Best Practice in Benchmarking

This document outlines the IPA’s recommended methodology for cost and performance benchmarking.


Best practice in benchmarking

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


In December 2017, the IPA set out an ambitious plan for transforming infrastructure and the construction sector over the long term through its Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) programme. As part of TIP, the IPA established a dedicated unit to support benchmarking initiatives with the aim of embedding a consistent approach to benchmarking across major infrastructure projects and programmes.

Benchmarking for infrastructure projects, for example in the Case study: Benchmarking tunnelling costs and production rates in the UK, involves using data from other projects to better inform project development and decision making throughout a project’s lifecycle.

This document introduces the IPA’s recommended methodology for benchmarking and includes a step-by-step guide to undertaking, or commissioning, a benchmarking exercise. It sets out why sponsors and delivery bodies, such as Government Departments and Arm’s-Length Bodies (ALBs), and consultants and suppliers, could benefit from using benchmarking to improve project performance.

Following this guidance, the IPA published a benchmarking capability tool which supports organisations to measure and improve their benchmarking capability against industry best practice.

Published 1 March 2019
Last updated 15 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated version of guidance

  2. Added link to benchmarking capability tool

  3. First published.