Benchmarking is an improvement process that allows West Lothian Council to compare our performance with similar organisations, such as other local Scottish authorities. This is used to identify what we are doing well and how we can learn from the high performance and good practice of others.
|This page provides information on how West Lothian Council continuously uses benchmarking as a tool to compare and improve our services against leading practice from across both the public and private sectors.|
Benchmarking is not simply comparing numbers to see which organisation is the best or worst; it is building an understanding of what is really happening behind the numbers. Effective benchmarking aims to explain the differences in performance, how high performance is achieved and how we can learn from the good practice and experience of others.
- Understand how current performance levels compare
- Build understanding of where our performance varies
- Build understanding of why performance variation occurs
- Help identify and share good practice across Scottish authorities
Council services are encouraged to actively participate in benchmarking groups.
Some official groups which are used for data comparisons and benchmarking activities are:
- The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE)
- Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), Housing Regulator
- Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development
- SCOTS (Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland)
- SOCITM (Society for IT practitioners in the public sector, and
- Local Government Benchmark Framework (LGBF).
Local Government Benchmarking Framework
Since 2012/13, the LGBF brings together a wide range of information on how effective Scottish authorities, including West Lothian Council, are in delivering services to local communities. Performance is compared in terms of impact of services, the cost of services and how satisfied citizens are with them.
The LGBF National Overview Report provides a high-level analysis of council performance, both during 2021/22 and longer-term. Also setting out challenges facing Councils in the context of current and future pressures, growing demand, onging Covid Impacts and 'cost of living crisis'
LGBF performance is analysed to ensure that the variation and casual impact in relation to local priorities and policy choices are understood. This process is co-ordinated by the Improvement Service to support authorities engage in 'family groups' to interrogate the data. These family groups serve as a forum for learning and knowledge share across authorities and also (within time) inform strategic planning decisions.
The Improvement Service allocated West Lothian Council to a Family Group featuring authorities with similar characteristics in 2014. West Lothian Council are part of a Family Group that includes seven other Scottish authorities.