The emphasis on quality, efficiency and effectiveness in organisations as a way of increasing performance, effectiveness and outcomes has been a central theme in the contemporary management theory. It has also been a logical progression in the development of more accountable organisational systems in ensuing effective resource management, be they public, NGOs or private organisations. In the same way, Parliaments need to fulfil their functions efficiently and effectively in an increasingly complex and globalised world. This approach is increasingly being focused on the quality of the human resources within organisations. However, there has been little research on these issues from a parliamentary perspective. Considering the important role of Parliaments and parliamentarians, and the fact that there are no prerequisite qualifications to become a parliamentarian, the case for a more professional and managerial approach in these institutions is increasingly strong. This paper provides a theoretical overview with regard to parliamentary understanding and development of benchmarks as foundations for improvement in the performance of its functions. The paper also reports on the preliminary findings of a global study examining capacity building programmes for parliamentarians.