The EFQM Model

In 1998 the CEOs and Presidents of 67 of the largest European companies got together to make a commitment to promote the best practice for future organisational performance. They decided that a team of experts would be selected and asked to come up with a model assess how ‘excellent’ a company truly is; the EFQM model was what they produced.

The model essentially represents an assessment tool that can be used to decipher what needs to change within the business to improve future performance. The key components of the model are 5 enablers (actions) and 4 results (impact), which describe what needs to be present in the business and what they can deliver. We have reproduced the model below.

The model has been split into three components, The Fundamental Concepts of Excellence, The Nine Criteria and The Radar Logic. When used together, these three components help to first identify areas for improvements, then set the goals that need to be achieved to make these improvements and then be able to measure their performance in the future.

The Fundamental Concepts of Excellence

Adding Value for Customer – Successful companies will always deliver the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.

Creating a Sustainable Future – Sustainability has never been a more popular topic and promoting these initiatives improves the company’s reputation.

Developing Organisational Capability – Going beyond the organisation’s boundaries can improve relationships, increase resources and open up new markets.

Harnessing Creativity and Innovation – Improvement through innovation is essential for being successful in saturated global markets.

Leading with Vision, Inspiration and Integrity – Strong leaders drive motivation, team work and performance.

Managing with Agility – Change is essential for any successful company and reacting to any internal or external opportunities or threats will ensure success.

Valuing Talent – Attracting and retaining the highest quality employees is a common characteristic of the most successful firms.

Sustaining Results – Showing long-term profits and growth is a major indicator of a successful company.

The Nine Criteria 

The diagram below shows the 5 key enablers and their 4 subsequent results outlined by the model. The arrows demonstrate that this process is continuous, as lessons are constantly learned from the results and recycled back into the enablers. Creativity and innovation can then also be used to enhance the enablers in ways that were not clear from the results.

EFQM Model


This assessment tool can be used by assessors, as they can analyse and score each criteria to give them an overall ‘excellence’ rating, or by organisations, to assess current performance levels and identify possible areas of improvement. The model suggest managers should first identify the results necessary for achieving excellence. The approaches necessary to reach these results should then be recognised and put into action. The results and feedback from these approaches are then used to assess and refine the process and it begins again. This process is also cyclical, each time learning from previous mistakes to make the process more efficient.

The EFQM model has been proven to be an effective tool for instigating organisational change. It encourages managers to address possible areas of improvement and the mechanisms that can help to achieve them. Its cyclical nature allows constant improvement and opportunities for creativity to be incorporated in each strategy.

EFQM. (2013). The EFQM Excellence Model. Available at: (28th January 2016). Web.