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Quality Standards

Julie Allen Consulting is approved to help organisations achieve a variety of Quality Standards.

gold-star.jpg (1)EFQM Gold Star Customer Service Excellence Award

The Gold Star Customer Service Excellence Award is designed to bring professional and effective international customer service practices into common use by Northern Ireland businesses. The aim is to provide SME’s with an effective improvement tool to help them deliver services at home and abroad by putting customers and customer support systems at the core of what they do.

The Benefits

Participation in Gold Star will deliver real & tangible benefits: - You really have to focus on your customer, which adds to the bottom line, making your organisation more profitable by:

  • Promoting customer loyalty
  • Building your brand & reputation
  • Making your staff happier in their work
  • Separating you from your competition
  • Making suppliers want to work with you
  • Community respecting, supporting and valuing you
  • Simply put: it “Builds a Better Business”

How we do it?

1. Complete an assessment

  • You answer 42 questions about your customer service policy, processes and measurements
  • You reflect on your business, giving honest answers
  • Your Advisor brings insight and understanding

2. Identify the areas of strength & under performance.

3. Agree an action plan to move the underperforming areas to a minimum standard. You receive: -

  • Half day assessment support
  • Half day action planning support
  • 4 x 1 hour mentoring sessions

4. When you are ready to apply for the Gold Star accreditation, an evaluation of your progress is made by an appointed ‘Validator’.

5. If the required standard of performance is achieved then you are accredited as “Service Excellence Gold Star”.


EFQM.jpg (1)EFQM Committed to Excellence

The European-wide recognition scheme is ideal as a practical starting point for any organisation or business in Europe wishing to embark on an improvement programme.

Achieving EFQM (European Foundation Quality Management) Committed to Excellence (C2E Model) will demonstrate to your staff and customers that you are serious about continuous improvement and dedicated to the pursuit of business excellence.


The C2E Model provides a framework for organisations to discover their current “level of excellence” and identify where they need to focus improvement across the following 5 Criterion:

  1. Strategy & Key Results (Leadership, Strategy, Partnership & Resources)
  2. Customer Management & Results
  3. People Management & Results
  4. Process Management- Process, Products & Services
  5. Sustainability (including Society Results)

The Benefits of Committed to Excellence include

  • a cost effective approach to business improvement
  • a holistic view of your organisation, its strengths and areas for improvement
  • prioritised and planned improvement activity
  • a practical and user-friendly way to adopt the principles of the EFQM Excellence Model and self-assessment
  • a starting point to plan or the opportunity to embed your continuous improvement activities on your journey towards Excellence
  • independent assessment under license from EFQM
  • the opportunity to demonstrate to existing and potential customers that you have achieved European recognition for your commitment to continuous improvement
  • a common language for effective dialogue with other well-managed and successful organisations that use the EFQM Excellence Mode.

How does it work?

  1. The first step is to help you conduct a self-assessment against the EFQM Excellence Model, identify three improvement projects and an action plan for their implementation.
  2. The second stage, once implemented, EFQM Assessors (through Centre for Competitiveness) validate the improvement projects during a one day site visit. If your organisation can demonstrate it has managed the improvement projects in a structured fashion and you have made clear progress, the organisation will be awarded EFQM Committed to Excellence 1 Star recognition, valid for two years.


Investors in Innovation

Innovation is critical to the long term success of a business because research tells us that:

  • Half of the FTSE 100 have been replaced since the turn of the millennium.
  • 50% of revenue in 5 years’ time must come from sources that don’t exist today.
  • Companies who are innovative are more productive, growing sales and employment twice as fast as their non-innovating competitors.
  • Of the Fortune 500, 60 years ago, only 12% make the list today

The Investor in Innovation Programme aims to improve innovative performance within organisations, regardless of size, sector, or maturity.

Innovation is still regarded by many as leading edge technology, R&D or product development.

Increasingly organisations are recognising that innovation is more than the development of new products or services, however revolutionary. It’s also about creating a constant flow of new ideas, responding to new trends or changing market conditions, as well as improving existing products and services. Innovation is about engaging the whole organisation in the creative process.

Investor in Innovation challenges organisations to identify the actions they need to take to create an environment in which innovation can thrive and deliver tangible benefits. Through accreditation, the programme also recognises those organisations that have made significant progress in this area.

The Innovation Mix illustrates the activities, processes and culture that combine to stimulate innovation and encourage it to flourish. It represents a broad view of innovation and aims to measure tangible business impacts along three key strands namely Direction, Climate and Delivery.

Innovation Mix Diagram.png

The Benefits

  • Improve productivity and efficiency through development of new and innovative ways of working
  • Increase staff morale, engagement and participation.
  • The creation of competitive advantage and sets you apart over competitors.
  • Improved business performance.
  • Joining an innovation community with opportunities for collaborative working.
  • External accreditation allows you to publicly celebrate wins and build brand name and reputation.

How does it work?

The Investors in Innovation programme is facilitated at each step by an Innovation Advisor. The steps involved are summarised below and the order of the steps and duration can be tailored to suit the needs of the organisation.

  1. Assessment Questionnaire
  2. Workshop
  3. Innovation Action Plan
  4. Mentoring & Innovation Support


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