First EFQM audit of an Award operator takes place in Germany

Published: 3 Apr 2014

Team Interview at first EFQM audit of an Award operator

The weekend of 21 & 22 March 2014 marked another milestone in the use of the EFQM quality model for Award development in Germany. The first audit, following the new concept of on-site visits which has been in place since January, took place at the Strothoff International School in Dreieich (Hesse). The auditor tandem consisted of Marco Salm (Heidelberg) and Eva Wilke (head auditor, Stuttgart), supported by Klaus Vogel (Osterburken). At the same time, Barbara E. Oehl and David Harrison delivered Germany’s 103rd Programme course. During the weekend the role of Award Coordinator at the school was handed over from David Harrison to Denise Tanner.  

The audit was agreed at the 3rd Auditor Course held in January 2014 and from then was intensively prepared for by both sides, with the portfolio, self-evaluation and entire local Award work documentation available online. The on-site visit lasted from late Friday afternoon until Saturday afternoon and included a presentation of the results and prospects of the school’s Award work given by the new Award Coordinator, interviews with school management, the Award team and participants, as well as a working session on their development plan.

For the highly anticipated oral presentation of the main results of the on-site visit, all audit and course participants gathered at lunchtime on the Saturday. On behalf of the auditors, Eva thanked the school and Award management, especially Andreas Koini and David Harrison, for excellent cooperation and an open and constructive atmosphere during the “Expedition visit” to Osterburken and the entire audit process. “I am very glad to congratulate the school on behalf of the team and the entire Association: you reached the lighthouse standard much earlier than planned and set the bar for all other Award operators very high,” she said. She also wished Denise Tanner, the new Award Coordinator good luck and success.

Klaus Vogel gave David Harrison a certificate in recognition for his pioneering work in the preparation of the audit and praised David’s dedicated service to the Association, as national trainer and auditor. To headmaster Andreas Koini he presented the new licence certificate. Finally he thanked the school for the “learning field for quality development” which they had offered to the Association in recent weeks and months. “The premiere in Dreieich has confirmed the benefits of the new system of on-site visits and the underlying EFQM quality model even better than expected – especially the now internationally respected concept of the portfolio” he explained.

Since 2010 the on-site visit has been a main pillar of the German Award system and is explained in detail in Chapter 6 of the Management Handbook (Volume 3 of the German Handbook) and in the Leaders Manual; its foundation is laid at the Management Course. Concerning the contents, it is based on the EFQM quality model and its adaptation as an ‘Award Development Model’ and is closely linked to the online management system and the portfolio and self-evaluation development tools. In respect to personnel it is linked to the network of auditors, which has also been built up gradually since 2010 as a third group of regional representatives after Wild Country Assessors and Trainers.