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Practice:State Treasury and City of Hyvinkää

From CAF Network

DescriptionDescription of practice

CAF (Common Assessment Framework) and CAF External Feedback Procedure as a practical assessment tools for public sector organizations in Finland – Case City of Kuopio, Urban Environment.

This presentation focus on the topic: Continuous learning, innovation and improvement by presenting learning and development results and experiences got from CAF External Feedback Procedure in Kuopio. Experiences are positive from the applicant organization´s point of view as well as from the CAF External Feedback Actor´s and the National Organizer´s point of view. The Urban Environment department got the Effective CAF User Label and it was the first time in Finland.

By carrying out this process (self-assessment and external feedback procedure), we got evidence that these tools are useful and help the applicant organization in its journey of change and development. The world is changing fast and becoming ever more complex. The pace of change is rapid. Public sector organizations are facing complex challenges and there is a need for new innovative approaches to improve public sector service delivery.

A common challenge at European level is to make the CAF Model, assessment tools and learning from each other, bench learning more visible. Assessing oneself is still a competitive development tool for public sector organizations. New tools and methodologies can be use alongside with it and we can further develop the use of the CAF tools. What we need are more applicant organizations, more examples of positive results, more strengthening of motivation.

Results and outcomesResults and outcomes of the CAF implementation

Learning results from case of Kuopio are:
  • We could further develop the self-assessment and the external feedback procedure, e.g. participation of partners, internal and external customers and stakeholders.
  • It is important to recognize the key partnership relations, partnerships with citizens and customers.
  • In the complex operational environment of public sector organizations management of information and knowledge, management of technologies are more and more important.
  • Quality of data used in self-assessment process as well as in the external feedback procedure is essential. Documentation is important.
  • To meet the requirements of complex environment innovation of processes involving citizens, customers and stakeholders will be the key success factors of public sector improvement.
  • There is a strong linkage between the CAF Model assessment results and the strategic planning and implementation process of the organization.


City of Kuopio, Urban Environment Department is the first public sector organization in Finland that got the Effective CAF User Label. The national organizer, State Treasury invite the external feedback actors´ team and there was altogether six external feedback actors (FAs) in the team. Ms Jaana Ilomäki, Internal Auditor of City of Hyvinkää was the head of FAs team. She together with Ms Aila Särmälä, Development Manager of State Treasury collected and documented experiences during the assessment processes in City of Kuopio. Ms Sirpa Pajula, Quality Manager of City of Kuopio presented the results and lessons learnt in Kuopio in the seminar of Finnish National Assessment and Quality Network on December 2017.


By carrying out this process in Finland, we got a clear evidence that the assessment is a strong tool for development, including people development and involvement that enables their abilities for the organization´s benefit. Kuopio Urban Environment involved the staff to participate the self-assessment so that everyone is involved. We got evidence that CAF is a joint project for management and staff. It is important to underline this aspect when marketing and making CAF Model more visible tool of development in the future.


In the presentation we will introduce the key findings how further develop the procedure and support learning together and share experiences at European level. Benefits of using CAF Model will be presented by using the quality journey of City of Kuopio as an example. In Finland, we need more public organizations to make applications for external feedback procedure, more public organizations getting acquainted with CAF Model, use self-assessment in their organization and involve staff, internal and external customers, citizens, partners and stake holders to take part. We think that this is a common challenge among EU member states. We need tools for continuous learning, innovation and improvement. In the complex world assessment and improvement need to be as a permanent activities in public organizations. Working with CAF means also launching improvement actions, development of improvement plan and carrying out the actions of that plan. The External Feedback Actors can support and encourage this improvement by providing independent assessment of strengths, weaknesses and improvement areas of the self-assessment and improvement and TQM maturity of the applicant organization. The feedback focus on the deployment of the approaches of the applicant organization, e.g. identification, prioritizing and implementation of improvement projects. It is important to support the applicant organization´s motivation to carry on the quality journey.


discovered and described the area of improvement involved. Kuopio case experiences can be used as material for the CAF model further development.

The heart of the CAF Model is the PDCA cycle. It is the basis and logic for assessments. The assessment areas could change but the heart is unchanged.

Key finding of Kuopio Case: Important assessment areas of the CAF Model in the future will be:

  • Partnerships and resources, key partnership relations with citizens and customers
  • People, involvement of employees, open dialogue and empowerment
  • Strategy, planning, implementation, reviewing modernization and innovation, taking into account the stakeholders and available resources, gathering information relating to present and future needs of customers and stakeholders
  • Leadership, motivation an support the people in the organization and act as a role model

These findings strengthen the mutual understanding of public sector development needs. There is a need for co-creation with customers and partners as well as stakeholder engagement. Service transformation and digitalization of services are going on. There is lot of opportunities to use the CAF Model in public sector as an innovation tool. There is a certain need for new solutions and it is not possible to produce them without knowledge of present state. Assessments are strong tools for that, to recognize and determine complex, multi-dimensional challenges of public organizations and solve these problems. Common efforts of European public organizations, European CAF Resource Center and EIPA can make the CAF Model more widely known and used innovation and improvement tool for public organizations in Europe. We would like to share our experiences in Finland to support these efforts.

Further informationFurther information of the practice

This is an application form for a Good Practice Case for the 8th European CAF-User Event.
State Treasury and City of Hyvinkää

upload LogoLogo of organisation. Must be a JPG-File

YearYear 2018
CountryCountry of the practice Finland
CityCity, town or village Helsinki
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State Treasury and City of Hyvinkää
Type of organisationType of organisation Government Ministry (national, regional)
Function of organisationFunction of organisation public services
Size of organisationSize of organisation
Level of governmentLevel of government Central Government (national, federal)
Contact
OrganisationName of Organisation State Treasury and City of Hyvinkää
DepartmentDepartment of the organisation
AddressAddress of the organisation Sörnäisten rantatie 1360° 10' 49.49" N, 24° 57' 29.19" E
ZIPZIP code (postal code) 00530
CityCity, town or village Helsinki
WebsiteLink to the Website of the Organisation www.statetreasury.fi
EmailEmail of Organisation aila.sarmala@valtiokonttori.fi, jaana.m.ilomaki@hyvinkaa.fiURIs of the form "aila.sarmala@valtiokonttori.fi, jaana.m.ilomaki@hyvinkaa.fi" are not allowed.
PersonName of contact person Aila Särmälä, Jaana Ilomäki
Job titleJob title of the contact person