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Want to know where you stand?

Want to know where you stand?

Measuring and evaluating is an integral part of continual improvement. Local authorities are required by the Government to complete this due to the major level of investment they provide. 

Measuring and evaluating is an integral part of continual improvement. Local authorities are required by the Government to complete this due to the major level of investment they provide. 

The National Benchmarking Service (NBS) aims to provide rigorous and robust information on the performance of sports and leisure centers to local authorities. Performance is measured against that of equivalent facilities across the country. 2018 saw the largest annual survey with 257 sites across England and Wales, made up of 23,583 interviews. 

Taking part allows you access to insight not currently available just from your members. The NBS can give you an overarching analysis of how the sector, as a whole, is excelling and the areas which require the most immediate attention for improvement. Some insights from the 2018 report are below.

Check out the full report here.

Sport England have firmly expressed their support for the production of NBS reports, highlighting them as an invaluable tool for those operating within the leisure sector. It not only provides crucial information for the process of planning capital investment, but it also creates inspirational examples from top performing centres. This offers practical advice for management bodies of aspiring centres as well as providing details of top quartile performers so clients can identify who to contact for further advice. 

Kevin Mills, director of Capital Investment at Sport England, expressed that ‘at a time of change and challenges, it is essential to have a tried and tested, robust methodology’. The NBS has also been recommended by John Hymus, Commercial Director of Serco Leisure, who said it was ‘a really useful tool in understanding and comparing performance across our business’. 

With key headlines and summary statements, any client can quickly and clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of the sector and compare it to the experience they have within their own centre. 

In order to produce such analysis, fieldwork is undertaken, collecting 350 user surveys at each centre over 9 days, including 2 weekends, in order to receive an accurate representation of a typical time period. It will exclude abnormal times of activity such as school holidays. If the interviewers struggle to achieve 350 responses, the time period may be extended in order to receive comparable results. A financial return is also completed alongside these surveys to allow for financial comparisons to be made between similar centres. Leisure-net offers a fieldwork service to all centres who wish for someone to complete their fieldwork for them. They utilise fully trained interviewers, who are members of the Market Research Society, as well as a supervisor monitoring the fieldwork at all times. In-house paper and electronic surveying is also available. 

Reports will become available via your own online platform. The data provided here with be benchmarked against the NBS benchmark as well as being categorised into ‘family’ groups. Support is available throughout the process and you will receive training via the phone which will explain the reporting processes and the online platform navigation. 

The NBS is managed by Leisure-net Solutions in conjunction with the Sport Industry Research Centre of Sheffield Hallam University, on behalf of Sport England.

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Why not put your centre to the test with the NBS?

Contact for more details.


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