Browse good practices Excellence approach in a non-profit organization

Excellence approach in a non-profit organization

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Profile of VET organisation

Name of organization: Latvijas Kvalitātes Biedrība (Latvian Society for Quality)

Country: Latvia

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Type of VET institute: Further education and training

Good practice title

Excellence approach in a non-profit organization

Baseline / problem

Our organization works mainly on voluntary basis and it is not easy to manage all our activities, to communicate properly and to develop the organization. To structure our system better, to improve organization and to focus on long term needs, we decided to use excellence approach and to build an excellence culture. As a base for excellence approach it is suggested to do a regular comprehensive self-assessment. We started with self-assessment of our organization and spotted needed improvements. For the self-assessment we used EFQM Excellence model and its 9 criterions. Whole process was led and monitored by devoted assessment leader. During the self-assessment process we acquired hundreds of improvement ideas, which were prioritized to develop improvement projects and deploy them, which helped us to solve some issues, important for our members. During next year we plan to organize our self-assessment again to see what our progress is and where we should move further.

Good practice: (Measures, instruments, criteria, indicators)

For the excellence approach implementation and deployment we use the EFQM Excellence model, which is widely used by many different organizations in Europe and in the world. To support the process of implementation we used on-line tool GOA-Workbench®, which led us threw the self-assessment and improvement planning process. The steps to achieve our aim were following:

  1. Decision to use the excellence approach for our organization
  2. Decision to use EFQM Excellence model
  3. Informing our members and all other stakeholders
  4. Self-assessment plan
  5. Informing all about the plan and the possibility to be involved in the process itself
  6. Decision for self-assessment internal assessors
  7. Training about excellence approach, EFQM Excellence model and self-assessment for internal assessors
  8. Self-assessment process, using 9 criterions of EFQM Excellence model
  9. Self-assessment report with assessment results and suggestions for improvements list
  10. Improvements prioritization
  11. Improvements projects preparation for prioritized suggestions
  12. Self-assessments results presentation to all stakeholders
  13. Improvement projects realization
  14. In 2017 repeated self-assessment

Before the self-assessment we divided into more assessor groups and each group was responsible for a certain EFQM Excellence model criterions (for example 1. and 2. criterion) from all 9 model criterions in order to save time for individual assessor during the process of the assessment. Every assessor group had a leader and consisted of 4-5 members. The impact of taken actions we can see already in better communication and more structured work, which brings us to organization improvements and development, keeping log-term in mind. To measure the impact of taken actions, we are organizing regular member questionnaire and analysing the data afterwards – the criterions are, for example, satisfaction with seminars offered, satisfaction with the quality of seminars or how many seminars were attended, cleanliness of the information, if respondents feel, that they are listened to, etc. As excellence approach needs time to show its full potential and we are still on our way in its implementation we believe that in the future it will bring even more benefits to our organization and its stakeholders.

Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:

During the implementation the biggest issue for us was to inform all stakeholders as we have a wide range of stakeholders and each of them needs different approach. Important obstacle was to do self-assessment in the planned time frame. The self-assessment process itself shouldn’t take longer than 2 months, to be sure, that it’s actual and is reflecting real problems and suggestions for improvements. For us it was very difficult to fulfil this precondition, because of our specification – we work on voluntary basis and it’s our free time we use for the organization. The same situation it was with the self-assessment, it was done in our free time and this caused problems in organizing assessors’ group meetings and prolonged the whole process. In order to avoid such obstacles in future we are planning to be stricter to ourselves with dates and we will organize our assessors meetings more often and strictly on regular base to get the process done faster.


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