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County Council Department Wins Top Award

A Warwickshire County Council department has won a prestigious regional quality award.

The treasurer's department was highly commanded and named as a prize winner in the public sector category of the annual Midlands Quality Awards organised by Midlands Excellence at a ceremony attended by 1,600 guests at Birmingham's ICC on November 30.

The award was presented by Richard Noble who spearheaded the drive to create the fastest car in the world, ThrustSSC.

The county treasurer's department, which handles the council's annual turnover of 400m and employs 85 of the organisation's 18,000 staff, walked off with a finalists' award at the 1997 ceremony and is delighted to have improved on its performance this year.

County treasurer Steve Freer explained:

"We have been working with the Business Excellence Model, the self assessment tool promoted by Midlands Excellence, for the past two years and have found it particularly helpful."

The department has put in place a number of innovative initiatives including a Quality Improvement Scheme which involves all staff finding ways to improve the quality of service, an Upward Appraisal Scheme which gives everyone a confidential chance to score the performance of managers every year, and a Business Planning Calendar which publishes all the organisation's targets in an eye catching way.

The department already has Investors in People, IS09001 and an array of local government and finance awards under its belt.

Its passion for excellence certainly pays off.

"The department regularly compares its performance in terms of interest rates payable with all the other county councils in England. Each year we make a saving compared to the average of around half a million pounds," said Steve Freer.

Fellow finalist, Coventry and Warwickshire's Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise was pipped to the post by the treasurer's department.

But winning is not the main aim of entering the Midlands Quality Awards.

Midlands Excellence chairman Alan Jones, managing director of founder sponsor TNT UK, which has just won the European Quality Award, said:

"Although receiving a trophy is a feather in an entrant's cap, the experience of using the Business Excellence Model and the detailed feedback report given by our experienced assessors to every entrant, are extremely valuable tools in planning future business activity."


  • Midlands Excellence was set up two years ago to encourage organisations to improve their all round performance and competitiveness through a process of self assessment known as the Business Excellence Model.
  • The model, devised by the European Foundation for Quality Management, consists of nine elements - leadership, people management, policy and strategy, resources and processes, customer satisfaction, people satisfaction, impact on society and business results.
  • A points system helps businesses assess their own performance and highlight and organisation's strength and where improvements need to be made.
  • By far the greatest benefits of using the model are the improvements gained from self-assessment. Every entry is rigorously assessed and each applicant receives an individual, detailed feedback report identifying strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Founder sponsors are The Boots Company, Severn Trent plc, TNT UK Ltd, CBI, Walsall TEC, Business Link, Pertemps, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Powercen, Lloyds TSB, Rover Group, Midland Bank, Shakespeares, CBI West Midlands and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber.

 MORE INFORMATION: Helen Salisbury  01926 859829

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CWN / Business / Newswire / Midlands Excellence / 01 Dec 98

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