Service Level

Service Level -> Level of Service

Level of Service (also Service Level) can be defined as the service quality for a given activity. Levels of Service are often documented as a commitment to carry out a given action or actions within a specified time frame in response to an event or asset condition data.


Service levels may relate to:

  • Reliability of Service
  • Quality of Service
  • Quantity of Service
  • Safety/Risk/Security

Alternate Definitions

The International Infrastructure Management Manual defines "Level of Service" as "the defined service quality for a particular activity (i.e. roading) or service area (i.e. streetlighting) against which service performance may be measured. Service levels usually relate to quality, quantity, reliability, responsiveness, environmental acceptability and cost."

Types of Services Levels

Some Councils distinguish between different sorts of service levels, some of the common types are listed below.

Service Level Measures

Defining service levels is a key step in drafting an Asset Management Plan.
Service levels can be defined in a number of ways, including by the time taken to respond to a particular problem defect or request.
There may be multiple response times and remedies depending on the intervention parameter and the importance of an asset.
For example a 5mm-10mm footpath lip in a lightly trafficked cul-de-sac may not warrant any action at all, whereas a 10mm-20mm lip in the CBD may merit a quick response.

Below is a short list of possible service level measures that could be included in an AMP, please feel free to add more.


  • Time taken to replace a broken window
  • Time taken to repair a leaking roof
  • Time taken to treat a termite infestation
  • Time taken to repair or replace a malfunctioning air-conditioner
  • Time taken to repair a faulty lift
  • Degree to which an item is allowed to corrode before it is replaced
  • Condition to which paintwork is allowed to deteriorate before being repainted
  • Condition to which a timber floor is allowed to deteriorate before it is re-stumped
  • Frequency of testing of emergency lighting to ensure it is operational

Roads & Drainage

  • The minimum height of protruding footpath lip that warrants the lip being removed by concrete grinding.
  • The time taken to grind a protruding footpath lip after a trip hazard has been identified or reported.
  • Time taken to patch a pothole once it is reported.
  • Time taken to replace a broken pit lid after it is reported
  • The maximum acceptable frequency with which a given class of road can impassible due to flooding.
  • The level of traffic congestion acceptable on a given class of road.
  • the percenatge of property owners with no disruption to property access.

The New Zealand Auditor General has published the following NZ generic service level suggestions

  • [x]% compliance with maintenance contract response times.
  • Repairs to road surface. Time taken to investigate/undertake repairs to carriageway surfaces, once problem is known or reported.
  • Percentage requests for service resolved within target time frames (road service defects, street lights, parking in the [central business district]).
  • The percentage of request for service and complaints (for example, stree tlight failures, pot holes, pavement markings) dealt within contractually specific response times.
  • The percentage of minor faults on footpaths repaired within [x] working days of detection.
  • All routes are to be made accessible within [x] hours of an emergency closure – cleared or detour provided.
  • Injury crashes per [x] million vehicle kilometres travelled over [x] years.
  • Number of vehicle crashes per year involving injury where contributing factor is "road conditions".
  • Congestion travel index (CGI) which is the minutes of delay per km of travel on key [city] routes. A CGI of zero represents uncongested free-flowing conditions. Therefore, the higher the indicator, the greater the degree of congestion.
  • The number of bus passengers per annum.
  • The percentage of properties in the [x] area within 700 metres of a bus stop.
  • [x]% of public bus services run on time.
  • % of average parking availability ([x] in [x] spaces available between [x]am and [x]pm, as measured by survey). A number of blocks are surveyed each year in response to feedback from parking enforcement officers or queries from retailers and shoppers.

Water & Wastewater

  • Time taken to clear a blocked sewer.
  • Maximum amount of water released before a leaking water main is repaired.
  • Time taken to remedy water contamination outside the limits set by the ADWG.
  • Maximum period of loss of water supply to a given number of customers.
  • Time taken to rectify water discolouration to a given number of customers.
  • Time taken to rectify water taste or odour problems.
  • Time taken to rectify a loss of water pressure
  • Time taken to rectify a loss of water meter
  • Time taken to rectify a loss of water hydrant
  • Time taken to respond to a request for a water meter to be read
  • Time taken to repair a leaking stopcock, meter or property service
  • Time taken to rectify a sewage discharge
  • time taken to remedy and objectionable odour emanating from sewer


  • Time taken to respond to request for a service location
  • Maximum percentage of assets below a predefined condition
  • Maximum percentage of customers unsatisfied with a particular service.
  • Time taken to respond to a notification of a hazard or defect.
  • Percentage of residents given the opportunity to have input into asset management practices


The following 'service level' related issues have been identified as challenges for some councils via the local government collaboration project survey and/or added directly.

  • Expected/Desired Level of Service Vs. Actual Level of Service for given asset classes.
  • Measure of actual level of service provision for given asset class
  • Communities's exected level of service not matching optimum /minimum whole of life cycle costing of assets
  • Visual percepation of service level vs. underlying long term of asset performance
  • Dealing with increased community expectations

If you have any thoughts on how to best meet these challenges, please feel free to share them by clicking on the 'discuss' button below and starting a conversation or by contributing to this page directly.

Related Pages


The following people have indicated (via the Local Government Collaboration Topics Survey) that they have an interest and/or expertise in the topic of 'service levels' and are willing to collaborate with their peers at other councils to identify challenges and resources relating to the topic and to look for ways to work together to overcome any challenges that are identified.


The following site members have contributed to this page:

External Links & Reference

  1. Opticom article about measuring service Levels
  2. Wide Bay Burnett Service Level Measures List
  3. FNQROC Buildings Level of Service Minutes
  4. Examples of better practice in setting local authorities' performance measures in New Zealand.
  5. Google Search
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