European Foundation for Quality Management’ Excellence Model


EFQM stands for European Foundation for Quality Management, a non-profit organization whose main aim is supporting organizations in the implementation of strategies. It has a corporate membership with over 600 firms in Europe listed as members. EFQM model refers to a performance quality tool that organizations use to assess and reflect on their strategies (EFQM, 2012). More than 30,000 organizations in Europe use the EFQM Excellence Model.

The model came into being in 1991 and has undergone various reviews since then to make it relevant in a dynamic business environment. EFQM Excellence Model exhorts organizations to avoid rigidity in their operations by embracing agile organizational structures that are appropriate to the current international economic environment (EFQM, 2012). The latest model, EFQM Excellence Model 2013 comes with enhanced features for better management.

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Key Changes in EFQM Excellence Model 2013

Several changes mark the EFQM Excellence Model 2013. Such changes include the removal of ambiguous titles like ‘achieving balanced results’ (EFQM, 2012). The changes have led summarizing the concept of sustainable development in one tab: ‘creating a sustainable future’. This aimed at attracting users and potential users like managers to use the model. In addition, various concepts in the framework currently cover wider aspects (EFQM, 2012).

In previous models, concepts such as ‘building partnerships’ and ‘managing by processes’ appeared a duplication of concepts. In the EFQM Excellence Model 2013, the terms expanded to ‘developing organizational capabilities’ and ‘managing with agility’ respectively (EFQM, 2012). EFQM Excellence Model 2013 consists of simplified and adapted bullet points. Previous models had the term ‘key’ used in various sections to the extent of causing confusion. Such sections included use of the term ‘key’ in various areas like customer growth and partnerships leading to ambiguity and confusion. These have changed to ‘business results’ coupled with definitions of ‘business stakeholders’ (EFQM, 2012).

Relationship between ISO 9000 and Business Excellence Models

Business excellence models refer to frameworks that various organizations utilize to focus on activities in an increasingly systematic and procedural manner to improve performance (Business Performance Improvement Resource, 2013). Constant use of business excellence models leads to excellent activity levels in fields related to a particular model. Business excellence, therefore, refers to outstanding principles in managing a corporation and realizing results. European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) recognizes eight basic ideas that a corporation should utilize to realize success. These include a focus on results, customer focus, leadership and consistency of objective, management procedures, staff development, ongoing learning, creativeness, proper partnerships and corporate social responsibility (Business Performance Improvement Resource, 2013).

ISO 9000 is a group of ratings, designed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that describe, create, and maintain adequate quality assurance mechanisms for manufacturing and service industries. It is the most popular and has had the greatest impact of all standards designed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (Search Data Center, 2013).

The relationship between ISO 9000 and business excellence models is that business excellence models lead to excellent services or products as well as excellence in other key areas like customer relations, employee training and development, relationship with external stakeholders and so on (EFQM, 2012). On the other hand, ISO 9000 seeks to certify such organizations that achieve excellent results in key areas of operation. In other words, business excellence models lead to quality certification by the International Organisation for Standardization. Organizations achieve desired quality through the utilization of various concepts contained in business excellence models. ISO 9000 is one among many standards designed by ISO.


Business Performance Improvement Resource. (2013). What is Business Excellence. Web.

EFQM. (2012). Excellence in Action. Web.

Search Data Center. (2013). ISO 9000. Web.

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