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Key Performance Indicators

CDM (GB) Knowledge Base


Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) are an important management tool widely used in industry and are being applied to health & safety management. Although it is 'early days', the HSE are interested in assessing the impact of their regulations on the Construction Industry. The 'accident statistics' approach, although focussed on the core safety issue central to safety outcomes is hardly the best management tool to prevent accidents. Many of us are striving to find indicators that will lead us to areas of unacceptable levels of risk so that the hazards that could reasonably be assumed to be leading to accidents can be averted. The establishment of the appropriate KPI's for this area are therefore important; experience shows they are not straightforward to establish.

Ai Solutions are working with a number of major customers to find out what the appropriate KPI's should be and how they should be managed. Development work within the ToolKit CS™ product is taking place and will eventually lead to benchmarking so that comparisons can be made. Benchmarking, especially external benchmarking, is seen as a very powerful management tool that can lead to quick and accurate analysis of high risk environments and reduce accidents in construction. The essence of this approach is to ensure good communication between all parties involved.

What is a Key Performance Indicator?

The DTI's Construction Excellence website defines KPIs and benchmarks as follows;

  • A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the measure of performance of an activity that is critical to the success of an organisation.

What is a Benchmark?

A benchmark is "the best in class" performance achieved for a specific business process or activity. It is performance that has been achieved in reality, and can be used to establish improvement goals.

Note: the term 'benchmark' is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to average performance or even to refer to a minimum acceptable standard. Care should be taken to use the term correctly.

KPI's form part of the managed business environment in that they indicate where performance issues need addressing and on a day to day basis is the reporting mechanism is designed to do this. A search of the internet reveals much information of the processes involved. provide good background material as a starting point.

KPI's in ToolKit CS™

The software package includes a feature within the SHEQ Option for managing KPI's. They are set out as either 'strategic' or 'detailed';


  • Accidents and Incidents & Strategic Project Issues (within budget, on time, correctly reviewed and audited and so on)


  • Project Objectives

The KPI's are further broken down to the individual 'departmental' entities (CDM, Environment, Quality, Occupational Health & Safety and Fire Safety so that performance can be analysed per 'department'.

Some KPIs are collected automatically where the data is known. For instance, the software can calculate the fact that individual Health & Safety Plan documents are completed on time from the data entered elsewhere. All other data is entered by the user.

The KPI console provides a summary of all the KPI's collected across all projects with internal reporting. The analysis is extensive and will be developed as required by the users over time.