European Foundation for Quality Management – EFQM

The European Foundation for Quality Management is a non-profit-organization based in Brussels, Belgium. The organization was founded in 1989 by 14 European organizations, e.g. British Telecommunications plc, Bull C. Olivetti & C. SpA, Fiat Auto SpA, KLM, Nestle and Volkswagen. The founding members created with support of the European Commission the EFQM Excellence Model, a management framework. It was launched in 1991 and it is based on eight Fundamental Concepts of Excellence. Basically they describe the characteristic of an excellent organizational culture. These principles are (

·         Adding Value for Customers

·         Creating a Sustainable Future

·         Developing Organisational Capability

·         Harnessing Creativity & Innovation

·         Leading with Vision, Inspiration & Integrity

·         Managing with Agility

·         Succeeding through the Talent of People

·         Sustaining Outstanding Results

The aim of the organization itself is to support other organizations to implement the EFQM Excellence Model by providing training and assessment tools. They also organize a yearly EFQM Excellence Award to recognize organizations with an outstanding performance.

The EFQM Excellence Model is a framework based on the following nine criteria


1. Leadership

2. People

3. Policy and strategy

4. Partnerships and resources

5. Processes


6. People results

7. Customer results

8. Society results

9. Key performance results

The five “Enablers” criteria show what an organization does and how it does it, the four “Results” criteria show what an organization accomplishes. The model also shows how these nine criteria are connected with each other. The arrows in the graph demonstrate that the EFQM Excellence Model is a dynamic system. Learning, creativity and innovation support the constant improvement of the “Enablers” and therefore also lead to improve the “Results.

The EFQM awards and recognition programmes have been developed in order to recognize organizations on their way to business excellence

·         Committed to Excellence: it is based on a self-assessment to identify, prioritize and implement improvement projects, which are validated by an external assessor.

·         Recognized for Excellence: After a full assessment the organization receives a feedback, a plan for improvement, and acknowledgement for obtained results.

·         EFQM Excellence Award: Comparison of one organization against another based on extensive assessment by an assessor team.

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