Corporate Performance Management Framework


In December 2022, Bassetlaw District Council unanimously approved the development of a new vision for Bassetlaw to 2040. As an ambitious Council, we not only want to maximise the return on significant investments such as the STEP programme, a multi-billion pound project which will see the West Burton power station site turned into a high-end research, development and business centre in fusion and green technologies; we want to secure more funding and inward investment to ensure that the district as a whole benefits from the planned transformation. We are committed to making this happen and to taking Council employees, Bassetlaw residents and businesses, and future investors on this journey in a fair, transparent and consultative manner. This means regularly reporting on our progress and continuously assessing how we are performing as an organisation.

This is why I am pleased to see the Council institute a new performance management framework for 2023-27 to support the early delivery of our vision for 2040.

The new framework is designed to ensure that the Council achieves what it sets out to do. It makes Cabinet members, the Council’s Senior Management Team and Council employees directly accountable for the services that the Council provides through the regular monitoring and publishing of our performance.

Our refreshed approach for 2023-27 also enhances the role of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, with detailed Service Performance Indicators allowing elected members to keep track of operational performance and check that we are “getting the basics right”. The Council’s Cabinet will monitor our corporate performance to ensure that our resources, actions and activities are aligned to the Council’s vision, priorities and desired outcomes.

To deliver our ambitious vision for Bassetlaw to 2040, the Council needs to be performing to its maximum potential and delivering in all areas. With the development of a culture that focuses on data and performance indicators to guide decision-making, I am confident that we can do something that will radically change lives, and I welcome this important step forward by the authority.

Cllr James Naish, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Communications, Policy and Performance



The purpose of this document is to provide a guide to managing organisational performance in Bassetlaw District Council. The guide explains the approach adopted by the Council to monitor and deliver effective and efficient services.

What is Performance Management? 

Performance management is the process of ensuring that a set of activities and outputs meets the organisation's goals in an effective and efficient manner.

Bassetlaw used to be tied to a national performance management framework. However, since 2010, Councils have been free to determine the measures of success that reflect their own local circumstances and priorities. The Council has retained a number of Performance Indicators from the old national indicator set, with the addition of locally defined Performance Indicators (PIs). These measures help us to assess our progress in delivering services and our wider community leadership priorities, e.g. economic growth.

Effective Performance Management requires intervention and action. This is not a process of just collecting and reporting information; performance must be managed on a regular basis. This ensures that the actions designed to deliver improvements really do make a difference.

Our approach to performance management will be led by having:

  • A strong vision, shared values and robust plans

Based on:

  • Accurate data, information and intelligence
  • Ownership and Accountability
  • A focus on outcomes
  • A culture of continuous improvement, trust and openness

A strong vision, shared values and robust plans 

Vision for 2040 

The strategic direction of the Council is set out within the ‘Vision for 2040’. This vision is:

“For Bassetlaw to become the greenest, most sustainable District in which to live and work, building on its legacy of energy production, manufacturing and logistics to power the net zero economy”

The vision is based on six pillars:

We want to build a stronger sense of identity for Bassetlaw as a place to live and work. Our aspiration is to become the greenest and most sustainable district, well recognised for powering the net zero economy.

Highly-skilled jobs will drive increased wages and living standards. We want Bassetlaw to develop the skills that will be needed to power the UK’s manufacturing industry and green economy, using wage growth to address deprivation and inequality.

With excellent transport links to the M1, the A1 and the East Coast Mainline, Bassetlaw is a great place to do business. By proactively investing in offices, connectivity and supporting infrastructure, we are putting business at the heart of our vision for 2040.

We know that the green agenda is increasingly important to local residents and businesses, and the UK as a whole. This is why we will mitigate the impacts of climate change through green energy planning, improving building efficiency and enhancing Bassetlaw’s natural environments.

Facilities for all
We want to ensure that people can access services and amenities no matter where they live in the district. This is why we will promote partner investment in high-quality education, health and other facilities which should be easy for everyone to access

Healthy district
Finally, we don’t just want to see Bassetlaw become more prosperous; we also want to see resident lifestyles and health outcomes improve. This is why we are committed to encouraging sustainable living and promoting good mental health and physical health for all.

Council Plan

The Corporate Plan sets out our local priorities to be achieved over a defined period - usually 4 years. The priorities in the Corporate Plan have been identified through consultation with elected Members, staff, partners and the public.

The Corporate Plan 2023-2027 will be based on the six pillars of the Vision for 2040 and an additional pillar that focuses on building the capacity, capability and financial resilience of the Council to deliver the vision.

All Services will contribute to creating and delivering the Plan. Each service of the Council will be tasked with producing a Service Delivery Plan each year which will provide details of key objectives to be delivered. These objectives reflect the main functions provided by the service and those that support the Corporate Plan. They are underpinned by a number of actions and Performance Indicators that are monitored on a regular basis. Service Delivery Plans explicitly state the purpose of each service area and outline their roles and responsibilities.


Our organisational support our Corporate Plan and Vision. Our values are the core beliefs held by the organisation. They act as guiding principles for all we do and set the tone for our interactions with service users, employees and other stakeholders. Our organisational values are:

Together we can do more
We work together, and with partners and the community, to improve the lives of Bassetlaw residents and businesses.

Everyone Counts
We make sure no one is excluded, discriminated against or left behind. We understand that some people may need more help to access services.

Open and Honest
We provide easy to access information and respond in a timely manner. We listen and are respectful and clear about why we have made a decision. We take accountability when we get things wrong and if we can’t help, we explain why and tell you who might.

We aim to be innovative and ambitious, creating opportunities for residents and businesses of Bassetlaw to succeed.

Service excellence
We aim to provide you with high quality services by ensuring all our staff have the right information, qualifications and competencies to excel in their role.

Ownership and Accountability

Individual Responsibilities

We will clearly understand our roles and responsibilities. With a strong vision and values, everyone will be clear about the responsibilities of the District Council and the role it plays. We will ensure all staff understand the Council’s operating model, its services and statutory functions. It is important that everyone in the organisation know what their roles are and how they are contributing to the organisation’s aims and objectives.

All employees, managers and elected Members are responsible for their part in how the Council performs. The Council therefore has a “one team” ethos where each person plays a part to ensure that objectives are met, and the very best service is provided to the public. In this respect, each link in the chain is as important as the rest.

Taking ownership of performance is key to success and each person has a key role to play. Elected Members represent the views of the public and represent a ward and / or a wider portfolio. Front line staff provide a face-to-face service to the public, managers supervise how services are performing, and senior leaders are responsible for the delivery of the strategic vision of the organisation.


Whilst responsibility refers to the obligation to perform the task or comply with a rule; accountability implies answerability for the outcome. The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. In the interests of governance, transparency and scrutiny, clear lines of responsibility and accountability will be maintained and communicated throughout the organisation.

Key responsibilities linked to Performance Management are outlined below: (This list is not exhaustive).

The Leader of the Council

The Leader is responsible for the overall policy direction and performance of the Council. As Chair of Cabinet, the responsibility of the Leader ties all other cabinet portfolios together.

Chief Executive (head of paid service)

As head of paid service, the Chief Executive will ensure that all the authority's functions are properly co-ordinated as well as organising staff and appointing appropriate management.

Director of Corporate Resources (Section 151 Officer)

Performance Management sits under the Director of Corporate Resources. Being the Council’s Chief Financial Officer the S151 Officer must lead on a local authority’s financial functions and ensure they are fit for purpose.

Cabinet and Cabinet Members

  • Responsible for taking executive decisions affecting performance.
  • Accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

Corporate Leadership Team

  • Accountable to the Elected Members for the overall performance of the organisation.
  • Responsible for pro-actively managing areas of under-performance.
  • Leading on the overall strategic objectives of the Council.

Heads of Service

  • Responsible and accountable for the overall performance of their service.
  • Responsible for agreeing, monitoring and delivering Service Plans in liaison with Cabinet Members.
  • Sign off on PIs, targets and measures in liaison with Cabinet Members.

Service Managers

  • Responsible and accountable for the operational performance of their respective areas.
  • Taking corrective action to address underperformance.
  • Motivate and recognise good performance.
  • Oversee data input into performance software.
  • Delivering and monitoring Council Plan actions.
  • Ensuring employee appraisals take place.
  • Supporting Heads of Service to prepare and monitor Service Plans, PIs, targets and measures.


  • Operational delivery.
  • Supporting the delivery the Council’s aims and objectives.
  • Ownership of PIs.
  • Collation of data, accurate and timely input into performance software.

Policy and Communications Team

  • PI and action plan reporting.
  • Performance Software Administration and support
  • Conducting visual checks of information.
  • Issuing reminders to performance software users.
  • Providing guidance on Service Plans, PIs, targets and measures.

Audit and Governance Committee

  • Governance and internal controls.
  • Risk management.
  • Budget monitoring.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

  • Scrutiny of Corporate Plan progress.
  • Scrutiny of Service Delivery.
  • Constructively and pro-actively challenge areas of under-performance.
  • Conducting evidence-led reviews on services and making recommendations to Cabinet/Council.

Good quality data, information and intelligence 


The Council manages its performance information with the aid of a specialist performance management software called Ideagen Risk. The data behind these PIs may be held in a number of systems such as Excel.

Information in the system can be viewed or published at any point to present a “real-time” picture of performance. The system contains Service Delivery Plans and Performance Indicators.

Policy and Scrutiny Officers in Corporate Services administer the Ideagen Risk system. Key officers with responsibility for actions or Performance Indicators have access to the system. Training will be provided for new users and on request.

Each PI will be assigned to a user who is responsible for inputting the data and information and a manager who is responsible for checking the information.

Users of Ideagen Risk should log into the system at least monthly. It is always better to input data when it becomes available, rather than waiting until the end of the reporting period.

Whilst the system has a number of features, including reminders and prompts, it does rely on users logging onto the system and inputting data, accurately and on time

In addition to the system generated reminders, performance officers will also send out a reminder email to all users in good time before the end of each reporting period.

All PI data must be accompanied by an explanatory note, which everyone can understand. Where data is delayed or unavailable, a note should be provided to explain why.

In order to ensure all data is in the system by the end of the reporting period, and reports are run with no errors and omissions, the following guide should be used:

Q1: April, May, June
(data entry window: first three weeks in July)

Q2: July, Aug, September
(data entry window: first three weeks in October)

Q3: October, November, December
(data entry window: 1st January – first three weeks in January)

Q4: January, February, March
(data entry window: 1st April – first three weeks in April)

Performance officers send reminders
Q1 – First week in July
Q2 – First week in October
Q3 – First week in Jan
Q4 – First week in April

Managers interrogate system and check quality of information
Q1 – Fourth week in July
Q2 – Fourth week in October
Q3 – Fourth week in Jan
Q4 – Fourth week in April

Reports run (Automatically)
Q1 – Midnight 31st July
Q2 – Midnight 31st October
Q3 – Midnight 31st Jan
Q4 – Midnight 30th April

It is the responsibility of the user and manager to ensure accurate data and information is entered into the system by the deadline. Reports will only be re-run in exceptional circumstances.

Data Quality

Good quality information is essential for sound decision-making at every level and is an underpinning element of the Performance Management Framework. It is vital that the performance information used to inform, manage and plan activities is accurate, reliable and comparable, both over time and with different authorities and service providers. It is therefore important that we measure the right things, for the right reason.

The Council is committed to ensuring it maintains the highest standards of data quality. In order to achieve this, our objectives in relation to performance data quality are as follows:

  • To ensure collection, recording, analysis and reporting of performance data is accurate, reliable and consistent to inform the decision-making process.
  • To ensure that data is of high quality, consistent, timely, comprehensive and held securely and confidentially.
  • To ensure arrangements are in place at a senior level to secure the quality of the data we use to manage our services and demonstrate our performance.
  • To put in place systems, policies and procedures to ensure the highest possible data quality, inclusive of data sharing with partners.
  • To ensure data is communicated and transparent to all stakeholders and the public.
  • To ensure that data is stored, used and shared in accordance with corporate standards and relevant legislation (such as the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act).
  • To ensure data meets external inspection/audit standards.

Further information on data quality can be found in the government’s data quality framework.

Deciding what to measure

When deciding what to measure, managers should consider the following:

  • Are we required to monitor the data?
  • Do we need to report the data?
  • Does the PI assist the Council to deliver objectives and desired outcomes?


It is important that PIs and objectives and targets follow the SMART Principles – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound. Further to this, having too many PIs too many KPIs that are not directly linked to the overall strategy makes it difficult to measure relevant areas. To ensure consistency of reporting, targets are fixed for a year, only in exceptional circumstances will targets be changed in-year.

A focus on Outcomes

In designing Performance Indicators it is important to keep the end goal in sight and define what success looks like, in terms of our interventions and wider ambitions for the District. The introduction of Place Based Indicators will help the Council monitor how Bassetlaw, and not just the Council is performing, and advise future interventions and policy-making.

For the standard Performance Indicators, the Council’s ambition is to move away from process-centric indicators to outcome focussed indicators.  A simple test it to consider if the indicator is a Measure of Performance or a Measure of Effectiveness.

Measures of Performance are metrics used to determine the accomplishment of actions. “Are the actions being executed as planned?”

Measures of Effectiveness are metrics used to measure a current system state. “Do our interventions deliver the desired outcomes?”

Example 1:

  • Measure of Performance – Percentage of people undertaking training
  • Measure of Effectiveness – Increase in knowledge from undertaking training

Example 2:

  • Measure of Performance – Percentage of calls answered in 60 seconds
  • Measure of Effectiveness – Percentage of queries dealt with first time

Example 3:

  • Measure of Performance – Number of security patrols undertaken
  • Measure of Effectiveness – Reduction in thefts / breaches of security

In the three examples, consider what measure is the most important to the community.

Ultimately, the true test of effectiveness is the (measurable) impact our interventions have on the communities we serve, therefore it is important that sufficient Measures of Effectiveness are adopted in our plans.


It is important to consider how our peers are performing in order to gauge our performance. Targets can be better informed where we know how the best performing comparable authority is doing.

A number of metrics based on data returns from local authorities have been identified by the Office for Local Government (Oflog) which enable high level benchmarking of services. The Council will utilise this data to inform policymaking and drive performance across the authority.

There are a number of comparator groups that can be used, depending on the PI in question i.e. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) nearest neighbours. Benchmarking information from the Local Government Association’s LG Inform and the Office for Local Government (Oflog) will accompany the State of the District Report to enable management team to make inquiries and identify areas for improvement.

Presenting Information

The Policy and Communications Team will work with officers to help present information that is clear and informative. The Council will continue to use Red, Amber and Green (RAG) ratings where useful, however the “story” is inevitably more important than the colour of the indicator. For example, it is useful to use direction of travel and incremental improvement against benchmarks rather than relying on RAG ratings alone.

Detailed commentary will be provided alongside each measure to provide context and detail any mitigation needed to address areas of underperformance or under-delivery. We will adapt our reporting style to the audience and here necessary utilise charts, Business Intelligence (BI) and Geographic Information System (GIS) dashboards.

Developing Knowledge

Performance Indicators are just one way to understand the effectiveness of the organisation. A range of information should be used to build a picture of our overall performance. These include:

  • Demographics and local data
  • Complaints, comments and compliments
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Feedback from consultations
  • Forums and community events
  • Face to face community engagement
  • Social media interactions
  • Partnership working
  • Feedback from Elected Members and Community Leaders
  • Feedback from Employees
  • Benchmarking
  • Financial information

Data is a fundamental element of Performance Management but is meaningless in isolation. Information is what adds context to data. Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence combines analytics, horizon scanning and data visualisation to help the organisation make more data-driven decisions. Robust Business Intelligence helps the organisation build a strong narrative around key issues to help drive change, eliminate inefficiencies and quickly adapt to challenges.

Having a range of key metrics that are agreed across the organisation help maintains an overview of performance of the Council, its services and the District:

State of the District

A high level overview of the District bringing together current data on a range of policy areas, the latest census statistics and Indices of Deprivation. The State of the District report will feed the overall strategy of the Council and inform policymaking.

Key Performance Indicators

A strategic scorecard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to monitor the overall performance of the organisation to provide a strategic overview. KPIs are reported to Cabinet, Overview & Scrutiny and Corporate Leadership Team. KPIs will be agreed by the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team and Leader of the Council.

KPIs will be:

  • Limited in number
  • Comparable over time and to other organisations if possible
  • Linked to the Council’s vision, and strategy
  • Organisationally balanced* and targeted at key areas
  • Designed to monitor the following:
    • Economy - What are the costs of the service?
    • Efficiency - What is the ratio of outputs to resource inputs?
    • Quality - Is the service achieving quality standards and customer satisfaction?
    • Effectiveness - Do actual outputs and outcomes achieve our intended objectives?
    • Impact – What is the Social Value and impact on quality of life of the local community?
    • Equity - Is the service’s distribution of outputs, outcomes, benefits, and impacts distributed equitably among different groups

*Based on the principles of the Balanced Scorecard to include a mix of financial and non-financial data items i.e. Financial, Customer, Internal Process, and Learning & Growth.

Contextual and Place Based Indicators

Contextual indicators are generally data trackers that may be used to provide context to our performance as a Council. As contextual indicators are not a direct indicator of performance or effectiveness, they should be carefully selected, limited in quantity, and not subject to “performance management” or target setting. 

Contextual Indicator example 1:

The amount of external funding applied for.

This is contextual as funding pots vary from year to year.

Contextual Indicator example 2:

Satisfaction levels national average.

This helps provide context to our satisfaction levels, which otherwise would be reported in isolation.

Place Based Indicators can also be used to measure success on a District-wide basis, by monitoring a range of socio-economic and demographic factors. Place Based Indicators will be influenced by a number of external factors and should be carefully selected, limited in quantity, and not subject to “performance management” or target setting.  

Place Based Indicator example 1:

Employment Rate

This is dependent on a number of factors, including national policy and economic factors.

Place Based Indicator example 2:

Number of new business start-ups

Again, this is dependent on a number of factors outside the Council’s control, yet can be influenced by Council policies. 

A limited number of Contextual and Place Based Indicators may report alongside KPIs and where applicable, alongside Service PIs.

Service Performance Indicators

A suite of Service Performance Indicators are used to measure the success of Service Delivery Plans and will be reviewed on an annual basis. These indicators will be operational and report to Corporate Management Team and Overview and Scrutiny.

Project Management and Action Planning

In addition to measuring success through Performance Indicators, The Council may develop additional Action Plans to help deliver specific projects. These will be monitored by the action plan owner / project manager and reported to the appropriate decision-making body for oversight.

The Council will move away from simply measuring success based on the number of actions undertaken and will shift focus onto measuring outcomes and effectiveness.

A culture of continuous improvement, trust and openness

A focus on continuous improvement requires the ability to make mistakes, acknowledge these, and learn from them. Performance improvement requires fostering trust and openness within the working culture of the organisation. Careful monitoring of performance data will enable early intervention.  People must be encouraged to give and receive feedback openly, to make and learn from mistakes, and to trust that they will not be blamed for ‘poor’ performance. A culture of inquiry and curiosity at all levels of the organisation will be actively encouraged by the leadership.

Annual Performance Review

Heads of Service and Service Managers are responsible for reviewing Service Delivery Plans, Service PIs and targets every year, with assistance from the Policy and Communications Team. This process should start in early December and be finalised by February, so that information can be input into Ideagen Risk ahead of the new financial year.

For audit purposes, all PIs will be subject to control checks to ensure they are based on sound methodology, have adequate controls measures in place and effective ownership.

The Target Setting process will identify indicators to be monitored as a time series – that is data set that tracks a sample over time. Time series analysis can be useful to analyse trends and see how a variable changes over time.

We want to be a high-performing Council which is proactively making decisions today so that we are fully prepared to face future challenges.

Part of this is to seek incremental improvement over the life of our plans and not rest when an indicator hits green.

The Council will work to embed a culture of Performance Management and continuous improvement throughout the organisation, through effective engagement, support, advice and leadership.


All employees will agree objectives linked to the corporate priorities.

The appraisal process takes place on an annual basis. The aim of the process is to appraise the performance of individuals against previously agreed objectives and targets as well as to determine individual training needs and to develop an appropriate learning development plan. The targets and objectives against which the individual is appraised are determined from organisational and departmental priorities along with the goal to support and improve professional competence and aspirational development. The appraisal should be utilised as a two way process to also enable officers to help identify and shape future Service Delivery Plans. Further information can be found in the Council’s Appraisal Policy and Procedure.

Reporting Arrangements

A range of performance information is reported to both members and officers through Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny and Management team meetings. In context with business planning arrangements, the primary reporting lines of each metric is shown below:

Differentiation between the primary reporting line of different metrics in the context of business planning arrangements

Column 1 - 'Metric' contains:

  • State of the district
  • Place based indicators
  • Key performance indicators
  • Contextual indicators
  • Service performance indicators
  • Management metrics

Column 2 - 'Business Plan'  contains:

  • Bassetlaw vision for 2040 (strategic)
  • Corporate Plan 2023 - 2027 (strategic)
  • Service delivery plans (tactical)
  • Management action plans (tactical)

Column 3 - 'Primary Audience' contains:

  • Key stakeholders, delivery partners, and residents
  • Cabinet, and Overview and Scrutiny
  • CLT, CMT, service managers, portfolio-holders and Overview and Scrutiny
  • Managers and team


Reporting Frequency 

The following shows the reporting frequency of each type of information:

  • State of the District Report – Every 6 months
  • Key Performance Indicators – Every 3 months, and Annually (Annual KPIs)
  • Contextual and Place Based Indicators – Every 3 months and Annually (Annual PIs)
  • Service Performance Indicators – Every 3 months
  • Management Action Plans – As determined by Head of Service

Key points in our performance cycle are shown below.


Q4 - Management, Cabinet and O&S – June

Q1 - Management, Cabinet and O&S – September

Q2 - Management, Cabinet and O&S – December

Q3 - Management, Cabinet and O&S – March

Corporate Planning:

Review Service Plans and Indicators – December to February

Set Targets – December to February

Appraisals, learning and development planning – programmed annually

Data Entry – Ideagen Risk:

Input Q4 data – April

Input Q1 data – July

Input Q2 data – October

Input Q3 data – January

Last Updated on Friday, May 10, 2024