APO COE on Business Excellence

In 2009, Enterprise Singapore (formerly SPRING Singapore) was designated by the APO as its center of excellence (COE) on business excellence (BE). This has enhanced synergy among APO member economies in their BE efforts.

Individual-Country Projects
Assist in developing and strengthening BE and quality award initiatives of APO members
Share expertise and international recognition to provide greater value to APO members
Multicountry Projects
Facilitate best practice sharing and publicize the profiles of leading organizations participating in national BE or quality award programs in the region internationally
Develop the competence of BE stakeholders (e.g., assessors, consultants) in APO member economies
Enhance the capabilities of APO member economies in managing their BE or quality award initiatives
Initiate research on BE to identify needs, develop appropriate approaches, and assess the impact of BE/quality award activities
Sustain the leadership of the COE by strengthening its capability in BE

COE Events and Activities

Best Practice Sharing

17–20 October 2011 Business Excellence Global Conference, Singapore
18 October 2011 BE CEO Roundtable, Singapore
9–10 November 2010 BE Global Conference
About 400 participants from 16 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. BE practitioners and experts from the USA, Europe, India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Singapore spoke at the conference.
8 November 2010 BE CEO Roundtable
Twenty business leaders from various countries attended the BE CEO Roundtable to share their experiences in steering their organizations through the global economic crisis. Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., chaired the discussion.
15–18 December 2009 Conference on Quality Award Winners and APO Regional Meeting on Quality Award Winners and BE Systems in Thailand
The COE facilitated the participation of Mr. C.V. Jagadish, CEO, Systems of Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte. Ltd., a Singapore Quality Award winner, as a speaker at the conference.
3–4 November 2009 BE Global Conference
About 500 participants from 22 countries, including APO member countries, attended the conference. Experts and BE program administrators from the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand, India, New Zealand, Mexico, and Singapore spoke at the conference. There were also presentations by BE/quality award winners from Japan, India, Thailand, Denmark, Australia, Mongolia, the USA, and Singapore.
24–28 August 2009 Multicountry Observational Study Mission on Quality Awards in APO Member Countries to Japan
This study mission focused on management excellence for SMEs, and the COE provided a speaker from a Singapore SME Business Excellence Award winner, Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd., to shared best practices with participants.

Competencies of BE Stakeholders

17–21 October 2011 APO Workshop for BE Consultants, Singapore
19–20 May 2011 Workshop to Develop a BE Consultants’ Manual, Singapore
24–25 March 2011 Workshop to Develop a Self-help Toolkit on BE for SMEs, Singapore
2010 Development of a BE Assessors’ Training Manual
This manual comprises a trainer’s guide and a participant’s workbook.
8–12 November 2010 Regional Training Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 11 APO member countries attended the workshop, which was aimed at enhancing their capabilities to train assessors in their own countries and at gathering their feedback on the Assessors’ Training Manual developed by the COE.
5–6 November 2009 Workshop for Senior BE Assessors
Eighteen participants from 10 APO member countries attended this workshop, where the core competencies of assessors were identified. The COE worked on the Assessors’ Training Manual as a follow-up to this workshop.

Capability Development of APO Members

11–16 July 2011 One Singaporean expert visited the NPO of Pakistan for Quality Award Assessor Development Training.
25–27 January 2011 Visit by a Study Team from the President’s Office, Mongolia, to Singapore, on BE.
2010 The COE sent experts to Thailand and Pakistan to advise on initiatives to develop or strengthen BE programs.
2010 Development of a database on BE experts was initiated. This database serves as a useful reference to help APO members identify suitable experts to assist them or organizations in their countries.
2009 The COE assigned an expert from 4–7 October to help the Development Academy of the Philippines develop an action plan to enhance the Philippine Quality Award program.
2009 The COE assigned an expert from 2–3 August to help the NPO of Bangladesh develop an action plan to introduce a quality award program.


2009 APO Research Survey on BE Impact on Adopting Organizations
The COE provided inputs on the research methodology, broad areas for investigation, and survey questionnaire for this APO research conducted by Dr. Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand. The key research findings were presented at the APO Regional Meeting on BE/Quality Award Systems in Thailand in December. The COE took into consideration the key BE priorities identified through this research in the development of its 2010 and 2011 work plans.

Knowledge Transfer to the COE

19–25 July 2011 One US expert visited Singapore for enhancing the institutional capability of the APO’s designated COE, SPRING Singapore, in administering the Singapore Quality Award.
2010 Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the COE’s Assessors’ Training Manual and to share best practices in BE.
2009 Two experts from the USA and Europe were assigned to the COE in July to provide advice on the BE Award assessment process in Singapore and to help ensure that the assessment process advocated by the COE continues to be internationally aligned.

BE Reference Materials

Toolkit for Trainers

Self-help Toolkit/Guidebook on BE

BE Models in APO Members

Republic of China

Republic of China
The National Quality Award is the highest national honor conferred for quality. Its purpose is to to encourage all domestic corporations and organizations to carry out quality control and engage in more in research, popularization, and practice of quality control.


The Fiji Business Excellence Awards (FBEAs) were launched in 1998, with the aim of encouraging organizations to implement quality and productivity measures in the workplace. The FBEA framework is based on the Australian Business Excellence framework and is comparable with other awards throughout the world.


The Japan Quality Award was established in 1995 by the Japan Productivity Center (formerly known as Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development). It was modeled after the concept of self-assessment of organizational work and is structured in such a way that any organization, regardless of its business or size, can use it to assess performance.


The Industry Excellence Awards in Malaysia are aimed at promoting quality awareness among various organizations, promoting the adoption of quality values in organizations, encouraging healthy competition among organizations for continuous improvement of quality, and encouraging information sharing on successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies.


The Prime Minister’s Quality Award was developed on the basis of globally recognized BE principles found in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards and other similar schemes. Its intent is to promote awareness of productivity and its impact on competitiveness, disseminate the requirements for excellence in quality, and share information on successful strategies and on benefits derived.


The Philippine Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition for exemplary organizational performance. It aims to stimulate local companies and organizations to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge and providing examples to others. It also promotes the sharing of information and benchmarking of best practices and results among organizations pursuing quality improvement.


The BE model adopted in Singapore is based on universally accepted standards of the US Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, EFQM Excellence Award, and Australian Business Excellence Award. It helps organizations to strengthen their management systems and capabilities to enhance their competitiveness.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
The Sri Lanka National Quality Award is conferred annually to recognize Sri Lankan organizations that excel in quality management and quality achievement. The criteria for this award are based on those used for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards.


The Thailand Quality Award (TQA) is widely recognized as the most prestigious quality award in Thailand and the symbol of world-class performance excellence. It aims to improve organizations’ competitiveness through implementation of TQA criteria, stimulate organizational learning and sharing of best practices, and demonstrate the country’s commitment to pursuing world-class management and performance excellence.


The Vietnam Quality Award was established in 1996 by Decree of the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) on 5 August 1995. The award criteria are modeled on the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards with modifications for the level of Vietnamese companies. The award offers applicants the opportunity to gain an understanding of quality management and quality assurance systems. Competing enterprises learn how to improve their applications of the principles of total quality management, best practices, and BE.

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