The CPIA consists of 16 criteria grouped in four equally weighted clusters: Economic Management, Structural Policies, Policies for Social Inclusion and Equity, and Public Sector Management and Institutions. For each of the 16 criteria, countries are rated on a scale of 1 (low) to 6 (high). The scores depend on the level of performance in a given year assessed against the criteria, rather than on changes in performance compared to the previous year. The ratings depend on actual policies and performance, rather than on promises or intentions.
Each of the four clusters has a 25% weight in the overall rating. Within each cluster, all criteria receive equal weight, although components within a criterion may be weighted differently.