There are several quality awards and standards that are available for organizations to access. The large majority of organizations that use these programs use them as tools to help improve their quality processes and move toward implementing and successfully practicing TQM. The Malcolm Baldrige Award is a United States quality award that covers an extensive list of criteria that are evaluated by independent judges if an organization chooses to compete for the award. In many cases, organizations use the Baldrige criteria as a guide for their internal quality efforts rather than compete directly for the award. The criteria can be accessed from the Internet at: http://www.baldrige.nist.gov/rnet.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sponsors a certification process for organizations that seek to learn and adopt superior methods for quality practice (ISO 9000) and environmentally responsible products and methods of production (ISO 14000). These certifications are increasingly used by organizations of all sizes to compete more effectively in a global marketplace due to the wide acceptance of ISO certification as a criterion for supplier selection. ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 are described on the ISO web page at: http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm.
The ISO 9000 family addresses "quality management". This means what the organization does to fulfill:
- the customer's quality requirements, and
- applicable regulatory requirements, while aiming to
- enhance customer satisfaction, and
- achieve continual improvement of its performance in pursuit of these objectives.
The ISO 14000 family addresses "environmental management". This means what the organization does to:
- minimize harmful effects on the environment caused by its activities, and to
- achieve continual improvement of its environmental performance.
Another popular quality award is the Deming Prize, which is a Japanese quality award for which organizations from any country can apply. The Deming Prize was named after W. Edwards Deming, an American statistician, author, and consultant who helped improve United States production capabilities during World War II, but is best known for his work in post-war Japan. He is widely credited with assisting the Japanese in rebuilding their nation’s production infrastructure in the areas of product design, product quality, and testing through the application of statistical methods. Florida Power and Electric was the first American company to win the Deming Prize, due to its meticulous use of formal approaches to quality improvement, data-based decision making, quality improvement teams, and the careful documentation of processes and procedures. More information on the Deming Prize can be found at: