Join our annual benchmarking program for museums and cultural institutions

The benchmarking program was started by the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now Canadian Museum of History) in 2001It is now provided for all interested museums and cultural institutions by Facility IssuesOver 130 institutions from nine countries have participated since the program started. 

The value of benchmarking your cultural facility

Leading facility managers use facility benchmarking as straightforward way to document and improve performance: 

  • To Quantify How They Stand – Benchmarking can demonstrate your facility operating performance is competitive or reasonable. Results are based on actual performance (not models), and therefore show what is reasonable and achievable. 

  • To Cut Through the Data Noise – Benchmarking will identify areas that need attention, and those that don’t. 

  • Because it is Easy and Understandable – Benchmarking does not take a lot of time or effort and the results communicate well. 

  • To Learn and Share – Participants discuss issues of concern in the industry and share best practices and lessons learned with peers at other leading organizations. 

The cultural facility benchmarking program includes comparison of metrics and practices

The annual benchmarking program includes a report with quantitative comparison of various facility-related metrics, an annual workshop, shared practice meetings, and personal support as described below. 

The Benchmarking Report 

The benchmarking report is an interactive, online report in the Microsoft business intelligence system. Sections include quantitative comparison of metrics on space, asset condition, capital, operating costs, utility usage, sustainability metrics, facility practices and technologyFive year trends are included along with the ability to filter charts based on selected criteriaThe illustrations above show the quartile chart for Energy Use Index and the cleaning practices chartDozens of metrics are available such as:  

  • Capital Renewal per Gross Area 
  • Cleaned Area per Custodial Worker 
  • CO2E per Gross Area for FM Scope 1 & 2 
  • Custodial Cost per Cleaned Area 
  • Energy Use Intensity 
  • Facility Condition Index 
  • KWH per Gross Area 
  • Maintenance Cost per Gross Area 
  • Percent Planned Maintenance 
  • Total Cost of Occupancy per Gross Area 
  • Training Hours per Maintenance Worker 
  • Utility Cost per Average Daily Occupant 

Excel data templates are provided to make it easy to assemble and submit your dataHelp guides are available with tips on data entry, how to use the interactive reports, and how to use the results.  

The Annual Workshop 

A full day in-person benchmarking workshop is held the day prior to the annual IAMFA ConferenceThe agenda typically includes: 

  • Data review from the current benchmarking results. 
  • Best practice and case study presentations. 
  • Small group discussions on topics of interest selected by the attendees. 
  • A Town Hall forum where you can ask any question of your peers in the room. 

The annual subscription includes registration for one attendee at this meeting. Additional participants and “observers” (non-benchmarking participants) can register to attend the annual workshop, space permitting. 

Register for the workshop! This year's workshop is September 10, 2023 in Amsterdam, NL.  Use the following link for registration information:   

Shared Practice Meetings 

We have monthly shared practice meetings on topics of interest to participants on Zoom All staff from cultural institutions are invited to participate in most of these (some are restricted to only benchmarking participants)The meetings are one hour and start with a review of the shared practice survey of the month, a short presentation (if one is included), and general discussion on questions/topics raised by attendees. 

Join the list monthly notification of these meetings and associated shared practice surveys.  

Personal Support & Input 

In addition to program documentation and help guides, each participant receives phone and email support as neededThere are also monthly Steering Committee meetings where all participants can suggest changes and additions to the program.  

More Information

The benchmarking program has an annual subscription fee, with discounts available for small institutions and affiliated organizations (multiple museums operated by one organization)Additional customized support services such as done-for-you options are also available to help you get started, undertake specific studies, or implement facility metrics beyond benchmarking at your organization. 

 Download a short PDF with an overview of the cultural facility benchmarking program:

Read more about the cultural facility benchmarking program: