The Professional Body Benchmarking Survey (PBBS) 

Find out more about our major triennial project


Since 2003, we've been conducting Professional Body Benchmarking Surveys (PBBS) every three years. The PBBS tracks the progress of the professional body sector over an extensive period of time, giving you a detailed picture of how professional bodies are developing and how your organisation matches up in several key areas. 

We're preparing to launch the 2018 edition of the PBBS! Surveys will be available to complete throughout the year and respondents will receive benchmarking reports of each survey. 
Launch dates for our 2018 PBBS are as follows:
  • Internal Operations and Governance - 6 February
  • Member Value and Member Relations - 10 April
  • Professional Standards, Education & CPD - 12 June

CPD, Education and Professional Standards survey now open!

The third and final survey of the 2018 PBBS is now open! To receive your free personalised benchmarking report, just complete the survey on behalf of your organisation. 

This survey covers topics including:

  • Regulation
  • Entry standards
  • Accreditation
  • Supports for ethical behaviour
  • CPD policy, measurement and audit
  • Competency frameworks
  • Complaints and discipline


Who should complete this survey?

This survey is suitable for CEOs or other roles with responsibility for CPD, initial professional qualifications, professional standards/regulation, ethics or accreditation.

Please note that we only require one person per organisation to fill out this survey. 


How does it work?

You'll receive a survey invitation as we launch each section of the PBBS. As the PBBS covers a wide range of professional body relevant subjects, you might have to consult your colleagues to answer some of the questions. Luckily, you can save your progress and return to it whenever you're ready.

Once you've submitted the survey, we'll work hard behind the scenes to produce a personalised benchmarking report for your organisation, allowing you to monitor your progress against similar professional bodies and build an understanding of the sector as a whole. 

If your organisation completes all three surveys, you'll be entered into our competition to win a year of free PARN membership.

Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for your chance to participate.

"This was incredibly useful for the governance review I undertook for Council"
Ria Robinson, Director of Director of Membership & Governance,  Association of Corporate Treasurers

Read our Previous Reports



Individual professionals rely on their professional bodies for defining, supporting and maintaining standards and the reputation of their primary occupations. They take on CPD that is organised, and monitored, by professional bodies, enjoy professional networks, often organised through their professional bodies, and develop communities of practice through professional networks. Members and their various contributions are therefore one of the most crucial components of the professional body sector.

This report sets out the findings from 2015’s PBBS membership research.  It contains useful information about professional bodies and their membership, which may be used for the purposes of benchmarking or insight.


Did you know that only 39% of professional bodies surveyed review individuals on their governing bodies?

Good governance is essential for all organisations, including professional bodies. As guardians of the professions, and organisations with a strong public remit, professional bodies should be striving to demonstrate excellent governance.

This free report examines the state of governance in the professional body sector. It uses 2015 survey data to explore the size and structure of governing bodies, diversity and evaluating governing body performance. Where appropriate, it compares professional body governance with the charity and private sectors and offers PARN recommendations for improvement. 

CPD, Education and Professional Standards

Education and assessment, continuing professional development, entry standards and complaints and discipline procedures are all methods professional bodies use to regulate the standards of their professional members, ensuring they are at a certain level of professional and ethical competence.

This report uses data from our 2015 Professional Body Benchmarking survey to provide insight into aspects of CPD, entry standards and complaints and discipline, which may be used for the purposes of benchmarking.

"This report will greatly help us in our ongoing review of our own governance."

David Cullen, Registrar, The Law Society of Scotland