How come its free?

The pen-and paper version of the Pizazz is entirely free, and will remain free, because we do not want any limitations of cost to prevent small and cash-strapped services from using it.

It is published under a Creative Commons licence; (HERE)  which means that anyone can now use it, provided that:

  • the source is correctly attributed to the PIElink;
  • you do not charge for its use:
  • you do not adapt it - though you are entirely free to add to it any additional sheets that suit your particular needs; and let us know if you find it needs modifying.

NB: This last stipulation has been made in order to ensure that there is consistency in the use of the Pizazz. Where any changes may be made as a result of feedback and future development work, there is a single point to which all suggested changes can be made, and from which all adaptations can be co-ordinated.



However, the software version of the Pizazz, the PIE Abacus, is on the market from April 2021. The software is more suited to the needs of more extensive networks - for larger organisations, communities of practice or research, and/or commissioners needing an overview of all services in their area.

For this, there must be a licence (as with most software) and a licence fee; and there is a minimum of 10 Abacuses for an account, at a cost of £80 (+VAT) per Abacus.

If need be, smaller and cash-strapped service can still participate in such networks, all be it more remotely, 'at once removed' : See: PIE Abacus costs and smaller agencies : HERE

Even so, there are several ways to share the costs of a PIE Abacus account, which hopefully should mean that any smaller agencies, that would find the costs of a full account prohibitive, may still be able to be included, if they do wish to use the software,

For several options for costs sharing for smaller agencies, see:  PIE Abacus cost sharing : HERE

For a downloadable account of all these options, see Weighing the costs and 'value added' of the PIE Abacus : HERE


For the thinking behind the costs for the PIE Abacus, see:  PIE Abacus FAQ: costs and sustainability :  HERE

( and for what we can do with the income, see Pizazz costs as income : HERE )


Further background reading/listening/viewing

The paperwork for the Pizazz on paper 

The basic Pizazz assessment summary sheets are  HERE

The Pizazz Handbook, 'Useful questions',  is HERE

Pizazz assessment levels guidance is HERE

Advice for Pizazz assessment facilitators is HERE

Creative Commons licence terms are HERE


The simplest, most effective way to evaluate and improve your PIE from Daniel O'Brien on Vimeo.


Overall (condensed summaries), see:

The PIE Abacus – an on-line version of the Pizazz: HERE

'The PIE Abacus - essential briefing for PIE leads' (and others in comparable roles' : HERE 

PIEs assessment - what is the point? : HERE

Pizazz costs as income : HERE