OCFMA Benchmarking Report
updated May 2023
Each year, OCFMA releases a report to summarize operations for the Ontario College sector. Each of the province’s 24 Colleges is responsible for submitting their report data in late summer. The data are then compiled, analyzed, reviewed and published into a report the following spring.
The report is used by Executives to monitor trends in the College sector. Facilities Leaders use the report to compare their institution’s indicators to prior years and against College peers to seek best practice opportunities.
Report Data Templates, Annual Reports and Companion Data files are available on our document repository site on BoardEffect. Visit the Become a Member section of our website to inquire about how Members can access this resource.
What is in the Report
The report is broken into 3 sections
- System Metrics – aggregated statistics for the College sector
- Cluster Comparisons – grouped measures comparing similar sized Colleges
- College Comparisons – key indicators ranking individual Colleges
Key metrics include:
- Trends in Total System Operating Costs
- College Space & Enrolment Growth
- Utility Trends
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The report is also accompanied by a companion data file that includes 5-years of detailed, historical data used to generate the report. It is made available to those interested in digging for deeper insights from the report.
Findings from the most recent report (May 8, 2023):
- This reporting timeframe includes the partial recovery from the global COVID pandemic which led to College shutdowns in March 2020. Most Colleges resumed reduced levels of academic and operational activity during this period.
- 23 of 24 Colleges reported this period. Northern College data was unavailable and will be added to subsequent reports, when available.
- Some operating cost values for George Brown College were unavailable and estimates were used for aggregated comparisons.
- Across all Colleges, space has increased by +1.2M square feet (+3.7%) to 33.0M.
- The 3.7% increase in College space versus last year was driven by a +5.2% increase at Medium Colleges, and 2.7% increase in both Small Colleges and Large Colleges.
- Overall Student WFU (weighted funding unit) enrolment remained similar to last year, slightly increasing by +0.1% since last year to 246,913.
- The total operating costs across the Ontario Colleges increased by $10.9M (4.2%) versus last year to $274M as College operations began returning to pre-COVID levels in September.
- The $10.9M (4.2%) increase in system-wide operating costs was driven primarily by a $3.3M (5.0%) increase in Facilities Maintenance, a $3.2M (11.0%) increase in Security and a $1.8M (3.1%) increase in Utilities & Waste.
These increases were offset by decreased spending in Cleaning of $0.7M (-1.4%), and Other Operations of $0.4M (-5.0%).
Facilities Maintenance had the greatest single impact on the system-wide facilities costs accounting for 25% of the total costs followed by Utilities & Waste at 21%.
- Overall utilities costs (excluding waste) increased by $2.7M (+4.5%) to $62M. The COVID impact kept building occupancies lower than normal, particularly in the summer months when operations remained at reduced levels.
- As occupancy began to return in the Fall (heating season), both Natural Gas and Water costs increased +28.9% and +18.2% respectively versus the prior year.
- Electricity represents 72% of total utility costs. Total costs for electricity decreased by $0.9M (-2.0%) versus last year. The +6.8% increase in consumption was offset by an average decrease in Electricity rates by -8.2%. Although higher this year, consumption was lower than pre-COVID levels as occupancy levels returned after the heavy cooling season where temperatures were comparable to last year.
- Natural Gas expenditures increased by +28.9% due to a +6.8% increase in consumption coupled with a +20.3% average rate increase to $0.33/m3. Most Colleges experienced a heating season that was comparable to last year.
- Total Water expenditures have increased by $0.7M (+18.2%) since last year due to increased consumption of +8.6% and Water/ Sewer rates of +8.8% during this period to $4.41.
How to prepare the report data template
A new report template is used each year to collect data for each College. It contains improvements from previous files and adjustments for the upcoming report.
The Report Data Template file can be retrieved from BoardEffect (requires log-in).
- Log into BoardEffect,
- From the dropdown menu on the left column, select ‘Workrooms’ then ‘ASCC – Administrative’,
- Select ‘OCFMA…’
- Click the ‘Library’ button on the top menu,
- Select the ‘Other Files’ hyperlink below the Library button.
- Next, scroll down and open the ‘OCFMA Benchmarking Reports’ folder
- Click the ‘OCFMA Benchmarking Report Data Template’ file and save to your local drive.
- Uncompress the new file, open and follow the instructions to complete the forms.
- Once complete, return the file by clicking ‘Submit Via Email’ from the ‘Submit’ worksheet or, email directly to r_mcevoy@Fanshawec.ca.
Files are due each year by Aug. 31.