DEFINITION 1: A recognised standard that forms the basis for comparison.
CONTEXT:  In quality improvement lexicon, a benchmark is a best in class achievement. This achievement then becomes the reference point or recognized standard of excellence against which similar processes are measured.
SOURCE:  Content-oriented guidelines. Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX), 2009.


DEFINITION 2: Reference point or standard against which performance or achievements can be assessed.
NOTE: A benchmark refers to the performance that has been achieved in the recent past by other comparable organizations, or what can be reasonably inferred to have been achieved in the circumstances.
SOURCE: Glossary of key terms in evaluation and results based management. Development Co -operation Directorate, OECD Publications, Paris, 2002.


DEFINITION 3: Anything taken or used as a point of reference or comparison; something that serves as a standard by which others may be served; anything or something that is comparatively measurable.
SOURCE: Benchmarking for best practice: continuous learning through sustainable innovation, M. Zairi, 1998, Butterworth-Heinemann.


DEFINITION 4: The criterion against which the candidate is assessed may be a competency standard/unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, or product specifications.
SOURCE: IBSA Council Ldt (2015). VET Glossary. Part of a suite of support materials for the TAE Training and Education Training Package, 4th edition, Australia.


RELATED TERMS: benchmarking, data, indicator, outcome, output, standard

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