D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

Using the EFQM Excellence Model

Overall, using the EFQM Excellence Model is about thinking about - and improving - your organisation


One of the most common ways to use the Model is self-assessment - of a whole organisation or of a discrete part. This is usually an annual activity which is carried out in a systematic way and allows an organisation to compare itself honestly and realistically against a world class framework (the Model) - using the RADAR logic.

The Model is very adaptable and its comprehensiveness allows it to be used at different levels within organisations to different degrees of detail. But whatever approach is used, an assessment usually produces three main outputs:

List of Strengths Confirms areas of relative strength, which may be useful for focus and/or to help further improvements
List of Areas for Improvement Reveals/confirms where improvements are needed, sometimes on issues which are not always reviewed within the organisation
A score We believe this is the least useful output, but it can nevertheless be helpful to measure progress over a series of annual assessments, and to 'benchmark' against current world class performers (accepting that likely differences in assessment methods mean the comparison is only rough).

Knowing strengths and areas for improvement - and in the light of the organisation's strategy - you should be better placed to improve the important things ... rather than just decide to improve things in as ad hoc way.

A self-assessment does not improve the organisation by itself - subsequent improvement activity is needed to do that. So there must be a follow up to get benefit.


The RADAR® logic is both an integral part of the Model's use and a useful management approach in its own right. RADAR says that an organisation should:

This is, in effect, an adaptation of the Shewhart & Deming Plan - Do - Check (or Study) - Act cycle. Just embedding high-level RADAR thinking into your organisation's activities should give added discipline and benefits.

Related uses

However, 'pure' self-assessment is not the end of it by any means. Using the Model we have, amongst other things, helped different organisations to:

Some form of self-assessment is usually a component, but it is a really useful management tool and our advice is to 'take it, shape it, use it'.

And a reminder ...

The Excellence Model - along with RADAR - is about THINKING about your organisation. Don't see it or use it just as a nine box tick list, use it as a prompt to help you.