Foster attends the Centre for Competitiveness NI Quality Awards

Picture by Press Eye

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster pictured with Bob Barbour, Director and Chief Executive, Centre for Competitiveness, Alan Little, Plant manager, NACCO Materials Handling, and Stephen Kingon, Chairman of Centre for Competitiveness, at the Northern Ireland Quality Awards luncheon at Belfast's City Hall. The Minister was presenting the Awards, which recognise the achievements of Northern Ireland organisations in applying the EFQM Excellence Framework.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today attended the Northern Ireland Quality Awards at Belfast City Hall.

The awards, organised by the Centre for Competitiveness and supported by Invest NI, recognise the achievements of Northern Ireland organisations in applying the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Framework.

Arlene Foster said: “The Northern Ireland Quality Awards provide an excellent opportunity for businesses across the public, private and voluntary sector to reinforce good practice through new product development and innovation.

“Achieving this excellence quality requires determination in the first instance. Maintaining it requires constant vigilance and a commitment to continuous improvement.

“The combination of excellence and innovation will allow these businesses to broaden their customer base and to explore new markets. My department and Invest Northern Ireland are here to support these businesses in developing their capabilities, irrespective of the impact of global economic difficulties.”

The Awards process is based on the world class EFQM Excellence Model, incorporating different levels of recognition. The Quality Award and Mark of Excellence are both open to private, public and voluntary sector organizations whereas Steps to Excellence is open solely to public sector organizations. The Gold Star Service Excellence, introduced in 2011, is aimed at encouraging service based businesses to improve their overall.

The Invest NI Business Health Check (BHC) is based on the EFQM model. Completion of a BHC by client companies is the first rung on the Quality Award process, achieving ‘Committed to Excellence’ status.