The EQM award scheme is built on a framework with the following key components:
- Foundation principles
- Audits and ongoing improvement
- Structured questions
- Guidance for participants
- Guidance review informed by real organisations and practice
The foundation principles are a core set of statements, which are informed by the best and most up-to-date sustainable practice. This core set of principles is structured around five main areas.
1. Participating organisations
A participating organisation is likely to be a business, but it may also be a civic or not-for-profit organisation. Through EQM, a participating organisation aims to improve its quality and service, turnover, profitability and customer satisfaction. EQM encourages customers to feel, taste, touch, smell, see and say.
- Customer service is at the centre of the organisation and its services.
- EQM activities are based around the customer experience from start to finish.
- EQM activities mean the customer:
- has more fun
- wants to repeat the experience
- gets better value
- The organisation involves the customer so the customer becomes the best sales person:
- EQM supports an organisation to be more profitable, where applicable.
- EQM supports an organisation to be more efficient with its resources.
- EQM enables networking, learning, supporting and trading with each other.
2. Local environment
EQM supports an organisation to reduce its negative impact of its activities on the local environment, whilst working positively to enhance and protect it.
- The organisation invests in the local environment.
- The organisation protects and shares the valued characteristics of the area.
- The organisation manages its visual impact sensitively:
- in line with planning regulations
- with due regard to the valued characteristics of the area
3. Global environment
EQM aims to reduce the negative impact of an organisation on the global environment with a focus on the following areas:
- Legal compliance
- Carbon reduction
- Efficient energy management
- Efficient water management
- Efficient waste management
- Responsible transport choices
- Responsible buying: bulk, seasonal, local, recycled
- Supplier screening to assess compliance with standards:
- employment standards
- environmental standards
- animal welfare standards
- ethical standards
4. People and communities
EQM supports an organisation to improve people’s lives and the communities they live in, both locally and globally.
- The organisation supports its community.
- The organisation responsibly employs local people.
- The organisation uses ethical employment standards.
- The organisation supports local charities.
- The organisation supports global charities.
- The organisation networks with like-minded businesses, recognising their networks.
- The organisation buys locally and responsibly, with due care to global communities.
5. The EQM award scheme owner
The EQM award scheme owner commits and adheres to a set of principles in order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the award scheme.
- The scheme owner is authoritative and official.
- The scheme owner builds confidence in a long-term, consistent and respected scheme.
- The scheme owner is customer and service focused.
- The scheme owner is inclusive.
- The scheme owner empowers its officers and participants to act responsibly.
- The scheme owner celebrates the scheme and its participants.