emergency services must look to benchmark to enable improvements


By John Hughes, CIPFA Marketing

Like the rest of the public sector, police, fire and ambulance services are looking at ways to cut costs whilst delivering an efficient back office. There is good reason to look at how you are performing before deciding on new delivery models, and that starts with benchmarking your performance against other organisations to spot areas that could be improved.

The cost of talent

More blue light services are looking to re-imagine their corporate services, retaining talent and looking at more resilient scalable models that will be robust enough to cope with further cuts. But the only way to understand where those savings can be made is turn the spotlight on your current performance.

Gap analysis

Benchmarking the seven key corporate services; Communications, Estates Management, Finance, Human Resources, ICT, Legal Services and Procurement allows you to look at other relevant organisations of a similar size and for you to see how you measure up. Where there is a significant difference you will be able to spot those gaps, make changes and follow best practice to rectify the problem.

Robust data

Robust benchmarked data is also an essential part of developing a business case. It will help you to measure your current model across the range of corporate services and transform the way those services are delivered. You will have evidence of where you are performing best so you can look at developing a strategic transformation plan. It might mean working with your neighbours or maybe consolidating blue light services through closer integration of police, fire or ambulance functions.

Greater Collaboration

David Cameron’s speech on 11 September outlined the need for greater collaboration between emergency services, n to delivering greater efficiency with the resources in a range of areas including those core back office functions. From working with over 600 public sector organisations each year, we know that there is always room for improvement, but it has to start with benchmarking your performance.

Generating Revenue

Police, fire and ambulance services are at a disadvantage compared to other areas of the public sector as they have fewer ways to generate revenue. So to make sure you are offering value for money you need to maximise your efficiency in delivering corporate services, such that you can generate savings and free up essential resources for the front-line.

Contact us

If you want to get a better understanding of your corporate services performance contact vfmindicators@cipfa.org or phone 020 7543 5600 and talk to one of the team today.