EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Excellence Model.

The EFQM Excellence Model is a management framework for helping organizations in their drive towards excellence and increased competitiveness. The EFQM organization does not issue certificates of compliance but runs comprehensive awards and recognition programs for organizations of all sizes and sectors.




The EFQM excellence model is owned by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). EFQM is a global non-for-profit membership foundation with more than 500 members covering more than 55 countries and 50 industries, and is based in Brussels.

Brief history and description

The EFQM Excellence Model was introduced in 1992 as the framework for assessing organizations for the EFQM Excellence Award and is now the most widely used organizational framework in Europe. It is reviewed every three years; the current version was released in 2010.

The Model is a non-prescriptive framework based on nine key criteria (see Figure). Five criteria are ‘Enablers’ (Leadership, Policy and Strategy, People, Partnership and Resources and Processes) and four criteria are ‘Results’ (Customer Results, People Results, Society Results and Key Performance Results). The ‘Enabler’ criteria cover what an organization does; the ‘Results’ criteria cover what an organization achieves.

The EFQM Excellence Model (source: EFQM.org)


The EFQM Model’s nine boxes represent the criteria against which to assess an organization’s progress towards excellence.

At the heart of the Model lies the logic known as RADAR, which consists of four elements:  Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment and Review. These elements emulate and complete the basic elements of Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle by adding specific details that are more comprehensive.

The Model is based on the premise that excellent results in Performance, Customers, People and Society are achieved through Leadership driving Policy and Strategy, which is delivered through People, Partnerships and Resources. It is used as a basis for self-assessment, an exercise in which an organization grades itself against the nine criteria. This exercise helps organizations to identify current strengths and areas for improvement against strategic goals. This gap analysis then facilitates definition and prioritization of improvement plans to achieve sustainable growth and enhanced performance.

In order to promote excellence, EFQM runs a yearly excellence award scheme. The EFQM Excellence Award is the most prestigious Business Excellence Award in Europe.

Target Audience

People who are coordinating or leading improvement or change programs; people who are providing training, coaching or consultancy in EFQM

User communities and groups

EFQM runs a partner program. EFQM works with more than 30 partners across Europe and beyond.

There are also a number of national quality management organizations and initiatives with their own quality management models based on or with similarities to the EFQM model, and/or their own excellence award scheme.

Some examples are:

  • Instituut Nederlandse Kwaliteit (INK) in the Netherlands. Maintains the INK-model and runs a national yearly award scheme)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S.A. (runs the Malcolm Baldridge Performance Excellence Program and award scheme)
  • Excellence Canada presents the ‘Canada Awards for Excellence’ on an annual basis
  • The Australian Organisation for Quality Inc (AOQ). They have different quality award schemes.
  • The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC). Runs the Malaysian national Quality Management Excellence Award (QMEA).

Official publisher

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

The following categories of publications can be obtained from the EFQM “Webshop”.

  • Model related
  • Assessment
  • Frameworks
  • Benchmark Reports

Accreditations and qualifications

The following types of Training and workshops are on offer from EFQM (through “Webshop”):

  1. EFQM Assessor Training
  2. Journey to Excellence Training
  3. EFQM Leaders for Excellence
  4. EFQM Trainer Accreditation Workshop
  5. EFQM Validator Training
  6. EFQM Excellence Model Upgrade Training
  7. Basic Assessor Training




Official Sites EFQM home page
User groups and communities & related organizations INK home page (Dutch national quality manement institute)
Excellence Canada
Baldridge Performance Excellence Program (U.S.A.)
Publications EFQM web shop
Accreditations and Qualifications EFQM web shop
Tooling n/a
Other useful links n/a
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