National Quality Award

In today’s world economic, social and in particular technological changes are incredibly rapid even in comparison with 20 years ago. In fact, during the past twenty years, these changes have affected all areas of human life and activity, revolutionizing all aspects of our lives; and management is no exception. Up to the early 80s, management remained static and what is today considered as classic management continued to
prevail. But gradually social, economic and technological conditions became so complex that classic management could no longer deal with the problems adequately. Then, quality management emerged and
replaced classic management as a type of management that enhanced organizations using new management systems, tools and techniques.

Then, during the 90s, it was realized that, in addition to the standards, new comprehensive tools were needed to assess management efficiency and to achieve effectiveness, flexibility, efficiency, innovation, creativity, ethics, social credibility …Furthermore, the hitherto existing standards such as ISO 9000 had the drawback that they could not encompass all the items given above nor did the existing standards include assessment tools. Thus the International Standardization Organization decided to compile the ISO 9004 alongside the
ISO 9001-2000 but even the ISO 9004 was not adequate for fully defining quality management. So, a working
group was formed within the ISO Technical Committee 176 (TC- 176) to review and update the standards.

Meanwhile, in many industrial countries award models were offered for comprehensive assessment of quality management, such as the Deming Model in Japan and the Malcolm Baldridge Award Model in the U.S. These are ‘yardsticks’ or ‘meters’ by which quality management in an organization is ‘measured’. The latter takes into consideration such factors as strategic management, human resources, etc. In Europe, the Malcolm Baldridge
Award Model was seriously and scientifically studied and it was concluded that this model was not adequate nor sufficiently clear to provide a satisfactory understanding of the efficiency and excellence of an organization. They improved the model and thus developed the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM)
Excellence Model, which is a measuring tape – figuratively speaking – with which we can assess the level of progress of a company in terms of its management performance.

This measure is used to evaluate organizations in order to find the most successful ones in the various areas of activity and to grant them quality awards. The identification of the best has always proved to be an excellent
incentive for all, as it evokes in everyone a feeling of competition and a desire to improve. The quality award process has been going on for many years in the advanced countries, in Europe since 1996.

National Quality Award in Iran On 5th June 2001, the High Council of the Iranian Institute of Standards and Industrial research finally decided, after some years of deliberation, to adopt the quality award. Soon after a team of experts carried out thorough studies of all the various existing models and ultimately came to the
conclusion that the EFQM Award Model was best suited to Iran. The National Quality Award is a way of expressing the nation’s appreciation and praise for an organization that has done the best towards attaining Total Quality Management, the best in comparison with all other similar organizations of the country.

At the moment, the process has begun in Iran and the largest organizations of the country engaged in various fields have been informed and have been invited to participate in what can be more or less called the first
“competition” among Iranian organizations.

In fact, recently a reception was held in one of Tehran’s hotels in which the top managers and directors of the potential applicant organizations gathered to hear a number of speakers advising them on how the process works and how they can participate. During the meeting, EVENTS interviewed two of the organizers of the event who are also the organizers of the National Quality Award program. Excerpts follow:
Dr Behrouz Riahi, General Director of Quality Systems at the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of
Iran, Executive Secretary of Iran Accreditation System, Secretary to National Quality Award

Events: What is the philosophy behind quality awards?

Behrouz Riahi: The process of identifying the most successful organizations with respect to their quality management and encouraging organizations to improve their quality management conditions, are what the awards seek to establish. It is a way of making people aware of the significance of Total Quality Management.

E: When did the idea first occur and where, that is in which country?

BR: The idea occurred over 50 years ago in Japan where, in 1950, the Deming Award was first granted to a Japanese company. Later, in 1987 in the US, the MBNQ award was first presented and in 1988 the EFQM award was given in Europe. The last eventually became the most current as more and more countries adopted it.

E: When did Iran first think of a quality award and the EFQM Excellence Model?

BR: Early in the summer of 2002 the High Council of Standards chose November 9th as the Quality Day when National Quality Awards would be granted to the best organizations in the various sectors, selected on the basis of the EFQM Excellence Model. The whole project is to be handled by the Institute of Standards and
Industrial Research (ISIRI) as the custodian. This year is the first year that the Quality Day will be held and some organizations will be identified as having gone some way towards TQM and Excellence. There won’t be an
actual award this year but it will be a first step in that direction, a sort of “rehearsal” to prepare us for next year.

E: What must the applicants do to participate in the assessment process?

BR: To begin with I should point out that there will be several fields in each of which the best organization shall be identified:
industry, production, services, health and medical treatment, agriculture…
The applicant organizations must assess their own organizations on the basis of the EFQM Excellence Model
and must score at least 500 out of 1,000.

E: What will be the benefits of the award to the receiving organization?

BR: Most important of all is the credit and respect that it will bring for the organization. But it will naturally make the organization known and reputable and shall lead to better sales of its products or services.

E: What will it bring to the society at large?

BR: The award will enhance public awareness about quality and management. It will encourage organizations
to self-assess their systems and to pay more attention to quality management and be more strongly present in world markets, ready to compete with the best. It should also lead the organization towards the implementation of Total Quality Management and to fiercer competition in the market, and should result in customer satisfaction and the contentment of the consumers. Last but not least, it should bring about higher efficiency in all organizations.

Seyed Abbas Hosseini Nejad, President of the Quality Management Society of Iran
Events: When did the idea of a National Quality Award first occur in our country and to whom did it occur?

Abbas Hosseini Nejad: It was in the summer of 2000, at a time when the Second Conference of Quality Managers was being held that the idea occurred to me that the ISO 9000 model was no longer adequate and
that some enhancement was needed. Soon after, a committee was formed comprising some of the members of our Society. The committee had a sound structure and its members were very active. A Quality Day was
chosen in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, a day that coincided with one of the days of the International Quality Week. Two years later, and with the approval of the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research, the 18th of Aban (9th November) was officially named the National Quality Day. But it was only in 2001 that the concept of the National Quality Award was finally approved and its execution was ssigned to ISIRI.

E: Why have you chosen the EFQM model?

AH: As you probably know quality awards are offered to organizations that prove to deserve them. At present this is going on in over 70 countries. Of these, four or five countries have their own models of assessment but the rest have adopted one of the three main models, namely the Deming, Malcolm Baldridge and European Foundation for Quality Management award models. Considering the large volume of trade between Iran and Europe and the political and social relations between the two sides we concluded that we should get closer to European countries and become more and more familiar with their ways of trading and doing business.

This was a decision that was strongly supported because we could also use the services of experienced European trainers/ assessors. This is the model chosen for Iran and we intend to adapt it to our own culture
in due course. Naturally, it will take some time but experience tells us that this is the most suitable model for our country and the easiest to adapt to our own culture. I should point out that originally we had designed a model that was based on our own needs and trends entirely, in the same way that Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Africa had done for their own people. But now that we have opted for the EFQM we might achieve an ideal model by combining the EFQM model and the model designed by ourselves.

E: What is the role of your Society in the award process?

AH: Our society is an NGO that has been recognized by all concerned in management affairs as a most successful body. So, ISIRI decided to hand over the organization of the award process and ceremony to the Society to ensure its being properly held. This is a difficult task but the members of the Society welcomed the idea and we are now very busy making the necessary preparations for the big day, the National Quality Day, to be held on 9th November 2003. I should point out that there will not actually be an award this year. Rather, this is a first step towards the award and we hope to gain sufficient experience from it for next year.

More about EFQM
Increasingly, organizations worldwide accept that Quality Management is a way of managing activities to gain efficiency, effectiveness and competitive advantage thereby ensuring longer term success - meeting the needs of their customers, employees, financial and other stakeholders and the community at large.
The implementation of Quality Management programs can achieve significant benefits such as increased efficiency; reduced costs and greater satisfaction, all leading to better performance of the organization. In recognition of the opportunity provided, in 1988 fourteen leading European companies took the initiative of forming the EFQM, European Foundation for Quality Management.

Quality Awards
In the modern age, when changes and advancements have gathered incredible speed in every sphere of human knowledge and activity, particularly in technology and management, new horizons
are opening up and new needs are emerging which have led to new concepts such as Business Excellence and Quality Awards. There are also tools and techniques on the basis of which organizations and agencies are assessed and compared thus creating an atmosphere of constant competition and therefore improvement.
Quality Awards, which are granted on the basis of the results of Excellence Models, can lead to organizational values, strategic programs, adoption of self-assessment techniques, continual
improvement, benchmarking…This is why more and more countries of the world are adopting the National Quality Award program, and Iran is no exception.

Towards a Quality Award:
the EFQM Excellence Model When looking to the future, developing strategies and aligning the organization to deliver those strategies, it is vital for the organization to understand its present strengths and its weaknesses, or areas for improvement. To have this picture produced by the organization itself, a process the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) calls Self-
Assessment, provides enormous insight.
Using the EFQM Excellence Model as the framework for providing this picture gives not just the large-scale view of the territory for a management team, it also gives a detailed map for the people in an organization to follow and helps them identify their contribution in progressing towards the destination.
Because the Model also includes the dynamic of benchmarking against world class organizational practice, the picture becomes all embracing and all-powerful.
Although each organization is unique, this Model provides a generic framework of criteria that can be applied widely to any organization or part of an organization, and consists of nine criteria. Five of these, the ‘Enablers’ criteria, cover the future direction of an organization, what it does and how it does it and four, the ‘Results’ criteria, cover what an organization achieves through the ‘Enablers’ criteria.

Quality Management Society
Iran Quality Management Society was founded in 1997 at the proposal of the late Mr Sadat, the then President of Iran Standards Institute and through the efforts of a number of managers of those organizations that held quality management system certificates. It was officially registered in 1998 under the license of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines.

The society is a scientific, cultural, non-profit making NGO that deals with quality issues and tries to correct shortcomings by finding solutions. Towards this end it participates in internal and
international gatherings that can help it expand its knowledge and expertise.

Society’s Objectives
Promoting knowledge in management towards developing and enhancing a quality culture and offering methods for its materialization in the country’s industrial and service sectors and institutionalizing it with the aim of helping the economic, scientific, technical and commercial development of the country.


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