The Q Mark for Credit Unions
The Q Mark for Credit Unions is a business excellence framework that reviews all aspects of a credit union on an annual basis.
The Q Mark for Credit Unions creates a best practice framework within which Credit Unions can clearly identify, monitor and measure what is and isn’t working for them.
It has been shown throughout history that by working together people can achieve far more through co-operation than by individual effort. The success of the credit union movements worldwide is a clear illustration of this. Credit unions have served their members well in Ireland since 1958, and as long as there are active members and a commitment to quality standards they will continue to do so.
Credit Unions that achieve The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems are clearly demonstrating to ALL stakeholders that they are operating to the highest standard.
Benefits of Holding The Q Mark for Credit Unions Certification
- The Q Mark for Credit Unions gives you third party certification from the National Quality Organisation (EIQA – The Guardians of The Q Mark) which enhances your customers confidence in all aspects of your credit union’s processes, procedures and quality service. (Current consumer recognition of The Q Mark stands at 87% – September 2012, Ireland)
- The Q Mark ensures that you are fully conversant and compliant with all relevant legislative and regulatory controls, and gives your team a framework which encourages them to operate to the highest operational standard.
- The Q Mark identifies what is working for you and what’s not working for you, at ALL levels within your credit union.
- The Q Mark gives you competitive advantage by demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to the highest standard of quality and excellence by using distinctive certification and marketing material based on the most widely used framework in Ireland.
What The Q Mark can do for Your Business
- Increase your revenue
- Increase your turnover
- Increase your customer base
- Increase your profit margins
- Increase staff output rates
- Decrease staff absenteeism
- Decrease staff turnover
- Improve your company’s processes and procedures
- Improve your business efficiency
The Q Mark for Credit Unions – The Only 100% Continuous Improvement Programme!
The Q Mark for Credit Unions is a continuous improvement programme. This means that 100% of a credit union’s processes, procedures and resources are assessed on an annual basis in compliance with the Q Mark for Credit Unions framework criteria.
At the end of each annual audit, each credit union is given an extensive business report. This will identify current best practices as well as suggested areas for improvement and will provide the credit union operator with the basis of a business plan for the year ahead. The report will also identify ways for the credit union to operate to the highest standard of transparency and provide an excellent quality service.
During subsequent audits, all recommendations from previous reports will be assessed to ensure that every Credit union continues to improve their standard of operation year on year.
Using The Q Mark framework ensures that a credit union has accountability in every part of their service, and whilst enhancing consumer and customer confidence, it allows for easy preparation for any regulatory authority audits.
Who Should Apply for The Q Mark for Credit Unions
The Q Mark for Credit Unions is for every Credit Union operating in Ireland. It is suitable for credit unions who are affiliated to The league of Credit Unions or The Credit Union Development Association (CUDA).
The Q Mark for Credit Unions Framework Explained:
The Q Mark framework for Quality Management Systems is based on five principal elements, all of which are underpinned by continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement simply means that there is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes.
The five principal elements are:
- Leadership and Commitment
Please note that the term ‘leadership’ is used to describe everyone involved in running the company. Organisations will have different ways of describing leaders as senior managers, management etc.How the management of the company is committed to their Quality Management System and the plans they have in place to learn from experience and improve upon it.
- Employee Engagement
How the employees and volunteers are involved in the Quality Management System and how their feedback is utilised.
- Excellent Business Systems and Processes
How the key processes of the business are devised, reviewed and improved upon. This area also examines the supporting processes and how they are improved upon.
- Customer Experience
How customers are listened to and how this feedback is acted upon.
How the credit union collates, reports, reviews and improves its results annually.
Achieving The Q Mark for Credit Unions Certification
On initial audit, the business needs to score at least 30% in each of the five
principal elements and an overall minimum score of 55% to achieve The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems Level 1.
There are three levels to the scoring outcome:
- 55% Level 1
- 70% Level 2
- 85% Level 3
How to Apply for The Q Mark for Credit Unions
- Complete the on-line registration form Here
- On receipt of your application and fee payment, you will receive your registration certificate from Excellence Ireland Quality Association (EIQA) along with your copy of The Q Mark for Credit Unions Quality Management Systems Framework.
- Using The Q Mark for Credit Unions Quality Management Systems Framework, create a checklist of areas in your business that do, and do not comply with the requirements.
- When you are ready for your audit contact us to confirm a date to complete your audit.
The Q Mark team will be happy to support your preparation for your audit and will answer any queries that you may have about the requirements of the framework.
If you would like to compare your current operating standards to The Q Mark for Credit Unions Certification framework, you can apply for a mock-audit. This is a full audit by an experienced auditor who will guide you through the process at a time and date that suits your schedule.