Unit of competency details

PSPGOV518A - Benchmark performance (Release 3)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
3 (this release)Current 01/Nov/2012
(View details for release 2) Replaced07/Mar/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced05/May/2009

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPGEN059 - Benchmark performanceUnit code updated. Content and formatting updated to comply with the new standards. All PC transitioned from passive to active voice. Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  24/May/2005 
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Modification History


TP Version 




Unit descriptor edited.



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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers benchmarking performance of a functional area or business unit of an organisation. It includes designing a benchmarking approach, establishing benchmarks, establishing and managing a benchmarking exercise, gathering and analysing information and reporting on/acting on benchmarking outcomes.

In practice, benchmarking performance may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, providing client service, leading a group, developing policy, etc.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication

Application of the Unit

Not applicable.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements are the essential outcomes of the unit of competency.

Together, performance criteria specify the requirements for competent performance. Text in bold italics  is explained in the Range Statement following.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 . Design benchmarking approach 

1.1 The organisation's core business, functions, and purpose are confirmed to provide a context for the benchmarking  exercise.

1.2 The organisation's strategic and organisational context is analysed to identify factors with current or future impact on the organisation.

1.3 The scope  of the benchmarking exercise is established and objectives, desired outcomes, timeframes and resources  are determined.

1.4 A benchmarking approach  is designed in accordance with the scope, desired objectives/outcomes and available resources.

1.5 A project plan is prepared and approved in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

2 . Establish benchmarks 

2.1 Key result areas  are identified for benchmarking in accordance with determined scope and objectives.

2.2 Research  is conducted to establish the benchmarks  to be used for the measurement of organisational performance.

2.3 Consultation to consider and confirm the validity and usefulness of the benchmarks is conducted with key stakeholders .

2.4 Benchmarks are confirmed and obtained, or arrangements made to develop/use them in accordance with legislation, standards, policies and guidelines .

3 . Establish and manage benchmarking exercise 

3.1 Staffing arrangements  are established and resourced in accordance with project plan.

3.2 Consultation, communication with stakeholders and ongoing progress reports are included as a feature of the management of the exercise to ensure the engagement and cooperation of those people in the areas being benchmarked.

3.3 Benchmarking exercise is managed in accordance with timeframes and budgetary constraints.

4 . Gather and analyse information 

4.1 Networking and consultation are undertaken with staff in the areas to be benchmarked, to gather tacit knowledge .

4.2 Encouragement of open and honest input is provided to ensure outcomes are valid, reliable and useful for improving performance.

4.3 Organisational data is gathered, collated with information from consultation and analysed against benchmarks in accordance with the project plan.

4.4 Benchmarking findings are discussed with staff and management, and feedback is incorporated into final results.

5 . Report on /act on benchmarking outcomes 

5.1 Benchmarking report is written to meet audience needs and is presented in accordance with organisational requirements.

5.2 Areas of excellence/strengths and recommendations for improvement are identified in the report in accordance with pre-determined objectives and outcomes.

5.3 When required, a strategy is developed for phased implementation of recommendations that meet organisational requirements.

5.4 Research information is preserved and stored in accordance with organisational and security requirements to provide historical data for subsequent benchmarking exercises.

5.5 Benchmarking outcomes are acted upon/recommendations implemented in accordance with organisational requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Skill requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms skills in:

  • applying legislation, regulations and policies relating to benchmarking
  • planning and managing projects
  • collecting, recording and collating information
  • undertaking research and analysis
  • using records management systems
  • interpreting organisational information
  • communicating/consulting with a range of diverse stakeholders
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability
  • writing recommendations and reports requiring formality of expression
  • using numeracy skills for data analysis
  • applying procedures relating to occupational health and safety and environment in the context of benchmarking

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to benchmarking
  • principles of benchmarking performance
  • organisational structure and functions, systems and processes
  • public sector standards including ethics and security relating to organisational information
  • project management
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • public sector legislation such as occupational health and safety and environment in the context of benchmarking

Evidence Guide

The Evidence Guide specifies the evidence required to demonstrate achievement in the unit of competency as a whole. It must be read in conjunction with the Unit descriptor, Performance Criteria, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Public Sector Training Package.

Units to be assessed together 

  • Pre-requisite units that must  be achieved prior  to this unit:Nil
  • Co-requisite units that must  be assessed with  this unit:Nil
  • Co-assessed units that may  be assessed with this unit to increase the efficiency and realism of the assessment process include, but are not limited to:
  • PSPETHC501B Promote the values and ethos of public service
  • PSPIM503A Maintain and monitor service standards
  • PSPGOV503B Coordinate resource allocation and usage
  • PSPGOV504B Undertake research and analysis
  • PSPGOV505A Promote diversity
  • PSPGOV507A Undertake negotiations
  • PSPGOV508A Manage conflict
  • PSPGOV511A Provide leadership
  • PSPGOV512A Use complex workplace communication strategies
  • PSPGOV517A Coordinate risk management
  • PSPLEGN501B Promote compliance with legislation in the public sector
  • PSPPM502B Manage complex projects
  • PSPSEC502A Develop security risk management plans

Overview of evidence requirements 

In addition to integrated demonstration of the elements and their related performance criteria, look for evidence that confirms:

  • the knowledge requirements of this unit
  • the skill requirements of this unit
  • application of Employability Skills as they relate to this unit
  • performance benchmarked in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time)

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to benchmarking
  • industry best practice standards for benchmarks
  • access to similar organisations/areas/functions for comparison
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of situations likely to be encountered when benchmarking performance

Where and how to assess evidence 

Valid assessment of this unit requires:

  • a workplace environment or one that closely resembles normal work practice and replicates the range of conditions likely to be encountered when benchmarking performance, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • performance benchmarked in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time).

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands, such as literacy, and the needs of particular groups, such as:

  • people with disabilities
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • women
  • young people
  • older people
  • people in rural and remote locations.

Assessment methods suitable for valid and reliable assessment of this competency may include, but are not limited to, a combination of 2 or more of:

  • case studies
  • portfolios
  • projects
  • questioning
  • scenarios
  • authenticated evidence from the workplace and/or training courses

For consistency of assessment 

Evidence must be gathered over time in a range of contexts to ensure the person can achieve the unit outcome and apply the competency in different situations or environments

Range Statement

The Range Statement provides information about the context in which the unit of competency is carried out. The variables cater for differences between States and Territories and the Commonwealth, and between organisations and workplaces. They allow for different work requirements, work practices and knowledge. The Range Statement also provides a focus for assessment. It relates to the unit as a whole. Text in bold italics  in the Performance Criteria is explained here.

Benchmarking  is:

  • an activity undertaken by an organisation to gauge its performance against a set of internal or industry-specific best practice standards
  • applied organisation-wide, to departments or business units or to areas such as finance, human resources, customer service/satisfaction, etc

Scope  may include:

  • organisation-wide
  • functional area
  • business unit
  • skill area, such as management behaviours and practices
  • procedures, policies, guidelines, work instructions
  • resource deployment and usage
  • business practices
  • performance outcomes
  • organisational processes

Resources  may include:

  • personnel
  • funding
  • downtime when benchmarking is underway
  • equipment and supplies
  • research materials
  • technology

Benchmarking approach  may include:

  • a project team approach
  • comparison with similar organisation/function
  • visit to and critique of a similar organisation
  • collaboration in 'critical friends' program
  • comparison with pre-determined standard
  • identifying and setting targets for improved performance
  • change management
  • resourcing commensurate with the size and perceived importance of the exercise
  • training/education about benchmarking
  • benchmarking networks

Key result areas  may include:

  • service delivery
  • finance
  • people management
  • client service
  • administration
  • safety
  • security
  • fraud control
  • process improvement, especially key business processes

Research  may include:

  • key stakeholders
  • current literature
  • industry research
  • internal, local, national or international search for benchmarks
  • ensuring benchmarks are valid (comparing apples with apples) and reliable
  • identifying confounding variables

Benchmarks  may include:

  • internal standards/performance indicators
  • historical data - past performance
  • external standards
  • industry standards
  • best/leading practice standards
  • national standards
  • international standards

Stakeholders  may include:

  • all those individuals and groups both inside and outside the organisation that have some direct interest in the organisation's behaviour, actions, products and services, including:
  • boards of management
  • clients
  • community organisations
  • contractors
  • employees at all levels of the organisation
  • government
  • Ministers
  • other public sector organisations
  • service providers
  • suppliers
  • the public
  • union and association representatives
  • volunteers

Legislation , standards , policies and guidelines  may include:

  • public sector management acts
  • financial management acts
  • audit acts
  • public sector standards
  • fraud control standards
  • government security standards
  • risk management guidelines
  • Australian standards, such as accounting standards, audit standards, risk management standards, knowledge management standards, quality standards
  • ethics and accountability standards
  • codes of conduct
  • confidentiality agreements

Staffing arrangements  may be:

  • internal
  • external
  • contracted expertise

Tacit knowledge  is:

  • knowledge that is not written down/recorded that resides in the mind and may include aspects of culture or 'ways of doing things'

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Working in Government.

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