Arts Council Self Evaluation Framework

Published30th June 2014

We have developed this framework as a tool to help arts organisations to self-evaluate. It is designed to help you consider the impact of external factors, monitor your performance against the ambition and targets that you set yourself, and then identify appropriate ways to improve and develop.

You should not think of the framework as prescriptive but rather as a tool to encourage a spirit of enquiry and robust analysis. Use the questions as prompts, change them to suit your organisation, alter the language to reflect your own style, incorporate evaluations you already do ‰ÛÒ including those of other funders – and add your own topics to make sure that it is as useful and challenging as possible.


The self-evaluation framework focuses on six key areas:

– Vision

– External environment

– Artistic aspirations and programme

– Participation and engagement

– Organisational capacity and capability

– Business model

Each of these areas has three strands:

topic ‰ÛÒ a breakdown of the key area into smaller areas of focus.

what success looks like ‰ÛÒ a high-level description of an organisation that is delivering each topic effectively. You should adapt this according to what you are seeking to achieve.

questions you might ask yourselves ‰ÛÒ types of questions you might ask to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses relating to that topic. These questions are prompts for guidance only ‰ÛÒ use only those that are relevant to you, and develop your own where appropriate.

The whole purpose of self-evaluation is to provide the understanding and evidence needed to make the best possible plans for the future. The process can be enjoyable, demanding and revealing. Whatever the experience turns out to be for you, it should help you to be wiser about your organisation, with greater clarity about what you are aiming to achieve and why.

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