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A path to sustainable growth

Enterprise Singapore's Business Excellence initiative helps organisations beef up their operations for better results.

THE Business Excellence (BE) initiative is designed to help Singapore-based organisations gauge their current level of performance and give them the tools to achieve superior growth over the long term.

Companies that adopt the BE framework first conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of their operations to identify their key strengths as well as areas for improvement. With the support of BE assessors, they then develop a strategic roadmap to enhance their management systems and processes as a means to achieving better performance.

The BE framework is a globally benchmarked developmental tool that is aligned to international frameworks adopted for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Award, Japan Quality Award and the Australian Business Excellence Award. As such, companies who are BE certified are able to leverage their certification as a mark of excellence to instill confidence in their stakeholders at home and abroad. Furthermore, certified organisations are able to access best practice resources and learning opportunities, through seminars, learning journeys and networking, to help further improve business performance.


The BE framework provides companies with a comprehensive set of management standards to enhance their systems and processes. The initiative is comprised of "Attributes of Excellence" that describe key characteristics of high-performing organisations, as well as an "Organisational Profile" that sets the context for the way an organisation operates and serves as a guide to applying the framework. BE organisations are assessed on seven categories: leadership, customers, strategy, people, processes, results and knowledge (see diagram).


Organisations on the BE journey are required to pursue the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) certification as a foundation before deepening their niche capabilities in Innovation, People and Service. SQC provides organisations with a holistic model for managing business excellence, while SQC Star recognises entities that have attained greater heights of excellence on their BE journey.

The assessment for certification is based on a 1,000 point-scale. Organisations seeking to be certified to the SQC must score at least 400 points, while those aiming to achieve SQC with one of the niche capabilities must fulfil both the minimum requirements of the SQC, and score at least 40 points on a 100 point-scale for each respective niche criteria. Finally, those looking to attain SQC STAR must score at least 550 points upon renewal of SQC.

The SQC has a validity of three years and organisations can pursue up to a maximum of two niches. The SQC STAR has a validity of four years.


Assessments for BE initiatives are conducted by volunteer assessors who are also industry practitioners. Through their work for BE, these assessors have the opportunity to learn about the best practices of other organisations and adopt them in their own.

"My biggest satisfaction comes from the many learnable moments that often arise during site assessments. The new knowledge and networking gained empower me to view old issues with new lenses so as to better champion organisational excellence practices within my own organisation," said Peter Siah, assistant director, finance, Singapore General Hospital, who has been a BE assessor for the past 12 years.

Loh Lee Kim, assistant commissioner - (revenue and corporate services division), Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, is another BE assessor who has found the experience to be extremely enriching. "I learn valuable tips from organisations that adopt the BE framework which I put to good use in my own organisation. The camaraderie among fellow assessors creates valuable networks, and engaging discussions further enhance my knowledge of the BE framework and keeps me up-to-date with relevant developments."

Companies keen to embark on their BE journey can receive assistance from Enterprise Singapore to defray the costs involved in conducting an organisational review and other BE activities. Enterprise Singapore also provides coaching sessions to help SMEs to gain a better understanding of the BE requirements and improve their internal processes.

Organisations can contact for more information and assistance.

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