We are very grateful to peer reviewers and dioceses for their openness, insights and hard work on the first round of reviews, which is concluding with the 42nd and final meeting. We carefully reviewed the process in preparation for the second round of reviews and decided to retain the following elements:
- The three-fold objectives: to ensure mutual accountability, to facilitate shared learning and to be of real value to individual dioceses.
- A 3-person panel of peer reviewers who are asked to be affirming and objective, constructive and challenging.
- A preparatory phone call between the bishop, diocesan secretary and panel chair.
- Phone conversations between the reviewers and a few local leaders to provide some front-line context.
- A peer review meeting taking place from around 10am to 4pm.
- Support from the Strategy & Development Unit through the process including a tailored presentation at the meeting covering relevant learning from other dioceses.
- A short report.
- A follow-up meeting if particular issues of concern arise through the review.
Learning from our experience of the first round of reviews and in response to feedback, we adapted the process for the second round as follows:
- Amending the scope in relation to education and Strategic Development Funding.
- A revised self-assessment process, incorporating reflections on the last 2 years.
- Where possible, including at least one reviewer from the first review and at least one new reviewer.
- Phone conversations with the Lay Chair and Clergy Chair as well as local leaders.
- Revised guidance on the diocesan representatives at the meeting.
- In-depth discussions of fewer key areas rather than trying to cover all areas.
- A greater degree of incisive challenge from peer reviewers.
- A revised report template with the suggestion that more dioceses might publish their review reports and responses on their websites.