As part of its ChangeUp initiative, the government is focusing energy on both improving the quality and the outcomes of work carried out within the voluntary and community sector. Against this background PERFORM is being developed.
PERFORM is an outcomes-focused performance improvement framework for VCS infrastructural organisations, which seeks to supplement the work being done by the many infrastructure organisations who are developing and implementing their own quality and outcomes orientated systems.
Steered by a group of VCSIOs and other advisors, under the management of NCVO, the challenge is to develop something which works for all infrastructure organisations at national, regional and local, rural and urban levels, irrespective of their size, focus of their work and client group.
COGS is the independent consultancy organisation which has been contracted to undertake this work. Over the last year it has developed the current content of the PERFORM framework following a series of consultation events across England involving a wide range of VCSIOs, individuals and funding agencies, and a piloting exercise involving 11 infrastructure organisations.
These organisations are a mixture of national, regional and local, rural and urban organisations of various sizes supporting both specialist and generalist groups. The piloting process aimed to test out and explore:
- the extent to which the proposed high level outcomes are relevant and appropriate
- the accessibility of the framework and ease of use
- the value and usefulness of the framework as a planning and review process
- what else might need to be added to the content
- the ways in which the outcomes can be evidenced.
The piloting process ran until September 2005 and a multi-stakeholder event was held in December. If you would like more information, please see the COGS website, which has a PERFORM report, case studies and guidance materials as downloads.