Purpose ' To develop a method for benchmarking teaching and learning in response to an institutional need to validate a new program in Dentistry at the University of Sydney, Australia. Design/methodology/approach ' After a collaborative partner, University of Adelaide, was identified, the areas of teaching and learning to be benchmarked, PBL approach and assessment, were established. A list of quality indicators for these aspects of teaching and learning were first developed conceptually and then validated by the literature. Then, using a quality enhancement framework, levels of achievement for each indicator were developed. Findings ' The findings are represented as a set of tables. These were mutually developed with the benchmarking partner and represent an agreed model for a benchmarking project to progress to the next stages of implementation and evaluation. Practical implications ' This model can be adapted for any benchmarking project in all levels of education; primary, secondary, tertiary and continuing. Originality/value ' The issue of benchmarking is high on the educational agenda, especially in higher education. The literature reports on a number of projects but with no clear explanation of a method for benchmarking. The fact that this model is evidence-based in its approach and that it focuses on learning and teaching, also marks it as original and a significant development in this area.