Building standards performance framework: April 2021
Key performance outcomes used to monitor the work of building standards local authority verifiers.
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3. Outcomes and Targets
Key Performance Outcomes (KPOs) are designed to support the building standards system and be adopted by verifiers. They have been developed to embed a culture of continuous improvement underpinned by a greater focus on peer review, benchmarking and sharing of best practice.
Professional Expertise and Technical Processes
KPO1 Minimise time taken to issue a first report or to issue a building warrant or amendment to building warrant
KPO2 Increase quality of compliance assessment during the construction processes
Quality Customer Experience
KPO3 Commit to the building standards customer charter
KPO4 Understand and respond to the customer experience
Operational and Financial Efficiency
KPO5 Maintain financial governance
KPO6 Commit to eBuilding Standards
KPO7 Commit to objectives outlined in the annual verification performance report
KPOs should be reviewed every three years to ensure they remain fit for purpose.
Changes to KPOs, targets and/or timescales should be implemented in order to maintain continuous improvement.
Performance should be assessed against targets for the relevant KPOs. Issues should be identified and actioned on an ongoing basis, and may trigger targeted interventions such as audit or peer review. Poor performance will be expected to be improved.
Verifiers should have systems in place to support the accurate and timely collection of performance data. They should report accurate and evidence based information on performance against KPOs to the Scottish Government as detailed in the KPO. All data returns to the Scottish Government are made via the ScotXed web platform.
The frequency of reporting is detailed in each KPO which provides a means to assess individual and ongoing cumulative performance. Reporting is segmented by "building types" and "value of work" to allow further analysis into specific aspects of performance. Mixed building types, demolitions and conversions should be reported in the most appropriate segment.
It is recognised that verifiers may not be at the same starting position (in performance terms) when changes to the performance framework are introduced. As a result, there may be differing timescales for local adoption. However, all verifiers are expected to identify clear actions and timescales for updates to systems and KPOs to meet the agreed implementation dates.
Continuous improvement refers to the dynamic and ongoing effort to improve services and processes, respond better to customer needs and adapt in a changing business environment. Services should embed a culture of learning and improvement to evolve, become more effective and ensure business outcomes continue to be achieved.
Continuous improvement is a critical success factor in raising the bar for compliance and consistency and may look towards:
- delivery (customer-valued) processes which are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility;
- changes to and demands from the business environment for example in the delivery of online services;
- incremental or breakthrough improvements, focusing on the changing business environment;
- peer review, benchmarking and sharing best practice.
The framework also recognises the move towards digital verification services. Customers can submit applications for building warrant electronically via the Scottish Government eBuilding Standards online system. Verifiers should therefore continue to look at fully digitising their
end-to-end verification services to cover the whole customer journey.
Performance measures and reporting
The framework links performance assessment to improvement actions through the verifiers' annual verification performance report, customer views, continuous improvement plans, and national KPO returns. It allows the assessment of performance outcomes over key national objectives which include:
- certainty of timescales in respect of decision making;
- reasonable inquiry of compliance during construction;
- management and assessment of building warrants and completion certificates;
- sharing of best practice;
- clear communication, provision of advice and open engagement;
- understanding of customer needs and 'open for business' attitude.
Reporting against the framework has clear aims and values and should not place unnecessary burdens on verifiers. It should demonstrate levels of performance by verifiers individually and nationally, and provide comparisons over time between verifiers.
The framework has common aims which are provided for each outcome which might include one or more of:
- information to inform the public to meet the impartiality and accountability needs of a verifier;
- information for Scottish Government in relation to the appointment of verifiers, performance levels and national trends; and
- information for verifiers in relation to the day-to-day operation of their building standards service.
The framework includes reporting criteria and performance targets. These measure service delivery and can be used to highlight 'good verification' service. The framework should also be used to inform customers on performance levels, identify areas for improvement and prioritise actions. Reporting frequencies vary between the KPOs and are either three-monthly or annually.
Reporting under some KPOs since 2012 has been broken down into 'work' categories and 'value of work' categories. These categories have been helpful in providing a better understanding of activity and performance across all types of building warrant projects. They have been consolidated from 2017 onwards to:
|Work Categories||Value of Work|
|Domestic||0 - £10,000|
|Non-Domestic||£10,001 - £50,000|
|£50,001 - £250,000|
|£250,001 - £1,000,000|
|£1,000,001 and above|
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