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What are quality awards?

Quality awards are prizes awarded for some aspect of quality performance which has been demonstrated to an organisation which normally has no responsibility for the recipient's performance.

To whom are the awards presented?

Awards are offered to either individuals or organisations, depending on the type of award.

What do the awards measure?

All quality awards are made on the basis of an assessment of the applicant's performance against certain criteria. Some awards measure the result of quality activities (such as customer satisfaction), some assess the effort involved in ensuring consistency of output and others assess conformity of output to customer requirements. Most are awarded in some kind of competition among companies, but a few are not competitive - being assessments of an organisation's performance with no limit to the number of winners. As well as those describing themselves as quality awards, there are other similar awards for customer satisfaction and best practice.

Who gives such awards?

Awards are organised:

  • at international level
  • by national or local government
  • at regional level
  • by trade or professional bodies
  • by other companies - especially major manufacturers

Examples of international awards include:

  • The EFQM Excellence Award, established in 1992 and offered by the EFQM
  • Asia-Pacific Area Golden Quality Award
  • The Deming Prize, established 1951 (International from 1984) and offered by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers

Examples of national awards are:

  • The UK Excellence Award, established in 1994 and run by the British Quality Foundation
  • The Malcolm Baldrige Award, established in 1987 and offered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the USA
  • The Wales Quality Award, established in 1994 and offered by the Wales Quality Centre
  • The Irish Quality Award, offered by Excellence Ireland
  • Singapore's National Quality Award, established in 1994 and offered by the Singapore Productivity Board