The BQF recognises organisations that excel

About the UK Excellence Award

The UK Excellence Award is one of the highest accolades any organisation in the UK can achieve. Launched in 1994, it recognises organisations which have demonstrated excellence in all areas of operation.

Finalists for the 2015 UK Excellence Award 


Organisations are assessed against the EFQM Excellence Model, Europe's leading management framework, which enables them to assess their degree of excellence, and helps them to understand their key strengths and areas for improvement.

The main aims of the Award are to help organisations improve their performance and to recognise those which have shown exceptional ability and performance in the management of their organisation.

Benefits of applying

  • A comprehensive feedback report which will inform strategic planning and future direction
  • 2 days free facilitation from an experienced Award practitioner to help produce an award submission
  • A dedicated team of committed and focused assessors who will work from registration to site visit
  • A benchmarking visit to a recent UK Excellence Award winner and the chance to learn from their best practice
  • The opportunity to be named as a finalist or winner at the our annual UK Excellence Award Ceremony in London
  • A unique way to motivate employees at all levels in a positive and constructive atmosphere

“Before we began using the EFQM Excellence Model, we were primarily a ‘Tea and Tissues (and a lot of data)’ outfit. Today, thanks to the embedding of the Model and the consistent, perceptive and thorough assessment and support work of the BQF, we are a sophisticated, robust and professional department; agile in response but always compassionate to our core customersUK Excellence Award Assessment? A step well worth taking” Reverend Dr Lesley Cooke, Dean of Students, Student Support & Guidance, University of Chester - UK Excellence Award winner: 2014   


Our awards are announced and presented at our annual UK Excellence Award Ceremony, usually in the presence of our Patron, HRH the Princess Royal. Finalists and Winners are widely featured on our website and in our member magazine, UK Excellence. UK Excellence Award applicants may be recognised during the Ceremony at the following levels:

Winners and finalists
The Jury may identify any number of equal status award winners from amongst the chosen finalists. These organisations will have demonstrated that they are role models of excellence across all nine criteria of the Model.

Excellence 600
In recognition of the excellent achievement of scoring in excess of 600 points in a rigorous award assessment, all applicants scoring at this level will receive Excellence600 certification, indicating that they are performing to an exceptionally high standard.

Jury Commendation
The Jury may commend any organisation not selected as a finalist that has made significant progress on its excellence journey. 

The Assessment Process

To ensure all applicants have the opportunity to present themselves to the best advantage, an experienced award facilitator will be appointed, free of charge, to help plan the submission.

Each new applicant is initially required to complete a qualification file for assessment by the Eligibility Committee. This document should contain key information about the applicant organisation including its history, products and markets. It should also include key data for the four Results criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model. (Organisations achieving R4E 5* and regional Award Winners do not have to fulfil this qualification stage)

In the event that the eligibility committee decides that an organisation is not eligible to enter, there are two options available to enable it to understand the reasons:

  1. Request a brief written summary of feedback based on the material submitted
  2. Submit additional material to be reviewed by a small assessor team, including a short site visit if appropriate

Once eligibility is confirmed, the applicant is required to prepare and submit an enabler map describing how the organisation approaches each of the five Enabler criteria of the Model. This enabler map and the qualification (results) file together form the award submission which is sent to the allocated assessor team.

After reviewing the submission, the assessor team meets to reach consensus and plan the site visit, in collaboration with the applicant. Further material can be produced during the visit, including latest results. At the end of the visit, the team reach a final consensus on their findings, and score. This information is presented to the UK Excellence Award Jury

Once all the assessments are complete, the assessors produce a comprehensive feedback report detailing the organisation’s strengths and any identified opportunities for improvement.

Entry Fees
The fees for entering the UK Excellence Award are:

No of Employees  BQF Member        Non-member      
50 and under £4,137 + VAT £4,964 + VAT
51 - 250 £4,958 + VAT £5,950 + VAT
250 plus £6,732 + VAT £8,078 + VAT

(Deposit payable at registration: £2,000 + VAT, BQF members: £2,400 + VAT non members - balance due with submission)

Please note that where a site visit is carried out, the applicant is responsible for the expenses incurred by the assessor team (accommodation and travel).

2015 Timetable

The key dates/deadlines for the 2015 UK Excellence Award are:

Workshop for applying organisations    27 January  
Register intent to apply 27 February
Submit qualification file (new applicants)  27 February
Complete submission 24 April
Assessor team consensus and site visit planning   June
Site visit week 6–10 July
Jury meeting 23 July
Feedback reports sent August
2015 UK Excellence Award Ceremony 15 October

More information

For more information about applying for the award please see the Award information leaflet or contact the Awards office on 020 7654 5010 or email