CAF best practice
European CAF Resource Centre
The European CAF Resource Centre (EU CAF RC) was created in the year 2000 at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht following the decision of the Directors General in charge of public service. EIPA’s EU CAF Resource Centre works in close cooperation with the network of CAF national correspondents.
CAF at EIPA
Our CAF Resource Centre operates in a spirit of open coordination between the members of the European Public Administration Network (EUPAN) and practises common European public sector values: openness, accountability, participation, diversity, equality, solidarity, collaboration and partnership.
For questions or more information please contact Ms Gracia Vara Arribas.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a unique common management tool for self-assessment and performance for public sector organisations. Created with the cooperation of the EUPAN network, it is considered to be the European quality tool for good governance and excellence in the public sector focusing on digitalisation, agility, sustainability, diversity and innovation.
CAF is an easy-to-use and free tool to assist public sector organisations across Europe in using quality management techniques to improve their performance. The model is based on the premise that excellent results in organisational performance for citizens, customers, people and society are achieved through leadership driving strategy and planning, people, partnerships, resources and processes. It looks at the organisation from different angles at the same time; a holistic approach to organisation performance analysis.
First presented in 2000 as a model for achieving quality in the public sector, it has been revised five times, with the latest being the CAF2020. As of November 2020, there are 4 160 organisations using the CAF and the model has been included in the public administration reform strategies of many EU countries. It has also been implemented and used as a good practice for various countries outside the EU.
The core of CAF2020 is a questionnaire with 200 examples of self-assessment of public organisations. The aim is to initiate a continuous self-evaluation process and to create the conditions for efficient and high-quality public services. Think: ‘Change it – CAF it’. Managers, together with employees, improve their organisation on the basis of common European principles and values of public management and governance.
The United Nations Development Programme and World Bank representatives evaluated the tool positively after learning about it. More importantly, the regular use of the tool helps to understand the impact in terms of performance and overall efficiency in the public sector.
To benefit from the CAF eTool, use the button below to register as a CAF user. If you are simply interested in testing the CAF eTool, please contact us for the login details.
- to be a centre of expertise in CAF implementation promoting the CAF and good practice in its use in public administrations in Europe;
- to act as a complement to, and in coordination with, the existing national centres of expertise, and with a focus on countries without a national centre of expertise;
- to be a training and consultancy centre;
- to carry out research on the use of the model and further develop it;
- to support and stimulate the European network of national CAF contacts and the community of CAF users;
- to maintain the CAF database for registered users and good practices.
EIPA CAF in short
Latest CAF best practices
CAF model 2020 – What is new?
Compared to the CAF 2013, the basic structure with 9 criteria and 28 subcriteria has been preserved. The language has been simplified, shortened and is now more concise. CAF2020 reinforces the focus on digitisation, agility, sustainability, innovation, collaboration (participation) and diversity. As a result, there have been significant changes in each individual subcriterion and examples. However, users of previous CAF versions will not find it too difficult to become familiar with the new version; the compatibility with the predecessor, CAF2013, is ensured.
Guiding principles of the CAF2020
- Better services for citizens: CAF initiates and manages the advancement and change of public administrations in order to better serve the citizens.
- Tailored for the public sector: CAF was developed by the public sector for the public sector.
- European principles and values: CAF is based on common European principles and values of public management and governance. This is ensured through cooperation within the European CAF network
- Common language: CAF enables leaders and staff to constructively discuss organisational improvements and fosters dialogue and bench learning in the organisation.
- Involvement of employees: the self-assessment process is the basis for the systematic involvement of the staff and continuous improvement of the organisation.
- Evidence-based administrative reform: CAF encourages public sector organisations to undertake reforms based on objective information and data.
- No external costs: CAF is free and is provided by the European CAF Resource Centre and the network of national CAF correspondents.
- CAF PEF (procedure for external feedback): external evaluators evaluate the organisation, give feedback for improving the organisation further and if satisfied, award the label ‘Effective CAF User’.