Association for Public Service Excellence
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APSE Performance Networks

At this current time it’s never been more crucial to collect data to understand fully the impact and consequences of COVID-19 and how this has effects resources and performance across council services. Councils should be looking now to ensure that they can evidence the impact of COVID-19. This includes changes to operational methods due to social distancing measures such as drivers in cabs or funeral procedures, and reductions or closure of service such as leisure centres, car parks and school meals. APSE have written an article on this which can be viewed here

We want to reassure you that we are here to assist our members in any way that we can. We have simplified and reduced data collection down in a number of areas. You can prioritise your data by reference to the priority symbols which highlight which data cells it is essential you complete and which ones are optional. This should make the data collection process much easier to understand and complete. In addition, this year we are publishing a document that sits alongside the data templates which shows what data you need to complete to qualify for a core set of performance indicators and the awards performance indicators. 

We are also giving those authorities who operate an integrated street scene service the option of submitting combined cost and resources data, to further assist the members of APSE Performance Networks. This means that councils operating fully integrated street scene services can qualify for measures for the individual service areas (such as cleanliness of streets and hectares of parks maintained) at the same time as aggregating their cost and resource data for comparison with others operating a similar service.

At our most recent Performance Networks Seminar we asked local government frontline service managers from across the UK: "In what ways has Performance Networks data helped improved your service?"

A big thank you to the service managers who contributed their time to being interviewed: 

  • Jayne Jones, Commercial Manager, Argyll and Bute Council;
  • Owen Jenkins, Director of Growth and Economy, Oxfordshire County Council;
  • Paul Wright, Open Spaces Services - Divisional Manager, Halton Borough Council;
  • Dela Moreland, Waste Collection and Recycling Manager, Kettering Borough Council.


Changes to training

We have made huge changes to the way we deliver our data completion training this year in response to the current global COVID-19 situation. We have been working hard to set up remote training capabilities and we now offer the same great content, via an online training session.

Our expert trainers will be able to share training materials and use visual screen sharing technology, to ensure you are fully up to date on all aspects of data completion training. Just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean you can’t access full training and support from performance networks.

All you need to do is access the training session via a laptop or your mobile phone, and you’re good to go. To enquire about remote training please contact performance.networks@apse.org.uk 


Exciting developments in performance networks

Further developments in LAMS

In 2015 APSE introduced the Land Audit Management System (LAMS), which was developed by a group of authorities in Scotland. LAMS is a consistent quality audit approach, measuring the level of service delivery for grounds, streets and cemetery land.

What LAMS monitiors:


In 2018 APSE launched the LAMS App which is available to members of APSE performance networks and costs £600 per year per authority. There is no maximum on the number of users who can be registered for the App and the price is per authority as opposed to per user. Compared to paper-based systems, the App reduces the duration of inspections. It also automatically identifies location through GIS and requires photographic evidence to support the grading for validation purposes. The quality grading/scoring registered during the surveys is available as live data for the individual authority completing the audits. In addition to this APSE provide benchmarking reports on a bi-monthly and also quarterly basis.

The App has been further developed this year through the introduction of a self-randomiser which automatically allocates an inspection list of sites to inspectors. The randomiser also includes a map and direction details (Sat-Nav) for all planned inspections via the App.

We have undertaken a ‘pilot’ trial period with a number of member authorities participating in the field testing of the randomiser. The trial period ran from January to March 2020. During the trial period, the participating local authorities critiqued the application with a view to having a ‘ready to go’ product available for all interested authorities.


Building cleaning App

We are very excited to launch a brand new app for building cleaning inspections. This follows the huge success of the LAMS App.

This new app will include 4 different surveys:
• Educational establishments
• Leisure centres
• Offices
• Public conveniences

The cost is £600 per year per authority. There is no maximum on the amount of users who can be registered for the App and the price is per authority as opposed to per user. Compared to paper-based systems, the App will reduce the duration of inspections. The App automatically identifies location through GIS and requires photographic evidence to support the grading for validation purposes. It is user friendly so that you can train your new staff efficiently and it reduces the time it takes to submit inspections as this is through a click of a button.

The results from participating authorities can be benchmarked throughout the year, so that you can compare grading / cleanliness levels not only by authority, but by building and feature type thus becoming an invaluable management tool producing meaningful data. This can be used to prove value for money and to promote how effective your service is. Not only would this data be available ‘live’ via the cloud but also feed into the performance indicator reports and can contribute to the awards criteria.



New APSE performance networks database

APSE continues to work with CAMMS to develop a new database for performance networks to make it easier to report and analyse data and to build a platform for future web-enabled services. As part of the new database development with CAMMS, we have developed target reports which show a local authorities’ past 3 years performance alongside the average and upper quartile of their family group for the past 3 years. It also shows a trend prediction for the average and upper quartile for the next 2 years. These will be piloted next year and will be added to the basket of reports available from APSE performance networks.


New web portal

Don’t forget the new web portal is now live. If you have not yet been set up please contact the team and we can set up new contacts. This includes individual log-ins and allows for more reports and analysis to be uploaded onto the web.


Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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