EFQM Benchmarking Guidelines

Where does benchmarking fit in the EFQM Model?

The concept of benchmarking is embedded in the Concepts and Criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model but is most visible in the RADAR. It’s quite possible that if your organisation is going to do something completely new, benchmarking could be included in part of the planning ...

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The word “benchmark” is not of this century or even the century before. Depending on which story you prefer, it was either:
1.First used in the mid 1800’s in the world of surveyors, it being a mark cut into a wall, pillar, or building as a reference point in measuring altitudes.
2.First used by shoemakers, to measure a person’s feet for a pair of shoes. The shoemaker would place the customer’s foot on a bench and then mark it out to make a template for the shoes.

In the world of modern day management “benchmark” has come to represent the level of performance to which others must aspire if they are to be seen as offering outstanding levels of performance. Certainly to win the EFQM Excellence Award, an organisation has to demonstrate that it is performing at a level above others, including its peers operating in the same environment.

In the EFQM Excellence Model 2013, benchmarking is defined as:


“Benchmarking: A systematic comparison of approaches with other relevant organisations that gains insights that will help the organisation to take action to improve its performance.”

It should be noted that the focus is on understanding HOW someone does something, not just the results they achieve. This is reflected in the RADAR logic we use to assess. The ability to demonstrate that the way approaches and processes are conducted have been BENCKMARKED with other organisations would be considered when assessing the Enablers. The ability to demonstrate how performance COMPARES with other organisations would be considered when assessing the Results.
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