Glossary - Benchmarking

Benchmark: a standard of excellence, achievement, etc., against which similar things must be measured or judged (

External referencing: Review and improvement activities: include regular external referencing of the success of student cohorts against comparable courses of study, including:

  • Analyses of progression rates, attrition rates, completion times and rates and, where applicable, comparing different locations of delivery, and
  • The assessment methods and grading of students’ achievement of learning outcomes for selected units of study within courses of study. (HESF, 2021)

Organizational or institutional benchmarking: in which comparisons are made at the organizational level (institution, faculty/department, school, course and unit levels).

Course benchmarking: of course design and student performance.

Process benchmarking: involving comparisons of particular processes and practices.

Outcomes benchmarking: is about the comparison of outcomes data, especially student outcomes.

Best practice benchmarking: in which the provider selects a comparator thought to at the forefront in the area to be benchmarked.

Comprehensive review: includes the design and content of each course of study, the expected learning outcomes, the methods for assessment of those outcomes, the extent of students’ achievement of learning outcomes, and also takes account of emerging developments in the field of education, modes of delivery, the changing needs of students and identified risks to the quality of the course of study. (HESF, 2021)

Moderation: comparison of the consistency of grading of students’ achievement of learning outcomes for selected units of study within courses of study.

Moderation seeks to ensure that:

  1. the Subject Convenors/Subject Coordinators and course teams comply with the Assessment Policy
  2. standards to be achieved by students are transparent, widely-understood and observed
  3. learning assessment tasks are consistent with stated learning outcomes and are set at the appropriate Australian Qualifications Framework level for the award
  4. assessment procedures and practices are fair and incorporate clearly-defined assessment (and marking) criteria that are fairly and consistently applied for all students in the subject. (Assessment Policy )

Context statement: any information you want to provide about the subject or program to situate where it fits in a course.

Further information

Benchmarking (External Referencing)

Benchmarking Guidance Notes Final

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021