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The Performance Hub aims to enable VCS organisations to achieve more, through performance improvement. Of the six partners, Charties Evaluation Services (CES) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) are the lead partners; CES is the accountable body.

Helpdesk: 0800 652 5787




Guidance on three additional areas will be offered by the Performance Hub in 2007-2008:

  • getting ready to focus on performance - guidance on ways to map out the resources needed for performance improvement;
  • market research into user needs and communicating success - promoting the value of marketing, of market research, and of pro-active communications;
  • operational planning - focus on researching and signposting to existing resources.

Expressions of interest are invited by third sector organisations and other bodies with appropriate experience and expertise in tendering for three new projects to be delivered between June and December this year: Involving users – a critical guide; Use of ICT to manage monitoring data; and Successfully changing third sector organisations.

A new Performance Hub publication 'Funding Better Performance' examines how funders and third sector organisations can work together to achieve more.  The six case studies featured in the report show how working together to improve performance can help funders make their money go further, whilst enabling third sector organisations to learn and develop.

Action learning sets - provide an opportunity for development workers to exchange experience and learning with others further afield. The 'Traditional' action learning sets will focus on reaching smaller groups, benchmarking and providing services (£250 per person). These will be supplemented by a pilot of online supporting performance action learning sets at only £40 per person.

Try It competition - infrastructure organisations have another chance to win £2,000 to learn from others how to improve performance support services for frontline organisations.

Issue 5 of the Performance Hub magazine 'Achieve More' focuses on benchmarking, with articles on: learning from others; finding partners; making sense of data; and a case study on benchmarking to achieve growth.

Downloads and links for material from the Kit Yourself Out event are available on the Hub website.

The Performance Hub has given a view of its vision for perfomance in relation to the Destination 2014 consultation.

New diversity and equality performance research supported by the Performance Hub is being led by Olmec, a London-based community investment foundation. It is considering the need and potential of producing a resource for organisations to more effectively monitor, measure and set performance targets around diversity and equality. From this research it is  planned to develop a 'Total Equalities System' tool that will help organisations address equality and diversity issues.

The Performance e-community offers the opportunity to participate in monthly e-surgeries on particular performance improvement topics, allowing users to post questions to an expert in a certain field. Performance e-community is an email forum for those supporting frontline organisations with performance improvement.. This free service can be used to share ideas and experiences with others in similar roles across the country. There is a category for sharing case studies. To help colleagues to network and identify people with experience in a topic of interest, there are details of member performance improvement support work areas.

Introduction to the Performance Hub

Athletic PerformanceThe Performance Hub is here to support the voluntary and community sector achieve more through the effective use of performance improvement tools.

Main Aims of the Performance Hub

The Hub’s aim is to enable VCOs to better achieve their mission by placing performance improvement at the heart of the VCS.

Four specific aims contribute to this overall aim:

  1. to increase VCOs’ understanding of and ability to use performance improvement approaches;
  2. to enable local, sub-regional, regional and national infrastructure to better support VCOs in performance improvement;
  3. to increase the relevance and effectiveness of the knowledge base about performance improvement available to VCOs;
  4. to create a more supportive external environment around performance improvement for VCOs.

How the Performance Hub delivers its aims

The Hub's activities can be divided into 4 key areas:

1.Learning and Communication

Working to increase VCO ability to improve their performance through a quarterly newsletter, website, help line, Active Network and events.

2.Training and Support

Working with infrastructure agencies at a national, regional and local level to train and support a network of performance mentors who will support frontline organisations to assess and improve their performance.

3.Research and Development

Working to improve the knowledge base on performance, identifying and showcasing best practice, producing simple guidance and developing new tools where necessary.


Creating a more supportive environment for VCOs by working to persuade funders to fund performance improvement and to reduce the regulatory burden.

Organisations, accountable body and staff

There are 10 full time and 1 part time member of staff.

There are 5 full time and 1 part time member of staff at CES, including:

  • Hub Co-ordinator
  • 3 Performance Consultants
  • Executive Officer
  • Part-time Administration (to be recruited)

There are 4 staff based at NCVO, including:

  • Hub Co-ordinator
  • Development and Policy Officer
  • Communications Officer
  • Administrator

There is 1 member of staff based at NAVCA – a Performance Improvement Support Officer.


  • Newsletter, ‘Achieve More’ produced and widely circulated to the sector.
  • Focus groups held with frontline VCOs and those who support them to inform the communications strategy.
  • A website has been commissioned, developed and launched.
  • Over 600 people have signed up to the hub’s Active Network.
  • Strategic planning seminars have been held.
  • Research into tools for identifying organisational strengths and weaknesses has been completed. The team is developing a practical tool to help organisations to prepare for and plan improving their performance. 


Performance Improvement definition

  • Strategic Planning - The hub provides information and resources to support strategic planning in the VCS, including environmental analysis and trends information for different subsectors / types of organisation.
  • PQASSO Peer Review recognition scheme - PQASSO is the most popular quality system in the VCS but it is not externally accredited or recognised. The hub has a pilot project to test the feasibility of a recognition scheme for PQASSO users assessed through peer review.

The following development projects have been commissioned out:

  • VCS peer review schemes
  • the approach to supporting performance improvement taken by specialist infrastructure agencies
  • the support offered by BME second tier organisations to BME VCOs
  • the development of a bank of indicators for impact assessment
  • the value of benchmarking and related approaches in improving VCO performance

Business Plan and Documents

pointer Performance Hub Business Plan Word logo 421k

pointer Achieve More #5 - Performance Hub Newsletter - Spring 07 acrobat icon 1.7Mb

pointer Achieve More #4 - Performance Hub Newsletter - Autumn 06 acrobat icon 1.5Mb

pointer Achieve More #3 - Performance Hub Newsletter - Summer 06 acrobat icon 1.4Mb

pointer Achieve More #2 - Performance Hub Newsletter - Spring 06 acrobat icon 1.2Mb

pointer Achieve More #1 - Performance Hub Newsletter Winter 05 acrobat icon 642k

pointer Improving our Performance: a strategy for the VCS acrobat icon 1.1Mb

Resources for VCS

Hub tools case studies and good practice guidelines.

Each issue of the newsletter features an introduction to the concepts, a practical guide on ‘how to’ approach a particular method of improving performance and a case study.

The website contains case studies, good practice guidelines and signpost to existing resources.

Relationship of Hub activities with regional and local projects

The hub provides training for those who provide support on improving performance, regionally and locally.

The Performance Improvement Support Officer, based at NAVCA, is responsible for joining up the national hub with regional and local initiatives.

Contact details and website

Performance Hub
4 Coldbath Square

Tel: 0800 652 5787



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