Benchmarking essentially involves learning, sharing information and adopting best practices to bring about changes in performance. To simplify this, it can be stated as: 'Improving ourselves by learning from others'

In practice, benchmarking usually encompasses:

  • regularly comparing aspects of performance (functions or processes) with best practitioners;
  • identifying gaps in performance;
  • seeking fresh approaches to bring about improvements in performance;
  • following through with implementing improvements; and
  • following up by monitoring progress and reviewing the benefits.

Alan Flower (1997) lists 5 main stages in effective benchmarking:

  1. Selecting aspects of performance that can be improved and defining them in a way that enables relevant comparative data to be obtained - in effect, producing performance indicators that will make sense to other organisations;
  2. Choosing relevant organisations from which to obtain raw or headline data;
  3. Studying the data to identify possible opportunities for improvement;
  4. Examining the procedures of the best-performing organisations to pick up ideas that can be adopted or adapted to achieve performance improvements; and
  5. Implementing new processes.

Organisations usually benchmark performance indicators (eg profit margins, return on investment (ROI), cycle times, percentage defects, sales per employee, cost per unit) or business processes (eg how it develops a product or service, how it meets customer orders or responds to enquiries, how it produces a product or service). For human resources, three types of benchmarks are particularly appropriate (Matters, 1993).

Broad measures of performance which take an organisation-level view of HR management, using broad productivity measures like sales per employee, profit per employee, volume per employee, number of employees per HR specialists, and other relevant "output-over-input" ratios;

  • HR practices focusing on how effectively HR programs and practices are implemented, and making comparisons with other organisations; and
  • HR competencies tracking the knowledge, skills and abilities of HR specialists over time.


  • Designed for universities, run by universities;
  • Join a network of universities who are focussed on strategic workforce improvements;
  • Low cost program, leading to higher participation;
  • Minimal effort required for data submission;
  • Fast turnaround; and
  • Data confidentiality is assured by reporting on percentiles only, allowing participants to compare themselves to others, but not actually identify the results of a particular university.

Participants receive an easy to read yet comprehensive report with results for a variety of HR performance measures. The report clearly outlines each measure's definition and purpose and provides tips for interpretation. Results are presented in both tabular and graphical format.

University Specific

The university-sector workforce is unique. The intricacies of attracting and managing an academic workforce have many implications for the university HR department. Comparing your workforce to that of a large public department or private firm gives you an idea of how you are performing, but these organisations' workforces do not face the same challenges as a university.

'The key benefit of the university sector benchmarking program is that it provides the perfect basis for strategic discussions between university HR departments'

In a nutshell, Human Resource Benchmarking enables you to:

  • Identify staffing trends and significant issues within your University and the university sector as a whole.
  • Setting appropriate staffing goals - What is your target and are you hitting it?
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of HR initiatives.
  • Identify key areas of improvement.
  • Guide the strategic planning of your HR department and allow for greater HR input to the University's strategic planning
Want more information?

Henry Wong

HR Benchmarking and Events Manager

03 8611 0515

Training Terms, Conditions & Refunds

More than 28 calendar days prior to event start date a participant may: substitute an attendee, transfer to an alternative program date or cancel participation in a training program and request a refund by emailing

15 - 28 calendar days prior to event start date a participant may: substitute an attendee or transfer to an alternative program date

14 calendar days or less prior to event start date  a participant may: substitute an attendee.

To ensure the maximum value for AHEIA members, a minimum number of participants are required to run a successful program. AHEIA reserves the right to cancel or postpone a program to an alternative date. In this event registrants will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the next available program, or receive a full refund.

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (AHEIA) website,

AHEIA is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.

Collection of your personal information

There are many aspects of the site which can be viewed without providing personal information, however, for access to AHEIA customer support features you are required to submit personally identifiable information. This may include but not limited to a unique username and password, or provide sensitive information in the recovery of your lost password.

Sharing of your personal information

We may occasionally hire other companies to provide services on our behalf, including but not limited to handling customer support enquiries, processing transactions or customer freight shipping. Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. AHEIA takes reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.

Use of your personal information

For each visitor to reach the site, we expressively collect the following non-personally identifiable information, including but not limited to browser type, version and language, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the Site, page access times and referring website address. This collected information is used solely internally for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic, trends and delivering personalized content to you while you are at this Site.

From time to time, we may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future we will use for these new purposes only, data collected from the time of the policy change forward will adhere to our updated practices.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

AHEIA reserves the right to make amendments to this Privacy Policy at any time. If you have objections to the Privacy Policy, you should not access or use the Site.

Accessing Your Personal Information

You have a right to access your personal information, subject to exceptions allowed by law. If you would like to do so, please let us know. You may be required to put your request in writing for security reasons. AHEIA reserves the right to charge a fee for searching for, and providing access to, your information on a per request basis.

Contacting us

AHEIA welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy and would like further information, please contact us by any of the following means during business hours Monday to Friday.

Call: 03 9614 5550

Fax: 03 9614 3125


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