Activity 1: Value Rating Study and Tool

Project dates: 11/05/2017 - Ongoing

At a glance

The Value Rating Tool assesses the cost and performance of facilities.

Why we need it

There is a lack of understanding of the contribution of school facilities to educational outcomes – associated with weaknesses in current research that has been unable to isolate the contribution of school facilities to educational outcomes and which only focuses on:

  • Teaching spaces; and
  • Direct contribution of spaces to teaching activity

The Value Rating Tool addresses these weaknesses to advance our understanding of the performance of facilities.

The tool also provides a much needed systematic framework to capture total delivery costs to allow optimising education outcomes per total cost of school facilities.

How it works

The Value Rating Tool measures performance by assessing the direct contribution of facilities (supporting pedagogy) and their indirect contribution (attracting and retaining school personnel and students). A multi-tiered weighting system is used to develop a performance score out of 7 for each school.

The tool also identifies and aggregates all finance; design, construction, operations and maintenance costs. In doing so, it incorporates these costs incurred internally (within the government agency) and via external contracts.

The Value Rating is expressed as follows:

  • Mean Performance to date per total whole-life cost
    to date ($/m
    2 or $/student), or illustrated as follows:


The Value Rating Tool:

  • Provides a rigorous post-completion review of facilities to allow effective benchmarking of different delivery models and across different jurisdictions;
  • Promotes the dissemination of best practice in the many facets of delivery from design to authoring of contracts to effective operating and maintenance procedures in the day-today running of the school including relationships between facility providers and school personnel; and
  • Advances the disciplines of design and cost management. Rather than cost following design or design following cost and outcomes observed after completion of new capital works, the impact of additional funding on performance is previewed so that decisions are made based on optimising the balance of performance and costs to deliver best Value-for-Money – before committing to fund new capital works.


There are many other future opportunities to use the Value Rating Tool including:

  • In other social and economic sectors – via changes to the way the performance score is constructed;
  • Future-proofing of schools and infrastructure in other sectors; and
  • Supporting Strategic Asset Management Planning.

In summary, the tool addresses the Productivity Commission’s call for more rigour in infrastructure decision-making to create a well performing system and more resilient infrastructure vital to Australia’s  future prosperity.

In a presentation to project partners in in July 2020, Chief Investigator Associate Professor Adrian Bridge presented an overview of the method, work to date and preliminary findings. Ongoing work for Activity 1: Value Rating Study and Tool includes review and integration of cost data to finalise Performance Scores and Value Rating. Please contact Associate Professor Adrian Bridge for further updates.

Please click to download presentation