What does the tool measure?

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) is a framework, which can be used by organisations to assess the quality of their processes, in a number of areas.

The framework is a self-assessment tool which explores what an organisation can do to change service or adapt its products in order to improve for customers, based on ‘The Excellence Model Framework’.

Organisations can then pinpoint areas requiring improvement or adjustment, as part of a ‘Commitment to Excellence’.

Who can use the tool?

EFQM is used by at least 30,000 organisations. Originating in the private sector, it can also be used by the public and third sectors.

How does the tool/approach work?

EFQM can be utilised to assess an organisation’s ‘quality’ whilst putting processes in place in order to instil continuous improvement within the organisation. EFQM can be used for internal self-assessment purposes and can additionally be used to obtain external EFQM validation.

Other benefits of carrying out EFQM on an organisation include pinpointing areas for improvement which can result in increased customer satisfaction and increasing financial performance, minimising current and potential problems and issues and engaging employees in the processes of the changes being implemented.

Measuring nine aspects or ideas, EFQM uses 5 ‘enabler’ criteria in addition to four ‘results’ criteria. ‘Enabler’ criteria refer to the organisation’s staff management processes, strategy and monitoring and evaluation methods.

Enabler criteria: (management, strategy and monitoring)

-          Leadership

-          People

-          Policy and strategy

-          Partnerships and resources

-          Processes

‘Results’ criteria refer to an organisation’s achievements and the impacts of the achievements customers, employees, the community and how they measure key aspects of their performance (indicators).

Results criteria: (achievements)

-          People results

-          Customer results

-          Society results

-          Key performance results

A number of methods can be incorporated in order to examine and gather evidence of how the criteria are being met. These can include questionnaires, staff workshops and sessions examining the model, in order to produce a report consisting of information describing measures taken and future plans within the organisation.

EFQM uses the ‘RADAR’ methodology:

Results (Aimed/required result as part of strategy)

Approaches (Methods of how the results are achieved planned and developed)

Deploy (Carry out approaches systematically)

Assess & Refine (Monitor results achieve to adapt approaches if necessary)

Some of the content in terms of language may not translate to social enterprises/third sector organisations as it was developed with commercial sectors in mind, however there are training programmes and workshops available.

Further information and getting started:

Publications are available containing case studies using the Excellence model, on the British Quality Foundation (BQF) website http://www.bqf.org.uk/case-studies/Excellence-Model

BQF also run one-day workshops, costing around £175 + VAT for members and around £500 + VAT for non-members.

For further information on the EFQM award, please see the EFQM site:http://www.efqm.org/en/Default.aspx