Peer assessment panels are an important part of Culture and the Arts (WA)’s grant application and evaluation process and have been used to assess funding applications since the formation of the Department of Culture and the Arts in 1986.
The peer assessment process is guided by the principle of “arms length” which ensures that the decision of who is funded is made without government or political interference. It operates on the basis that the sector is best placed to make funding recommendations.
Panels are made up of practicing creatives, arts workers, arts managers or individuals with specialist expertise in the development and practice of a particular area and an informed opinion of community trends, needs and interests.
Every three years the Culture and the Arts (WA) issues a call out across all sectors of the arts in Western Australia seeking expressions of interest from creatives and arts workers who are interested in taking a role as a peer assessor. Successful applicants are appointed to a pool of peer assessors following approval by the Minister for Culture and the Arts.
For each assessment round, a selection of peer assessors are assigned to a panel on the basis of their individual expertise and experience and/or as representatives of particular community sectors. This includes consideration of different types creative practice, regional representation, Indigenous representation and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) representation. Each panel meeting includes a non-voting Chair appointed by Culture and the Arts (WA).