Excellence Ireland Quality Association

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Q Mark for Quality Management Systems

The Only 100% Continuous Improvement Programme!

The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems

The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems is the National Standard in Ireland for Quality and Excellence in business management practice. The Q Mark framework is based on the tried and tested business excellence framework which is used globally by more than 50,000 organisations. The Q Mark is Ireland’s most widely recognised and respected brand and has provided independent certification to companies for over 50 years. The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems is for all companies who want to examine and improve upon ALL aspects of their business, irrespective of whether they are involved in product or service delivery. It is suitable for all companies and sectors including private, public, voluntary and ‘not for profit’ companies.

The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems Explained:

The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems has 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:

1. Leadership and Commitment

How Leaders in the organisation are committed to creating a culture of quality and continuous improvement and how they plan and deliver on the strategy and goals of the business, to ensure sustainable performance is delivered across all areas.

2. Employee Engagement

How the employees are attracted and retained, how their skills are developed, how they are engaged and involved in continuous improvement activity. This section also evaluates how organisations support their employees, recognise them for their contributions, and how their feedback is utilised to improve the business and stakeholder satisfaction.

3. 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. It covers how all business activities are delivered and the systems and metrics that are used to manage service delivery, production, health and safety, the environment and carbon impact, IT and communications, finance, procurement and data management.

4. Customer Experience

How customers are listened to and how this feedback is acted upon. This section also covers the customer strategy and promise, and the quality of marketing activity used to promote the organisation through mainstream media and social channels.

5. Results

How the business collates, reports, reviews and improves its results annually.

Achieving the Q Mark for Quality Management Systems Certification

The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems is a continuous improvement programme. This means that 100% of a business’s processes, procedures and resources are assessed on an annual basis for compliance with the Q Mark for Quality Management Systems certification framework.

At the end of the audit, the organisation is given an extensive business report. This will identify current best practices observed as well as suggested areas for improvement and will also provide the organisation with the basis of a business plan for the year ahead.  The report will also identify ways for the business to operate to the highest standard of quality and excellence. During subsequent audits, all recommendations from previous reports will be assessed to ensure that every business continues to improve their standard of operation year on year.

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 Q Mark certification levels:

Level 1 55%
Level 2 70%
Level 3 85%

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