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The synergy between the EFQM Model and ISO 9001:2008
PostedNovember 06, 2013, in  Step 4: continuous improvement
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It has been asked often over the years: what is the difference between ISO 9001 and the EFQM Model? They are both management models to direct, evaluate and improve the organisation? There is some truth in this, but still there are some clear differences. Discover what those differences are and why the models connect so well.

Mapping of ISO 9001:2008 on EFQM Model 2013


The EFQM Excellence Model is a holistic framework where the vision and strategic goals are the key focus. During a self-assessment they are compared to the current activities and achievements and this leads to the identification of strengths and areas for improvement.

The international quality standard ISO 9001:2008 defines the requirements which a company must meet from a customer, legal and their own organisational point of view. Since 2008, it also is explicitly linked to the environmental management system.  

Processes versus results

ISO 9001 is a management system that secures the quality of the products and processes of the organisation. Emphasis is put on how you do it and if you do this right.

With help of the EFQM Model it becomes clear to what extent the management system supports the organisation to achieve its strategic goals. The focus is on all organisational activities, including the results achieved. The reflective ability of the organisation is emphasised: is the organisation evaluating whether it is doing the right things and making improvements where required.  


Precisely because of the differences between the two models, they complement each other perfectly. With ISO 9001 you can manage the quality of your products and processes, while the EFQM model helps to determine whether this will support the organisation to realise their strategic goals. When we map ISO 9001 on the EFQM Model it becomes clear that the models are complementary. The ISO 9001 standards mostly cover EFQM Model criterion 5: Processes, Products and Services. By joining forces, however, an effective self-learning and self-correcting organisation is created. This is not just a theory, but good practice: many winners of the EFQM Excellence Award programme have combined both systems in their daily operations.

Challenging combination

ISO 9000 is doing things right: EFQM is doing the right things’, said ISO Magazine at the launch of the latest EFQM Model in 1999. That argument still holds true. Anyone interested to learn how this challenging combination can help, for example when going for the EFQM Excellence Award, please contact us.

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PostedNovember 06, 2013, in Step 4: continuous improvement
TagsISO 9001
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