The Australia Council grant assessment process is defined by the use of independent experts to assess grant applications. Artists who are well-respected in their fields are able to join a register of peers who sit on panels where they debate the merits of individual applications. Under a new system, introduced only last year, panels are formed from different combinations of experts in order to respond appropriately to the specific art form of a given group of applications.
By contrast, the independent assessors for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) do not need to be experts in the art form they will be assessing or even professionals in the arts sector. Audience members are also invited to be part of the process.