The Art of Auditing


Daniel Belasco Rogers & Sophia New, All Our Journeys in Berlin 2007 – 2013. Reference:

I chose this artwork as an example of mapping for the art therapy practitioner and the self-mapping that is also undertaken by our clients/service users.

BAAT Audit Pack


An Audit is a Mapping Document: It is an Investigation and Evaluation of your Clinical Practice in Relation to Outcome Measures, Quality Assurance and your Practicum’s Clinical Governance 

(The Audit Template Below is Adapted from: How To Share Your Findings-Clinical Audit Report and Presentation by University Hospitals, Bristol)


  • Name of the organisation/art therapy service
  • Name of Art Therapy Trainee and Practice Educator
  • Audit or Mapping Period
  • Description of Client Group/services users
  • Aim of the Audit (Examples of Audit Aims: to improve participation in art therapy, to improve the quality of the art therapy experience, to enhance the impact of art therapy as a therapeutic method, referrals managed appropriately and within set timeframe; risk assessments conform to professional guidance, policies and safety requirements; waiting time to access service is within agreed timeframe; provision of equal access for clients is in accordance with policies; format/frequency of clinical recording is in accordance with policies; management of client artwork is in accordance with standards; communication with others is compliant with standards)


This section explains the rationale for doing the audit, i.e. why it is a priority for quality improvement. The evidence base for the audit topic should be summarised, with full references provided at the end of the report.
A literature review highlighting a few key articles related to your client group could highlight therapeutic themes, methods and outcomes. The literature review could be summarised in a graph or pie chart, or similar, in order to condense information and not add to your word count. Our clinical seminars have incorporated a mini-literature review on specific topics in order to understand therapeutic practices and their outcomes in regards to specific client groups.


Performance Objectives for Art Therapy 

Performance Objectives could be developed from a concise literature reviews in regards to your client group and also developed from the standards of practice supplied by your Practice Educator. Your practicum organisation’s Annual Report, policy documents or similar reports could be referenced in your report or audit. Essentially, these standards of practice (or governance of quality assurance) support your practicum’s service delivery to specific client groups.

The purpose of an audit is to supply evidence that art therapy is an effective therapeutic practice for your clients.

  • Objectives – Defines the individual steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your aim.
  • Standards – The quantifiable statements detailing the specific aspects of patient care and/or management that you measure current practice against. You should specify the audit criteria, target, exception(s) and source(s) of evidence.

An Example of Performance Objectives: Art Therapy for the Treatment of a Personality Disorder

Reference: Suzanne Haeyen, et. al. (2017) Development of Art Therapy Intervention for Patients with Personality Disorders: An intervention Mapping Study. International Journal of Art Therapy. 

Performance Objectives

Examples of Client Feedback Forms for Art Therapy

Link to Article: The Art Therapy Working Alliance Inventory: The Development of a Measure

The Art Therapy Working Alliance Inventory the development of a measure(1)

1.By working with art materials I understand my problem in new ways

2.I’m not comfortable creating art in therapy

3. I feel embarrassed creating with art materials in front of my therapist

4. I enjoy accepting my therapist’s technical help while creating in art

5.My art work in my therapy promotes my progress

6. I’m not comfortable with the art technical suggestions of my art therapist

7. I feel free to play with the art materials in therapy

8. My artwork in therapy postpones my progress

9. I don’t find any association between my artwork in therapy and my problems

10. My artwork helps me to communicate to my therapist my feelings and thoughts

11. The art work process helps me to notice inner states in myself

12. I enjoy experiencing variety of new possibilities with the art materials in therapy

13. I’m pleased creating with art materials in therapy

14. I’m comfortable with the art technical suggestions of my therapist

Practice Educator and Service User Feedback Form

Practice Educator and Service User Feedback Form

Example of Service User Feedback Form Below

Service User Feedback Form for Art Therapy Trainees

Young Client Feedback Form

Young Client Feedback Form


The population for your audit project.

  • Time period audited
  • The client population.
  • How these clients were identified and referred
  • Number of clients who attend art therapy and completed feedback forms
  • Number of clients who left art therapy, and reasons why
  • Evaluation method: Survey, Interviews, Evaluations with Practice Educator
  • Who was responsible for gathering feedback from service users
  • Practice Educator’s: Standards of Performance or Outcome Measures
  • Examples of Feedback Forms/Surveys/Outcome Measures
  • Chart or Graph of Outcome Measures


The results for each standard should be presented in this section to establish which standards are being met, and which are not. If you find a standard is not being met you need to identify why and how practice can be improved to ensure that the standard is met in the future. You may also consider if there were other, acceptable reasons for the standard not being met, i.e. an exception not considered during the planning stage.

The results to each standard could be presented using graphs or pie charts to further illustrate, if appropriate.


This section should list the key points that flow from your outcomes. Make objective, factual statements, not subjective ones that can facilitate the implementation of change.

Where appropriate, recommendations for change should be made. Make sure these are realistic and achievable. For example: A dedicated room for art therapy, improved art storage facilities, increased funding, additional training, a proposal for a new art therapy service (for example, a psychoeducation session, group sessions).

Attitudinal Indicators, Assessment in Art Therapy


Reference: Gilroy, A., Tipple, R. and Brown, C. (2012) Assessment in Art Therapy. New York: Routlege.

Assessment in Art Therapy is an E-Book at Ulster University Library.

Assessment and Outcomes in the Arts Therapies is an E-Book at Ulster University Library.

The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy is an E-Book at Ulster University Library. Part VI of this book is a section devoted to Art Therapy Assessments.



An example of an art therapy assessment tool included in the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy inspired by attachment theory:

“Assessing Attachment with the Bird’s Nest Drawing (BND)” by Donna Kaiser in The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy, Edited by David Gussak and Marcia Rosal in the Ulster University Library Catalogue. This is Chapter 49 in The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy.

Literature Reviews (information below provided by Lorna Reid our art therapy subject librarian)

Information about literature reviews are under the Study and Writing Skills tab of the Art and Design Subject Guide at:

Ulster University also has print books in section 808.066 of the library and ebooks on this topic.