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Quality Standards

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



Why an EFQM Innovation Lens?

Innovation has never been more important. Properly understood and applied it can help any organisation grow faster, be more agile and unlock new forms of value. However, creating a self-sustaining culture of innovation can be hugely challenging.

At EFQM, we aim to help organisations improve their performance and to meet this aim one of our services is to offer data-driven, analysis-based tools to give organisations meaningful insights, empowering them in their journey towards becoming outstanding.

One such analysis-based tool is this Innovation Lens. It is designed to help organisations understand what innovation means for them and challenges them to focus on developing new products, services, solutions and ways of working to add new value. It supports organisations in the development of processes that will enable sustainable innovation, provides a measure against which they can assess innovation performance and confirms evidence of innovative activity.

What are the benefits of using the EFQM Innovation Lens?

 The Innovation Lens allows an organisation to assess its level of innovation maturity against a comprehensive suite of indicators that are structured against the titles of:

  • Improved economic performance, (higher revenue growth) through new product, process, service or solution development and delivery
  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty is achievable as a direct result of a successful Innovation programme that helps to embed the thinking and the mindset
  • It offers the opportunity for deeper employee engagement and motivation
  • It helps an organisation understand what innovation means for it and challenges it to focus on developing new products, services, solutions and ways of working;
  • It supports an organisation in the development of processes that will enable sustainable innovation
  • It provides a measure against which an organisation can assess innovation performance and evidences innovative activity;
  • It offers the potential for an organisation to achieve competitive differentiation and market space
  • It offers the opportunity for external recognition that allows an organisation to publicly celebrate its success
  • It opens the door for an organisation to become part of a cross-sector EFQM Innovation Community that is focussed on wealth creation and improving standards.

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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 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.

EFQM Innovation Leader Certificate

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