D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

D&D News July 2013: R4Es, an ambition achieved and a new arrival!

Phew, we’ve had a really busy first half of 2013 but have now managed to find some time to put together a short newsletter. There have been some notable and interesting achievements and news for us this year, so let's outline a few.

Before we do, as new arrivals are in the news, let us tell you about our own impending new arrival. Well, in truth it's less of a new arrival, more of an update. We've decided to update and relaunch our Guide to an Effective R4E Site Visit, in response to customer demand. We will continue to give this to those Recognised for Excellence applicants who choose D&D as their assessor team. It'll be coming very soon and will be less than eight pounds — cost and weight! — and it's already got a name!

Trooping the Colour 2013

Having assesed around the corridors of power a few times, Dave and Derek took the opportunity of watching the Trooping the Colour ceremony live at Horseguards Parade in June this year - a first for them.

An ambition achieved

We were also really pleased that finally — after knowing him for more than 15 years — we managed to carry out an R4E assessment with our friend Mike Curry as a team of three. We believe Mike is the only person to have been an award assessor every year since the launch of the UK Awards in 1994. Working with Mike was enjoyable and a good experience. While getting the right answer for the applicant, we were able to calibrate our own assessment views and scoring against his formal Award experience, and were pleased to see that, although we obviously had some good consensus discussions, we were all assessing issues at pretty similar levels.

R4Es: quantity ..

While on the subject of R4Es, when we reviewed our efforts this year, we realised that we had carried out eight assessments in the first six months, in addition to work for our own direct clients; no wonder we felt that we had worked hard: we had! And looking ahead we have our 50th R4E this year.

.. and quality complimented

But in proper excellence fashion, it's not just about quantity. We always try to make sure that our feedback reports are useful to the applicant, not just a list of standard ‘textbook’ comments. So we were really pleased to hear nice things from someone who had attended an industry sector networking meeting where R4E had been on the agenda. We were told that, completely unprompted, three people from different organisations that we had assessed stood up and spoke in glowing terms about the quality of our feedback. We wouldn't claim to get it 100% right 100% of the time, but we really appreciate their comments, which must go some way to explain why we get so many requests for us to go back for a 2nd or even 3rd time when ‘our’ applicants want reaccreditation.


With both our Levels of Excellence work and our direct clients, we have experienced a really enjoyable diversity of experiences and sectors this year. From assessments in the bases of political power in and around Whitehall, to site visits in prisons and approved premises; from train manufacture and maintenance to train operating; both internal and outsourced facilities management; further and higher education; a distribution warehouse for a major supermarket; and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity.

It's been a real privilege to see at first hand such different organisations working to improve their performance using the Excellence Model. We have had a variety of roles with them; as well as giving the external perspective of an R4E or Committed to Excellence review, we have helped facilitate internal self-assessment, delivered educational workshops from two to six hours on the Excellence Model, and helped with an organisation's tender for a contract using the framework of the Model.

More good news

Finally, we were thrilled to learn that our good friend Lway Nackasha in the UAE has been awarded a prestigious Kano Medal (Excellence Catalyst). This is fine recognition of his incessant work in encouraging organisations to improve their performance, especially — but not just — through the use of frameworks like the EFQM Excellence Model. We’ve known him for 10 years, and in all that time he has persistently tried to broaden the use of excellence techniques and make them relevant to all sorts and sizes of organisations, not just those already ‘in the know’. Many congratulations, Lway.