DTA Fit for Purpose

DTA Fit for Purpose is a diagnostic tool to help a new or developing community enterprise in assessing its strengths and areas for improvement against key criteria. Based on the original Development Trusts Association (DTA) Healthcheck it has been designed for community groups, businesses and organisations wanting to become community enterprises to help them in their planning to become effective and resilient.

The tool checks whether the organisational building blocks are in place by:

  • Examining the organisational foundations necessary for a successful community enterprise.
  • Highlighting areas of achievement and those with room for improvement.
  • Providing a report on the health of the organisation.
  • Identifying the organisation’s support needs.
  • Providing an action plan to clarify how to move forward.


Fit for Purpose is a booklet designed for unsupported use by any community organisation. It represents a user-friendly, non-prescriptive diagnostic tool to help a new or developing community enterprise in assessing its strengths and areas for improvement against key criteria. It aims to create or build on monitoring systems, forward planning and regular evaluation. Fit for Purpose can also form the basis of ongoing planning and support delivered by either DTA staff or others familiar with the process.

The tool consists of six sections, comprising a suggested list of supporting documentation followed by five areas relating to performance management. Each of the five areas addresses the key issues in setting up a successful community enterprise.

  1. Governance
  2. Enterprise and business planning
  3. Financial management
  4. Partnership working
  5. Policies and procedures

Within each section there is a range of up to seven Indicators, along with guidance for each on the questions to ask to inform each indicator and a three-point rating scale in order to assess progress: Met/Partly met/Unmet  (with definitions for each) A ‘Comments’ box allows detailed responses to be made on each issue. The responses provide the basis for a report on the organisation when all the sections have been completed.

Development, ownership and support

Fit for Purpose was created by the DTA and is within the public domain. Click here to download a copy.

Training Programme
Strategic overviews and practical training.

We offer tailored online and on-site training and briefings on Theory of Change, measuring social impact, commissioning for outcomes and social value, SROI, measuring local economic impact, community economic development, and more.

We also facilitate workshops to help you develop a Theory of Change for your programme or strategy. 

Clients include local authorities, universities, public health services, charities, community groups, membership bodies, and responsible businesses.

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by @nefconsulting