Curriculum and Quality

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is essentially a tool for improving performance.  It is a 'quality process' used to compare the performance of like organisations. Jackson and Lund (2000) describe benchmarking as,

“First and foremost, a learning process structured so as to enable those engaging in the process to compare their services/ activities/ products in order to identify their comparative strengths and weaknesses as a basis for self-improvement and/ or self-regulation.”

The process of benchmarking involves:

  1. Identifying areas for improvement
  2. Choosing benchmark indicators (quantitative measures of achievement)
  3. Collecting information to enable comparisons (in order to improve performance).

Comparisons might be made against:

  • individual benchmarking partners or benchmarking groups
  • other units within the university
  • sets of accepted standards (sector, professional, industry), which may or may not result in certification/accreditation
  • data on past performance.