The Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning (C-PAL) has launched the Core Competency Framework: Excellence in Arts Practice; a set of guidelines that have been designed to give guidance for organisations working with, and developing arts projects aimed at the participatory arts sector.

The consortium, made up of 13 separate arts organisations from across the North West, came together in light of a report from Arts Council England (ACE), which identified the need to set guidelines of best practice for people and organisations working in participatory arts. The recommendation made by ACE was for the guidelines to be developed from the grass roots of the sector and developed by those working in the industry. The culmination of many years hard work is a robust and sustainable framework of how best to plan and execute projects that are aimed at working with members of the public from a wide range of backgrounds; including disability groups, minority ethnic groups, young and older people.

The guidelines allow arts organisations to assess their current levels of practice and competencies and work towards the standards the Core Competency Framework sets out. When put into practice, the framework will allow arts organisations to better demonstrate the quality of work they are already delivering in a tangible way, as well as make adjustments in order to thrive in coming changes to the wider arts and culture industry.

Ben Hunt, Chief Executive of Your Prescap and participant in C-PAL said:
“I am delighted to see many years of hard work become a reality. The Core Competencies Framework which has been developed in partnership with C-PAL organisations is groundbreaking within the arts sector. It is our hope the framework is adopted by many more organisations, further increasing the distinctive value arts organisations offer the people they work with as well as their local communities.
“Never before have so many organisations worked so closely to develop guidelines which set a clear and definitive standard of operation for organisations involved in participatory arts. The framework allows for better planning and execution for projects whether they are internal and involve members of staff, or external projects which engage with the community. Having implemented the framework in our own organisation, we can already see the benefits.”

Sarah Thornton, Artistic Director of Collective Encounters said:
“This is a big step forward for the professionalisation of our sector and will go a long way to helping ensure consistency and excellence in practice.”

The Core Competencies Framework: Excellence in Arts Practice documentation can be accessed here as well as via C-PAL’s website