UniForum Benchmarking Survey

UniForum is a multi-year information-sharing program for universities. As a member of UniForum, UNSW is able to:

  • Consistently measure over time the performance and resourcing of the University’s professional administrative and support services
  • Benchmark efficiency and effectiveness against other universities
  • Collaboratively learn from other universities to identify best practice and gain insights to inform strategic choices

More than 40 universities participate in the UniForum program, which has grown from an initial five Australian and New Zealand universities to now also include 18 Russell Group members in the UK and a growing group of five Canadian universities.

Activity Data Collections

The annual UniForum activity data collections quantify the university’s volume of professional labour resource, including both employee-and supplier-provided capacity, over the previous calendar year.

The activity collections allocate this capacity among 150 key activities across 14 service functions.

The dataset also includes the University’s structure and the organisational units within which labour capacity allocated to each function has been deployed.

To achieve this, UPP works with more than 200 supervisors, senior managers, and function leads across the University, using UniForum’s standardised framework and tools.

Four data collection streams run concurrently:

  • Organisational Structure mapping
  • Professional Staff Collection – captures data about all staff paid via payroll, including casual staff
  • Supplier Collection – captures data about all individuals and companies paid via invoice, including sole traders
  • Supplementary data – used for benchmarking, normalisation and scaling.

Service Effectiveness Survey

The Service Effectiveness Survey delivers insights into the performance of university support services as experienced by mid-tier to senior academic and professional staff.

Staff participating in the survey are at Academic Level C+ or HEW Level 7+, and have been at the University at least six months (excluding casuals and those working 0.2 FTE or less).

Survey results show how important each service is for the staff who use it, how satisfied they are with the service, and their view of how various aspects of the service perform, including systems, processes, and staff interactions. Survey respondents also contribute informative free text comments that help service managers further understand what is going well and where to prioritise improvements.

At UNSW the Service Effectiveness Survey is conducted twice a year, with a “Part 1” set of 35 services covered in the May survey and a different “Part 2” set in November.