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The structure & language of the EFQM Model

In this article, Geoff Carter explains the overarching structure of the EFQM Model and its constituent parts.
A High Level Infographic of the EFQM Model

Every discipline has its own language and EFQM is no different. You are now going to start learning about some of the key terms that are used to describe the component parts of the EFQM Model.

Criteria of the EFQM Model

At the start of this week, we talked about Why (Direction), How (Execution) and What (Results). These are the three pillars of the EFQM Model. You will now look at the next level of detail.

If you look at the diagram of the EFQM Model, you will see that each of the pillars is broken down into a small number of parts known as criteria.

In the Direction pillar we have two criteria:

  • Criterion 1: Purpose, Vision & Strategy
  • Criterion 2: Organisational Culture & Leadership

In the Execution pillar we have three Criteria:

  • Criterion 3: Engaging Stakeholders
  • Criterion 4: Creating Sustainable Value
  • Criterion 5: Driving Performance & Transformation

And in the Results Pillar we have two Criteria.

  • Criterion 6: Stakeholder Perceptions.
  • Criterion 7: Strategic & Operational Performance.

Criterion parts of the EFQM Model

The criteria are also broken down into smaller sections. These sections are known as criterion parts. In the Downloads you will find a short version of the guide to the EFQM Model. Pages 10-25 of the guide cover the criteria and criterion parts. You will also find a short document that summarises all of them.

The number of parts in each criterion varies between 4 and 5. There are 28 criterion parts in total. Criterion 7 is the exception; it has no criterion parts. Instead, it lists suggested strategic & operational performance results that an organisation might want to use.

Guidance points

Each of the criterion parts (for criteria 1-6) is broken down into a number of guidance points. They are examples of the good practices that outstanding organisations have in place. These guidance points are intended to provide inspiration for organisations that use the EFQM Model. You should not use them as a checklist.

Please note that the short version of the guide to the EFQM Model that we have given you does not include the guidance points. We will show you an example later in the course though.

Finally, you may have noticed that, so far, we have not made any reference to any of the words in the outer ring of the diagram of the EFQM Model. These words are part of the assessment tool, RADAR. We will delve into RADAR in week 3.

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