Benchmarking Policy and Guidelines
Last Approval/Amendment Date: September 2020
Campion College encourages benchmarking with comparable institutions nationally and internationally as a means of improving performance and assuring standards. This policy aims to ensure a coordinated, considered and systematic approach to benchmarking.
This policy applies to benchmarking projects undertaken by the College. It sets out the process to be followed in undertaking any benchmarking project which involves a formal arrangement with one or more partner organisations. It includes projects initiated by the College as well as external benchmarking projects in which the College is involved. Characteristics of benchmarking in higher education identified by TEQSA include:
a. Organizational benchmarking in which comparisons are made at the organizational level (institution, faculty/department, school, course and unit levels)
b. Course benchmarking, of course design and student performance
c. Process benchmarking involving comparisons of particular processes and practices
d. Outcomes benchmarking is about the comparison of outcomes data, especially student outcomes.
e. Best practice benchmarking in which the provider selects a comparator thought to be at the forefront in the area to be benchmarked.
The College has an obligation to ensure that it continues to demonstrate high standards of performance in learning, teaching, scholarship and associated activities. This commitment is underpinned by a robust and efficient system to support continuous improvement of its processes and outcomes. Benchmarking with appropriate partners, at a national and international level, enables the College to compare and evaluate its performance and, in so doing, monitor standards, compare good practice and make quality improvements.
Benchmarking projects undertaken by Campion College will:
- support the College’s mission, goals and strategic priorities
- be characterised by a commitment to:
- learning from good practice;
- implementing potential improvements arising from benchmarking findings; and
- sharing of good practices after projects are completed
- have the approval of the Dean of Studies.
The following should be taken into account where an exchange of information is involved:
- Confidentiality: All benchmarking exchanges should be treated as confidential.
- Agreement: If a benchmarking agreement is entered into, issues about confidentiality, intellectual property, use and the type and level of information to be exchanged should be included in the agreement.
4. Policy and Guidelines
Campion adopts the process recommended by TEQSA in which six phases are followed, from conception of a benchmarking project to its evaluation and review.
|Concept||>||Plan & Design||>||Self Review||>||Peer Review||>||Communicate
|>||Evaluate and Review|
In addition, all benchmarking projects should apply the following procedural guidelines:
1] Selecting Benchmarking Partners
Selecting appropriate benchmarking partners is critical for successful benchmarking. An external benchmarking partner should:
- have a commitment to quality improvement and a ‘willingness to share’; and
- demonstrate a record of good performance in the area(s) to be benchmarked.
For a whole-of-institution benchmarking project, in general a benchmarking partner should also:
- have a compatible mission, values and objectives;
- be of comparable size; and
- have a similar discipline mix.
Initial benchmarking projects should, following the advice from TEQSA, be in the general areas of:
- student learning outcomes; and
- graduate outcomes.
Before embarking on a benchmarking project, CCA and its selected partner(s) should agree on precisely what will be measured and how the results will be compared (for example, through a formal report and/or in a workshop).
Benchmarking projects, following the requirements of the Provider Course Accreditation Standards, should not only aim to compare academic standards in teaching and outcomes, but should also share data relevant to attrition/retention rates, student progression, and completion rates.
2] Project Initiation
Benchmarking projects involving a formal request for information from another institution should be approved by the Dean of Studies. Participation is recommended where appropriate with:
- QILT (Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching)
- HEPP-QN (Higher Education Private Providers Quality Network)
- IHEA (Independent Higher Education Australia)
3] Project Management
- The responsibility for running the project will be with the Dean of Studies.
- Contact with partner organisations will normally be through the Dean of Studies.
- Benchmarking projects must be reported by name, type, objectives and outcomes to the College’s Teaching and
Learning Committee and the Academic Board. These details and the full reports should be lodged as soon as possible after the completion of the project.
4] Communicating Findings and Reviewing Outcomes
- The value of benchmarking is considerably enhanced if the findings are shared within the College and can benefit other sections of the College.
- Ideally, implementation plans should describe the actions arising from benchmarking reports, including responsibilities, resources and timelines. Progress against these plans should be regularly monitored. Progress towards implementing improvements based on benchmarking projects, and their effect on outcomes, should be reported to the Teaching and Learning Committee and the Academic Board.
5] Integration with Quality Improvement Systems
Benchmarking projects are most successful when they are integrated with other initiatives and processes designed to improve outcomes within the College. Consequently, the College expects that project findings and implementation plans will be reflected in operational plans and reports.
5. Roles & Responsibilities
Overall authority for the development and maintenance of the Benchmarking Policy and for all operational tasks related to the Policy rests with the Dean of Studies. The Teaching and Learning Committee is responsible for implementing and monitoring benchmarking project.
TEQSA, “Guidance Note: External Referencing (including Benchmarking), Version 2.5 (16 April 2019)