for the sector and that they will capture the quality and reach of arts and cultural activity.

The Quality Metrics Pilot

The Quality Metrics Pilot is exploring the possibility of a sector-led metrics framework to capture the quality and reach of arts and cultural productions.

It is led by 13 cultural organisations from Manchester and supported with funding from the Arts Council.

The group have developed an outline framework that looks at quality across a dashboard of seven dimensions:

  • quality of product
  • quality of experience
  • quality & depth of engagement
  • quality of creative process
  • quality of cultural leadership
  • quality of relationships & partnerships
  • financial metrics

The first four relate to the quality of specific products, while the last three relate to organisational health.

Each dimension is assessed through a series of statements to which assessors (self, peer or public) are asked to indicate their level of agreement. Some questions (e.g. relating to quality of product) will be assessed by all three groups, while others (e.g. relating to quality of cultural leadership) will be assessed by self and peers only.

A report on the findings of this pilot is expected in March 2014 and will be published on our website  You can sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed on our work.

Quality principles for working with children and young people

Understanding and articulating the quality of the work that organisations deliver by, with and for children and young people is core to our remit and so with the sector we have developed seven principles for organisations to embed into their work:

1. striving for excellence
2. being authentic
3. being exciting, inspiring and engaging
4. ensuring a positive, child-centred experience
5. actively involving children and young people
6. providing a sense of personal progression
7. developing a sense of ownership and belonging

Find out more about Quality principles for children and young people.