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How Good Is Our Culture and Sport?



1 A new unified Quality Improvement Framework (QIF), with its strategic element, " How Good Is Our Culture and Sport?" (HGIOCS?) has been drafted to assist local authorities and other service providers to evaluate the quality, effectiveness, efficiency and inclusiveness of their culture and sport provision.

2 HGIOCS? is designed to be entirely compatible with the "Public Service Improvement Framework" (PSIF) and "How Good is Our Council?", and will help local authorities to evaluate their culture and sport provision in that context - as part of councils' application of those frameworks. A partnership of local authority bodies, HMIe, national culture and sport bodies and Scottish Government has been developing the various elements of the draft QIF, and is now planning for trials of the framework, starting in the first half of 2010. The Implementation Group overseeing the project is led by Scottish local government and includes CoSLA and (as an observer) the Improvement Service in its membership.

3 To lay the ground for trialling to begin, roadshows were held in Autumn 2009, explaining the background and purpose, and to discuss the best ways of using the QIF. Local authority chief executive officers - to whom the document, HGIOCS? has been sent by CoSLA - are encouraged, in preparing for self-evaluation, to consider how it can support the development of their services and delivery of key outcomes.

4 As an integral part of the QIF, sector specific tools are being developed that will enable local service providers to 'drill down' from HGIOCS? and apply the same self-evaluation framework to particular aspects of their culture provision. Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) have produced a Quality Improvement System (QIS) - "Taking a Closer Look at our Museums and Galleries"; and the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) have produced a Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix (PLQIM) - "Taking a Closer Look at our Libraries". The fit, within the QIF, of the current versions of those tools will be examined as part of the trials.

5 It is hoped that other sector specific quality improvement tools will be added subsequently within the QIF. For example, Creative Scotland (the successor body to the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) and Scottish Screen) will take forward and develop the SAC's "Quality Framework: second edition" - produced for use by arts sector bodies - and will also work with Scottish Government and local authorities in relation to the latter's needs and in response to the HGIOCS? trials. sportscotland will work with partners to develop a "Taking a Closer Look" tool for the sport sector to align fully with HGIOCS? Sector tools for archives and historic heritage are other possible additions. (See the illustration, below, of the QIF and its links with related (and compatible) quality evaluation systems.) Once the results of the trials and feedback have been considered, it is planned that a final version of HGIOCS? (together with the sector specific quality improvement tools that are ready) will be launched around the end of 2010.

6 There is nothing duplicative about the different tiers of the quality improvement landscape illustrated below. (It should also be noted that all the available tools mentioned in this note follow the principles of the Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).) Evidence collected during self-evaluation exercises using HGIOCS? and the sector specific tools will also be useful as evidence of performance in evaluations using PSIF and "How Good is Our Council". Similarly, the compatible formats of the various "How Good is Our .." frameworks (including "How Good is Our School" and "How Good is Our Community Learning and Development 2"), mean the model is very familiar to local authorities. Evidence collected when using any of these tools is available to inform evaluations of linked activity using others in the series, e.g. to assess the impact of arts activity delivering community learning.

How Good is our Culture and Sport? - Diagram of Quality Improvement Tools for Local authorities

(As noted above, these tools and frameworks can be used by local authorities with reference to other relevant quality frameworks in use, e.g. to evaluate schools and community learning and development services etc.)

Diagram of the Quality Improvement Framework