Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

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VfM Toolkit

An easy-to-use, visual tool, the VfM Toolkit allows you to track the costs and performance of your services and compare them to your peers.

What does it do?

The VFM Toolkit allows you to interpret complex statistical information easily. The interactive toolkit allows you to compare key performance indicators for your council, to similar authorities and the results are presented in easy to understand graphical format.

Services grouped on the top left are good value, bottom right are services offering poor value. The analysis tools then allow you to drill down into the detailed statistics that position your performance against your nearest neighbours.

Version update now available 

The CIPFA team is delighted to report that a completely redesigned version of the tool has now been released to our valued VfM Toolkit customers, containing a number of significant improvements. Benchmarking exercises often precede transformation projects and policy changes, which is why it’s important to ensure that your decisions are based on the most relevant and reliable information. This is why we now include our Nearest Neighbours Model result within VfM Toolkit to deliver the closest socio-demographic and economic comparisons.

This is a scientific approach that includes data on 41 different metrics, based on a comprehensive set of indicators to provide accurate and simple results.

Other updates include:

  • A newly designed interface to improve ease of use and understanding of results.
  • New summary reporting tool.
  • Additional graphical outputs.
  • Easier analysis of historical trends. 

Experience the interactive VfM Toolkit by clicking on the image to access the demo.

CIPFA Value for Money Toolkit analysis screenshot

CIPFA will also be hosting a VfM Toolkit working party to discuss the toolkit and the data that sits behind it. If you would be interested in being part of this discussion please let us know via E:

Why do you need it?

  • Access data early enough to be useful in planning budgets and identifying efficiency savings for the coming year. 
  • It is a visual tool that gives you the best strategic view of your services comparing cost and performance and allowing you to see that information in relation to your peers.
  • Resources are diminishing, but the public do not want to see services cut. The VfM Toolkit will help you identify areas where efficiency and value for money might be improved.
  • The Localism Act 2011 includes a communities right to challenge, which allows organisations to express an interest in delivering a service that the local authority currently provides. The tool will help authorities show evidence of value for money.

What our customers say

Lincolnshire County Council logo with working for a better future strapline

"The CIPFA VfM Toolkit is a useful tool designed with the involvement of local authorities. It enables meaningful comparisons to be made to both aid and evidence the decision making process for the delivery of Value for Money."  George Spiteri – Value for Money and Performance, Lincolnshire County Council 

North Yorkshire County Council logo

"CIPFA's VfM Toolkit is the perfect combination of good value for money and real brand credibility in the market place. Their analytics tools are available as such a low price, I feel it's really good value for money. It's a marginal overhead considering the wealth of information provided" 

Steve Evans, Head of Corporate Strategy and Performance – North Yorkshire County Council 

CIPFA value for money toolkit case study thumbnail

"The VfM Toolkit has helped us to ask some difficult questions, consider unit costs, undertake useful comparisons, gain an understanding of best practice used elsewhere, consider local circumstances when making decisions and suggest ways of improving the toolkit." Philip Simpkins – Chief Executive, Bedford Borough Council


  • Data is refreshed three times a year to ensure information is up to date and in line with the latest RO, RA and ASCFR data releases
  • Users can select estimated financial data or actual financial data
  • Save time in collecting data from many government departments by making use of data from over 60 different sources
  • Feedback through a consultation exercise to help us shape the service – making sure it meets your needs.

What is the next step?

The toolkit is priced at £1,750 + VAT annually, commencing 1 April. Full CIPFAstats subscribers can use VfM Toolkit without charge. 

To speak to an adviser, please click on the blue 'contact us' button to submit your details. For more CIPFA comparison data set information, our products and services brochure is available here.

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