Peer review of self-evaluation

What is ‘peer review’?

  • In a ‘peer review’, staff are helped by their peers from other areas to ascertain a) whether their self evaluation ‘rating’ of their work is valid; and b) whether their self-evaluations of their work are supported by the evidence they have gathered.
  • The main aim of a ‘peer review’ in this context is to ‘moderate’ self evaluation, but it should also build peer support and enable the sharing of practice, and help teams prepare for HMI Inspection.
  • CLD peer review of self evaluation could be a short and relatively informal meeting with team members to look over their self evaluations and their supporting evidence, and to give verbal feedback.
  • However it is organised, it is not about being judged or judgmental, but about getting an objective ‘second opinion’ on self evaluation, and working with and supporting each other.


Peer evaluation programme – an example from Argyll and Bute

A short term working group of CLD staff was convened.

The working group set up a programme for a self evaluation review ‘panel’ to be held with each geographical area team. The ‘panels’ were made up of CLD staff, from other geographic areas, who volunteered to take part.

The core QIs to be self-evaluated by area teams were determined by the working group as 1.1, 2.1, 4.1, and 5.10. If other additional QIs were of interest, staff were encouraged, but not expected, to self-evaluate them.

Area team members were asked to fill in 3 proformas prior to the review, and to ensure that the review panel received these completed proformas at least one week before the review was to be held. The proformas were: a cover sheet for local context information about the projects and/or area of work being self-evaluated (one cover sheet will serve for all QIs evaluated in any given project or area of work); a self-evaluation report proforma – one for each QI; and an evidence list (one evidence list will serve for all QIs evaluated).

The peer review team communicated with each other once they had received the proformas, to share initial thoughts and develop any questions that they would wish to ask during the review.

The area team prepared their evidence files, and booked a space for the panel to take place. The panel visited for one day only, and it was up to area teams to decide how and in what order they wanted to present their self evaluations and evidence. A very brief running order for the day was made ready for the panel on the day.

The panel met, on the day, half an hour before starting to meet with the area team, in order to discuss and firm up the questions they wished to ask (see Resource 7 for sample questions – these are organised by QI and by function, eg. youth work, adult learning etc). The panel consisted of 3 or 4 members, with a Chair who led the reviews, collated feedback from the panel, and gave a verbal summary after each review.

  • Each review lasted about 45 minutes, and ran as follows:
  • Welcome and introductions;
  • A brief explanation of the review by the Chair;
  • Questions from the panel;
  • Open discussion of the self evaluation rating and supporting evidence;
  • Verbal summary by the Chair; and
  • Debriefing

After the reviews had been held, the panel wrote up an agreed record of each, which was sent to the area team, who were then given an opportunity to feed back on both the process and the review findings.

In all cases, staff enjoyed the process, appreciated the input from their peers, and felt that there were many unexpected benefits in addition to the support, the useful suggestions for improvement, and the professional dialogue that ensued.