5. Monitoring and Assessment
5.1 In return for significant levels of Scottish Government investment, the National Performing Companies are required to deliver against an agreed set of objectives relating to performance excellence, educational activity, geographic reach, international exposure, leadership within the cultural sector, financial management and shared working (see Annex A for the full set of criteria). These objectives include at least three of the Scottish Government's overarching National Outcomes which are further articulated as a key part of each organisation's business plan.
5.2 Objectives against this criterion are set by the Companies at the beginning of each financial year and progress is assessed at mid-year and end-of-year reviews. Each Company is required to meet all of these criteria in order to maintain their status as a National Performing Company.
5.3 Each Company is required to outline its anticipated performance and education programme in advance of each year, together with its anticipated audience and participant numbers. Any variation of the programme during the year has to be discussed and agreed in advance with the Scottish Government. The actual outturn in relation to all programme objectives is also assessed twice yearly, with justification sought for variations on the anticipated audiences/participant numbers.
5.4 Each Company is also obliged to produce a detailed budget for each year of operations, which is scrutinised and assessed in relation to the proposed artistic programme prior to the confirmation of grant. Regular management accounts detailing the on-going financial position are then submitted throughout the year, with accompanying narratives as required to explain any variances.
5.5 The Companies' artistic and education programmes are assessed by a group of 21 independent and expert External Assessors (a full list of External Assessors is attached at Annex B). The assessors are engaged with the full support of the Companies and the feedback reports are made available to the Companies. The purpose of these reports is to give the Scottish Government and Ministers an objective and informed overview of each Company by individuals who have a wide frame of reference in a UK and international context.
5.6 These assessments are reviewed in parallel with press and media response and audience numbers. The Companies are also requested to submit any evaluations undertaken of their own programmes which help to give an external response to their work, i.e. through feedback from workshop participants/teachers etc. and audience questionnaire responses.
5.7 The makeup of the group of Assessors is continually reviewed with Portfolio Managers from Creative Scotland also included as External Assessors to provide a link between Creative Scotland and the five National Performing Companies.
5.8 In 2015/16 a total of 29 assessments for performances, or education activity, were carried out with 97% of the assessments rating the work good or better and 3% of the work being classed as satisfactory.