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About the Common Measurements Tool

The Common Measurements Tool (CMT) was first released in 1998 as an easy-to-use client satisfaction survey instrument that would facilitate benchmarking across jurisdictions. Using the CMT, public-sector managers are able to understand client expectations, assess levels of satisfaction, and identify priorities for improvement. By using the questions set out in the CMT, jurisdictions can also compare their results against peer organizations, identifying best practices and sharing lessons learned.

Picking up the CMT, managers are able to construct a client satisfaction survey by selecting the questions that meet the needs of their organization. The CMT assists in this process by identifying a set of "core" questions that measure the key drivers of satisfaction - those elements or attributes of the service experience which, when present, ensure high levels of satisfaction. In this way, the CMT builds on the intellectual foundations of Citizens First, a national survey of Canadians, which identified the drivers of satisfaction, namely timeliness, knowledge/competence, fairness, courtesy/comfort, and outcome.

Managers, of course, are not restricted to using the core questions, or even the larger bank of CMT questions. The CMT is designed to be a flexible tool, leaving organizations free to add customized questions that will help improve the quality of service.

Since being recognized by the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) with a Silver Award for International Innovation and by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada with a Gold Award for Innovative Management, the CMT has been adopted by more than 30 municipal, provincial, territorial, and federal governments across Canada and around the world.

Whereas the original CMT questions focused on face-to-face or in-person service delivery, research from Citizens First 3 highlights the degree to which citizens use a variety of service channels (telephone, Internet, mail, kiosk) when accessing government services. Responding to the challenges that this multi-channel service delivery environment presents to public-sector organizations, the ICCS set out to deliver a single, integrated, multi-channel client survey instrument that is easy to use, enables benchmarking, and produces effective results for policy and program managers alike. Significant enhancements to the original CMT include:

  • Questions addressing satisfaction with electronic and telephone service delivery;

  • Core questions that reflect the specific drivers of satisfaction for each service delivery channel;

  • Adoption of an "agreement" scale (in place of a "satisfaction" scale) to enhance usability;

  • Language that is consistent in both French and English;

  • A new user manual written for public-sector managers.

The Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) serves as the custodian of the CMT, and makes the tool and associated support materials available through its web site. The ICCS also maintains a CMT benchmarking database that enables organizations to compare anonymously their results with those of peer organizations.

If you have any questions about the CMT or any of the supports available please contact us.