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KPI Benchmarking Scotland: stage 1 - research on current construction performance KPIs


The report focuses on the key performance indicators (KPIs) currently used by the Scottish construction sector. It maps and categorises the KPIs currently used by the sector, considers feedback from users of KPIs on their implementation, and discusses current international application of KPIs. The report aims to inform a wider project to create a framework for construction clients and the supply chain in Scotland, which would include standardised KPIs.


The report involved desk-based research, including available performance KPI and benchmarking data, and further reviews of data from sources such as government databases, client/framework websites and publications, consultancy data and industry leading bodies. Telephone and direct interviews were also conducted with a range of clients, contractors, house builders and industry specific benchmarking clubs.


The research found a wide range of KPIs were currently in use. Some core types of KPIs were used extensively, whereas others were used on an ad hoc basis, depending on requirements. The most widely used KPIs in the industry were found to be: health and safety – accident frequency rates and accident incident rates; environmental – waste to landfill; and economic – predictability in time and cost, and client satisfaction. Most respondents did not consider a separate set of indicators for Scotland to be of value. Generally, they were from large contractors, and currently used the available KPIs. The KPIs that were considered to be of value varied according to the size of the company and the type of client. Smaller companies tended to focus on what was essential to report. Larger companies reported a more diverse set of KPIs and had more need to make comparisons across regions or countries, but their KPI usage was primarily influenced by clients’ requirements. In terms of the current international application of KPIs, the types of KPIs used outside of the UK were broadly similar to those used in the UK.


The report recommends that a framework for Scotland should focus on building on a core set of KPIs that users already use, rather than introducing KPIs that would require additional investment by users. This would help to encourage continued usage. However, it is recommended that there should be some flexibility to allow for expansion of the set of KPIs. It is also suggested that a portal for projects in Scotland that is both simple to import data into, and integrated or compatible with data portals for the rest of the UK and beyond, would provide a valuable resource for understanding the Scottish construction sector performance.

Author Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Published Year 2017
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors