Thurrock Council - Performance Management Framework: Glossary
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
Accountability A system or process for holding managers and workers
responsible for the performance of their service, role or
Actual Data Also sometimes referred to as Outturn. This is the individual figure
for the specific reporting period, as opposed to the cumulative,
target or quartile data for example.
Aim A general statement of broad intent or what a service is for. It
does not necessarily have to be measurable.
Ambition Something practical and measurable that will be achieved.
APACS survey Assessment of Polices and Community Safety – This survey, part
of the new performance framework, will focus on key services
delivered by the police, working on their own or in partnership
based on performance and diagnostic indicators set nationally,
professional judgements relevant to the police and locally
selected indicators which reflect local priorities for improvement.
Appraisal Appraisals are regular reviews of individual or team performances
and are used to monitor achievement of targets and to agree new
targets. This is the Council’s One to One Performance and
Area Assessment An ‘area assessment’ is an overall joint judgement on the
outcomes in Thurrock, not a direct assessment of Shaping
Thurrock – our local strategic partnership – the Council, or any
other local service provider. The area assessment will focus on
the accountability of partners for their contribution to the
Sustainable Community Strategy thereby reducing the level of
detailed inspection of individual organisations.
Balanced A strategic tool to help senior managers to manage strategy
Scorecard (BSC) and evaluate progress by linking corporate /directorate objectives,
measures and targets.
Briefing Book The part of the PerformancePlus+™ system which allows users to
view preset reports on performance.
Business Analysis Understanding the practices, service components and processes
that make up the service provided.
BVPI Best Value Performance Indicator – A set of performance
indicators which were set by Government for all authorities to
report their performance.
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Budget A description of the funding of existing and /or proposed actions.
Business Plans These comprise the Corporate, Directorate, Service and Team
plans, which specify the key priorities and activities to be
CAA Comprehensive Area Assessment – Comprehensive Area
Assessment (CAA) is the framework, that replaces CPA, through
which the national inspectorates will work together to make
assessments of how well people are being served by their local
public services. Its focus is on the prospects for 'better outcomes’
in an area rather than the individual workings of the Council, the
Police, the Primary Care Trust etc.
Capital How the Council intends to spends its capital.
Causal Map A view on Performance Plus+™ which shows the relationships
and links between different objectives, tasks and risks.
CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy –
professional body responsible for the education and training of
professional accountants and for their regulation through the
setting and monitoring of professional standards. Uniquely
among the professional accountancy bodies in the UK, CIPFA
has responsibility for setting accounting standards for local
Competencies A description of the skills, abilities and behaviours of employees
that will make the Council successful. Everyone has an
organisational role, objectives and tasks to achieve – the ‘WHAT’,
whereas the competencies describe ‘HOW’ things should be
Corporate The highest-level document, which sets out our approach to
Equality Plan mainstreaming diversity across services and monitoring and
reporting on outcomes regarding diversity issues, including
statutory schemes such as race, disability and gender schemes.
Corporate Risk The corporate database of the Council’s key risks /opportunities
and Opportunity and management arrangements.
Corporate Risks Corporate or cross cutting issues that are likely to and impact
Opportunities upon more than one service.
Critical Friend An individual who objectively assesses a piece of work /
document to give advice /opinion from someone unconnected.
CSR Comprehensive Spending Review
Cumulative Data The sum of more than one period’s performance e.g.
3 consecutive months data added together to form the
cumulative data for the quarter.
Customer /Client A person or organisation that benefits from service delivery.
Data Quality The amount of confidence that the recorded performance of a
particular performance indicator is based on accurate and
auditable collation, calculation and reporting processes. The
Council has adopted a Data Quality Statement as part of the
Performance Management Framework. Data must be accurate,
valid, timely, compete, relevant and reliable.
Data Interchange A centralised data storage and data interchange facility
Hub (the Hub) between government departments and local strategic
partnerships to help with collating and monitoring of the National
Indicators incorporated into the LAAs.
Direction of Travel Whether an indicator or a service /organisation is improving,
(DOT) deteriorating or remaining stable.
DWP Department for Work and Pensions – one of the Central
“Economy” One of the 3 E’s – how inputs are used.
“Efficiency” One of the 3 E’s – how outputs are produced.
“Effectiveness” One of the 3 E’s – what outcomes are achieved.
Equality Schemes The individual statutory schemes, which the Council is obliged by
law to produce, set out the steps the Council will take towards
eliminating unlawful discrimination with regards to race, disability
Flags: Red Used as part of the CAA Area Assessment to show inspectors’
and Green judgement on the progress of Thurrock’s shared ambition. A red
flag means that there are concerns about outcomes or
performance and future prospects not being adequately
addressed. A green flag means that there is innovative or
exceptional practice in the area.
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Gap Analysis A business tool used to show where there are gaps in current
Goals and The components of a strategic or action plan.
Golden Thread The link between the different plans within an organisation. This
helps to make sure that each individual’s contribution is directly
linked to overall objectives and strategies.
I&DeA Improvement and Development Agency – the organisation which
works for local government improvement so councils can serve
people and places better. It is owned by the Local Government
Association and belongs to local government.
i-know The part of the Thurrock Council website and internet which holds
all the performance information including key strategies, priorities,
partnership working and all components of the Performance
Impact The potential effect on the Council if the risk occurs or the
Inphase The company who own Performance Plus+™.
Input Inputs are ‘resources that contribute to production and delivery, or
the resources (staff, materials and premises) employed to provide
the service’. In other words, they are what go ‘into’ a service or
Investors in A recognised business improvement standard designed to
People (IiP) show an organization is committed to improving its own
performance through developing its people.
KLOE Key Lines of Enquiry – one of the methods used in CAA for Local
Authorities to evidence how good their practice is in certain areas.
KPI Key Performance Indicator – a high profile performance indicator
often associated with contractual obligations or strategic action
LAA Local Area Agreement – The LAA is a partnership agreement
between the Government and local partners in Thurrock. The
successful delivery against the ambitious targets agreed with
Government is dependant on the cooperation and contributions
of a range of lead and contributing partners. The LAA is the
principle delivery plan for the Sustainable Community Strategy.
Likelihood The probability /chance of the risk occurring or the opportunity
LSP Local Strategic Partnership ( Shaping Thurrock) – Shaping
Thurrock is the Local Strategic Partnership for Thurrock and works
for the benefit of Thurrock’s businesses and citizens shaping the
Thurrock vision – the Community Strategy – and the key priorities
to make it happen.
MAP Management Action Plan – the action plan required for all Risks
which are deemed to be “Higher level”.
Milestone Rather than just working towards a final ambition, milestones
outline steps towards it. They help to assess progress mid-term
toward a bigger objective.
Minute Managers Summarised guides to the key elements of the Thurrock
Performance Management Framework aimed at giving the basic
information for managers to refer to for a quick reminder.
MTFS Medium Term Financial Strategy – The Council’s strategy for
maximising resources and ensuring they are used effectively and
efficiently in order to meet the council’s aims and objectives.
National Indicator From 1st April 2008 a set of Performance Indicators set by the
(NI) Government for Authorities to report performance.
Objective An objective is a precise statement about what a service is
supposed to achieve.
Objective /Task Shows how the link between Tasks and Objectives within
Cascade different levels of business planning.
One to One The Council’s adopted approach to individual performance
Performance and assessment.
Review (1:1 PDR)
Operational Risks Operational level issues that are likely to have an impact on short
and Opportunities term goals and tend to link to directorate or service level
objectives and plans.
Opportunity An uncertainty that will enhance the Council’s ability to achieve its
objectives (positive effect).
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Organisational ‘Organisational Assessment’ combines a ‘use of resources’ and
Assessment ‘performance management’ assessment in a combined
assessment of ‘organisational effectiveness’. Use of Resources
consists of three key questions:
• Managing Finances – value for money, cost, financial reporting.
• Governing the Business – involvement and engagement,
customers, internal control, commissioning.
• Managing Resources – managing people, assets and
Output Outputs are ‘the goods and services produced by the
organisation”, i.e. what comes out of a service. For example, they
include the bins that a local council empties, or the places in
homes for older people.
Outcomes The difference that services make to the lives or experience of
service users (children, adults, families, businesses or
communities) i.e. what happens as a result of the service.
Overview and A panel of Members (Councillors) who regularly meet to review
Scrutiny and scrutinize the performance and actions of the Council as part
Committee of the democratic process.
Partner A person or organisation that has a role to play in delivering
services and improving results.
PDR Performance Development Review (one to one) – see One to One
Performance and Development Review.
Performance A measure of the quality, cost or volume of service provided,
Indicator (PI) and that helps quantify the achievement of a result (sometimes
called a “performance measure”).
Performance The computer based performance management system which the
Plus+™ (Pplus) Council uses to record and report performance issues
PLACE survey This survey asks local people for their perceptions about the area
in which they live – it replaces the old 3 yearly Best Value General
Satisfaction Survey and will feed into the new National Indicator
Set and the CAA.
Pie chart A pie chart is circular graph or chart divided into sectors (or
slices) illustrating relative percentage or frequencies. Each sector
of the pie is proportional to the quantity it represents.
PIG Performance Improvement Group – This is a cross-council and
partners Corporate Working Group which oversees, develops and
champions the holistic approach to the Performance Management
Framework encapsulating performance, improvement, risk
management, generic complaints management, service planning,
data quality, research and intelligence, and linking in with related
engagement and other organisational development issues.
Plan-Do-Review- The model which has been adopted by the Council to show
Revise the cycle for managing performance – for more information see
the Performance Management Framework.
Portfolio Holder The member of the Cabinet with the specific responsibility for an
agenda /area of work within the Council.
Priorities Priorities are actions or commitments that are more important
than other things. Actions that are not priorities are less likely to
be done quickly.
Quadrant One of four sections of the Balanced Scorecard. The Balanced
Scorecard is split into Customer /Community, Financial, Business
Process /Service Delivery and People /Learning – See Balanced
Quartile Used for benchmarking against other authorities, particularly
associated with BVPI data, authorities are split into 4 quartiles for
each indicator depending on the outturn of the previous years
audited BVPI data.
RAG – Red, This is a “traffic light” indicator of how far away from the
Amber, Green target a particular indicator is performing, depending on the
tolerances set. Red means significantly under performing, amber
means within acceptable parameters and green means on or
Risk An uncertainty that will adversely affect the Council achieving its
objectives (negative effect).
Risk and The planned and systematic approach used to identify,
Opportunity evaluate and manage the risks to and the opportunities for the
Management achievement of objectives.
Risk and The framework that describes how risks and opportunities are
Opportunity identified, evaluated, managed and reviewed in the Council.
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Risk and The four-step cycle for identifying, evaluating, managing and
Opportunity reviewing risk /opportunity.
Risk and Management tool used to plot results of evaluation stage
Opportunity (likelihood and impact assessments) to help identify high
Matrix priorities and low priority issues.
Risk and The summary of identified risks /opportunities and evaluation of
Opportunity their seriousness (impact and likelihood levels).
Risk Register Documented and prioritized evaluation of the range of specific
risks /opportunities faced by the Council, directorate or service.
Seldom Heard This is the term used to describe sections within the community
who, for whatever reason, do not generally have their opinion
expressed. This is also sometimes referred to as “hard to reach”,
“difficult to engage”, minorities or marginalized.
Strategic A statement that specifies high level sets out a high how intention
Objective to contribute to a Council /Community priority.
Strategic Risks Strategic level issues that are likely to have an impact on the
and Opportunities medium to long term goals and tend to link to the Council’s
strategic objectives and priorities.
Service Area A discrete area of work for the purpose of performance
management. It might be an operational team, or a support
SMART Specific, Measurable, Action-orientated, Realistic and Timely
Stakeholder A person or organisation that has a significant stakeholder
interest in the performance of a programme, partnership or
Strategy A coherent set of actions that are intended to improve results. The
requirements are often stretching but have a reasonable chance
of being successfully delivered.
Strategic Plan A description of proposed actions to deliver the strategy.
Sustainable Sets out the overarching vision for Thurrock, which will be
Community delivered in partnership with all the statutory bodies, voluntary
Strategy and community sector and local business.
Target A commitment made in advance to achieve a stated level of
performance against a specific performance indicator.
Task An activity/project /action which needs to be undertaken in order
to achieve an objective.
Thurrock Top 20 corporate objectives which are the key focus for CMT.
Tolerances The parameters against which performance of PIs against their
targets can be measured. E.g. a PI may not be meeting its target
however, if it is just below the target then it might be within an
acceptable range from the target, and thus within tolerance.
Uncertainty (In relation to risk /opportunity management) – a risk or
opportunity that could have adverse or beneficial effects on the
achievement of objectives.
VFM Value For Money – Obtaining the maximum benefit from goods
and services within available resources. It is the relationship
between costs of the services and the quality of those services.
Thurrock has adopted some VFM guidelines as part of the
Performance Management Framework.
Weighting If there are a number of performance indicators within one
objective it is possible to give some a larger weighting (i.e. more
importance) than others. The overall status as shown on
Performance Plus+™ would be influenced by the performance of
those indicators with a larger weighting.
10 Thurrock Council PMF – Glossary of terms and abbreviations