EFQM | Primary Partner

UK Excellence Award


UK Excellence Award - white


The UK Excellence Award is one of the highest accolades any organisation in the UK can achieve. Launched in 1994, the award reaches a landmark in 2018, its 25th year and recognises organisations which have demonstrated excellence in all areas of operation.

There are two award categories:

  • One for large, private organisations.
  • One for public sector, small businesses and third sector organisations.

Each category has equal award status.
All applicants are assessed against the EFQM Excellence Model which provides a structured pathway for improving business performance – identifying key strengths and areas for improvement.

Why apply?

  • Demonstrate to all your stakeholders your commitment to business improvement throughout your organisation.
  • Be recognised for your business excellence, attracting new businesses and stakeholders.


How to apply?

There are two application routes:

  • Established Award route
  • Enhanced Recognised for Excellence (ER4E) route

Whichever route you decide to take, please email awards@bqf.org.uk to discuss in more detail.

Application Criteria

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a high level of performance against the excellence model criteria through e.g. previous external assessments, the submission document should comply with any restrictions defined for the document e.g. page count willingness to host an assessor team for the agreed duration of the visit.


WINNER 1: CrossCountry Trains

CrossCountry (XC) is the trading name for XC Trains Ltd, a franchised passenger Train Operating Company, which forms part of the Arriva Group, UK Trains Division (AUKT).

The XC franchise is the most extensive rail network in Great Britain, operating passenger train services to 121 stations in England, Scotland and Wales, and covering approximately 21 million miles per annum. This franchise began in November 2007. The 298 weekday services operate on radial routes from Birmingham New Street Station. The 08:20 Aberdeen to Penzance service is the longest journey covered by a single train anywhere in Great Britain, covering 773 miles taking 13 hours from start to finish. It is crewed by 20 staff from five locations.

XC Staff numbers comprise 570 Train Drivers, 444 Train Guards and 305 onboard catering staff, with a further 50 people employed in catering service centres. Additionally, CrossCountry employs 53 Cleaners, 20 Customer Service staff at key stations, 25 Revenue & Support Staff and 13 employees on a ‘casual’ contract. 309 people fulfil executive, managerial or clerical roles.

WINNER 2: The University of Winchester

University of Winchester (UoW) is a higher educational institution located in Winchester, Hampshire. Its Mission is: ‘To educate, to advance knowledge and to serve the common good’.  This is supported by the values statement: “We value freedom, justice, truth, human rights and collective effort for the common good.”

UoW was founded by the Church of England in 1840 as the Winchester Diocesan Training School to provide training for schoolmasters to teach the poor. In 1928 the Training School changed its name to King Alfred’s College. In 2004, King Alfred’s College was awarded its own Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council and became known as University College Winchester.

UoW has around 7500 registered full and part-time students and 1500 employees.
A year later it was awarded university status and the institution became the University of Winchester. UoW was granted Research Degree Awarding Powers in 2008. UoW has around 7500 registered full and part-time students and 1500 employees.

Awards FAQ's

Am I eligible to enter?

All organisations can enter our awards. Please email awards@bqf.org.uk for more information on who can apply for the UK Excellence Award and the criterias for applying.

How do I apply to this award?

Whichever route you decide to take for the UK Excellence Award, please email awards@bqf.org.uk to discuss your application in more detail.

When do I find out if I have won?

All award winners will be announced at our UK Excellence Awards Ceremony which will take place on the 15th of March, 2018 at the Guildhall. For more information on our Awards Ceremony please see our webpage.

Awards Ceremony

For our 25th Anniversary we’ve relocated our awards ceremony to Guildhall – London’s powerhouse since the twelfth century.

Awards Video

Find out more about the 2016 winners, sponsors and host, Karren Brady.