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How we'll know if we're successful

A man with a prosthetic leg walks across a high ropes course.

The commitments and aims in this plan will only have value if more people are active, and if the inequalities in sport and physical activity narrow.

We want to see this happen year on year, but we expect to see the effect of the actions in this plan over its full three-year period.

We'll see our success as whether the following three things are happening:

Overall levels of activity across the population are going up, not down.
Overall levels of inactivity across the population are going down, not up.
Levels of inequality across both measures are narrowing, not widening.

Our success is more than these numbers though – we need to demonstrate not only the broad, population-level change in engagement in sport and physical activity, but also the conditions we know will lead us there.

To understand the success of this plan, we need an approach that encompasses both.

Therefore, we’ll use a five-part approach to understanding our own success, and the success of everyone else that plays a part in this movement.

Each element is crucial to build a picture of what’s happening, why it’s happening, what works and what doesn’t and the impact it has.

Progress against our ambitions for 2025

As set out on the 'What we'll do' pages, we've a clear sense of what 2025 will look and feel like if we’re successful, so a key part of understanding our collective success will be a detailed understanding of our progress towards those things.

We’ll develop both quantitative and qualitative measures to demonstrate this progress, building these into all our work.

A culture of learning

Bringing together what works and doesn’t work, how to build the conditions for success and what will hold us collectively back.

We’ll share this rapidly, both amongst our colleagues and with partners, to further knowledge and understanding, building momentum where we see success, building quickly on innovations, prototypes and testing and swiftly revising approaches when things don’t work.

Monitoring outputs

Our key management information, encompassing where we’re working, who we’re working with, what we’re delivering and whether our actions and investments match up to our commitments on tackling inequalities.

This will see simple, tangible measures and demonstrable progress – whether that’s increased investment in the most deprived areas, or a change in the types of organisation we work with.

Population-level change

The ultimate goal of the work of everyone that’s part of the movement – to increase activity levels, to decrease levels of inactivity and to close the gaps where inequalities exist in either.

As a whole sector we should work to ensure these measures improve year-on-year and see that as our collective measure of success.

For our organisation, some of the actions in this plan will take longer to have an impact, so we’ll only understand our impact on those numbers across the full three years of this plan.

Demonstrating outcomes

What our actions and our investments lead to: improved physical and mental health, stronger communities or enhanced education and skills.

We know there’s a strong correlation between these outcomes and levels of physical activity – we’ll further this understanding across the entirety of our work, learning more about what enhances these outcomes than ever before.

Individually, none of these elements alone will give us all a clear view of whether we’re making progress towards our vision.

But together, these should provide a rich picture of the movement, what’s working and what isn’t, whether the right conditions for change are in place and, crucially, whether all of that, and all the work being done across the movement, is resulting in population-level growth in activity levels and a reduction in inequalities in those activity levels.

Only if that’s the case will we be able to collectively claim success.

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