The assessment process

When an application has been received and acknowledged by the local CCS Manager, the application passes through the following 6 stages:

Step 1: Checking applications for eligibility 

Responsible for this step: CCS Manager

When an application has been received, the CCS Manager checks that the application meets the eligibility requirements under the scheme.

If an application is ineligible, it should not be sent to the assessment committee for assessing. However, a list of ineligible applications should be sent to the committee so that the committee can note them.

If there is any doubt about whether the application meets the eligibility requirements, discuss this with a Creative New Zealand staff member or send the application to the assessment committee to be assessed.

Coding ineligible applications on the Grants Tracking Tool

If an application is ineligible under the scheme, you should note the reason for this on the Grants Tracking Tool, using the code “D1” for “Ineligible project”.

Step 2: Distributing applications to assessors

Responsible for this step: CCS Manager

Each application should be assessed by all the assessors. However, if this isn’t possible because there is a large number of applications, each application must be marked by at least three members of the committee who have relevant experience and knowledge of the particular artform.

The applications should be sent out with either a printed or electronic version of the CCS Assessor Marking Spreadsheet for assessors to complete.

Step 3: Applying the Assessment Scale

Responsible for this step: CCS Assessors

Assessors must individually mark applications using the Assessment Scale. This ensures that the assessment process is consistent and objective. Giving each application a mark against the same scale and same set of questions allows applications to be ranked in priority before the assessment committee meets, and provides a starting point for discussion.

Assessors should complete the Assessment Sheet and return this to the CCS Manager.

Step 4: Creating a ranked list 

Responsible for this step: CCS Manager

Once all the assessors have returned their Assessment Sheets to the CCS Manager, the Manager will average the marks (total marks for each application divided by the number of assessors who provided marks for that application) and produce a ranked list for the assessors to discuss at the meeting.

The ranked list should include, for each application:

  • the name of the applicant
  • the name of the project
  • the amount requested
  • the criterion that the applicant has selected.

Step 5: Prioritising applications and allocating funding 

Responsible for this step: CCS Assessors

The assessment committee meets to decide which applications should have priority for funding. The committee focuses its discussion on:

  • what level of support there is among committee members for those applications that scored highly on the Assessment Scale (a total mark between 16 and 20)
  • which “middle ground” applications (a mark between 11 and 15) should be given priority
  • strategic funding decisions and local funding priorities that may see applications given priority even though they haven’t scored as highly as others.

It’s appropriate to support a project if the application is eligible and meets the funding criteria and the assessment committee believes the project should have a high priority.

Grants can be made as general contributions to a project or they can be tagged to a specific aspect of the project.

If an application has stated that the applicant is also asking for funding from other sources, the committee will need to consider how likely it is that the applicant will get that other funding and therefore whether the project will be viable.

Declined applications

If the committee decides to decline an application they will need to identify the reason for the decline. These are:

  • D1: ineligible application
  • D2: does not meet funding criteria
  • D3: low priority for funding
  • D4: incomplete application

Step 6: Notifying the applicants 

Responsible for this step: CCS Manager

Notifying unsuccessful applicants

All unsuccessful applicants should be notified in writing that their application hasn’t been granted. A sample letter for unsuccessful applicants can be found here

If an application is underdeveloped, the assessment committee may decide to indicate to the applicant that they can submit a reworked proposal in a future funding round.

Notifying successful applicants

All successful applicants must be notified in writing that their application has been granted.

A Sample letter for successful applicants is provided here

The letter restates the conditions of funding under the Creative Communities Scheme and reminds the applicant that, by making the application, they’ve agreed to these conditions.

You will also need to send the successful applicant a Project Completion Report form.

Projects must be completed within 12 months after funding is approved, and the Project Completion Report is due back within two months after the project is completed.

Funding agreements

When applicants complete their application form they sign a declaration stating that if they’re successful, they will:

  • complete the project as described in their application, or seek written approval from the CCS Administrator for any significant changes to a project
  • complete the project within a year of the funding being approved
  • complete and return a Project Completion Report form within two months of the project being completed
  • return any funds that they haven’t spent
  • keep a record of and receipts for all project expenditure
  • participate, if required, in any funding audit of their organisation or project carried out by the local council
  • contact the CCS administrator to notify them of any public event or presentation that is funded by the scheme
  • acknowledge CCS funding at event openings, presentations or performances
  • use the CCS logo in all publicity for their project, such as posters, flyers and e-newsletters, and follow the guidelines for using the logo. The logo and guidelines can be downloaded from:

This declaration is the funding agreement, and the applicant is reminded of this in the letter advising that they have been successful. However, your council may prefer to establish an additional funding agreement with successful applicants, in order to be consistent with your other funding processes. If you do so, the terms of the grant need to be consistent with the requirements set out above.