Berenschot conducts Communications Benchmark for government inspectorates

Published on 21 February 2019

“All our inspectors are communications employees”, according to communication professionals from government inspectorates. Employees are in continuous contact with the outside world, which is why communication is inherent to their work. The communications function therefore attaches great importance to the communicating organisation. This was one of the themes of the Communications Benchmark that Berenschot implemented at government inspectorates, contracted by the Bureau Inspectieraad (Inspection Council office).

Distinction between internal and external communications

Government inspectorates see internal communications as being vital. Good internal communication is considered a condition and support for external communications. “In recent years, the general Communications Benchmark showed that the distinction between internal and external communications is becoming more vague”, explained Robert Wester, Berenschot Communications Expert. “The inspectorates are now focusing more on internal communications again.” Good internal communications actually improve all employees and particularly the inspectors’ communication with the outside world. In making the organisation more communicative, the communications department mainly has a facilitating role, particularly in the form of coaching, advice or support.

Connection positive for independence

The communications departments from the government inspectorates consider their independent position to be vital. At the same time, they want to invest in improved connections with the mother departments. Independence can imply that a party operates in a vacuum. This is not the case for inspectorates. They think that a good relationship and mutual trust have a positive effect on the independent position of the inspectorate. Such connection actually increases the knowledge of each other’s role and position.

Next steps

From the Bureau Inspectieraad, the initiative was taken to continue the discussion about communications between the inspectorates in the coming period. During the final meeting of the benchmark it already became apparent that the exchange of experiences made a valuable contribution to the further development of the communications function. A joint approach in the discussions with departments was also considered desirable.

About the Communications Benchmark

With the Communications Benchmark, Berenschot provides insight into the design of the communication function in various organisations. As well as an annual Communications Benchmark, Berenschot also focuses on comparisons within specific sectors; in this case for all government inspectorates. As well as the general questions, sector-specific factors, such as the relationship with the ministry and compliance communications were examined for the government inspectorates. The participating government inspectorates were: Radiocommunications Agency (AT), Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS), Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ), Inspectorate of Justice and Security (JenV), Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), Information and Heritage Inspectorate, Inspectorate of Education (IvhO), Inspectorate SZW (SZW), Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and State Supervision of Mines (SodM).


Robert Wester

Robert Wester

Senior managing consultant