Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award announces new categories to improve its regional and international fame

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA)’s Programme announced increasing the number of categories to be subsumed under the Award at its 3rd (2012-2013) edition.

SKEA has also expanded the honoring categories to span new ones; namely, those of Excellence in Leadership which will be given for outstanding entities in regard to their higher management; Excellence in Customer Service which will be given for entities with outstanding customer satisfaction; Community Service; and Corporate Social Responsibility.

This is in addition to previous categories encompassed by the Award since its inception; that is to say, industry, services, construction, trade, tourism, professional and financial sectors, along with health and education ones introduced last year and the SKEA’s diamond, golden and silver categories.

Saeed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, Chairman of the Higher Committee of SKEA, said in a press conference held at the Chamber’s Tower in Abu Dhabi today that SKEA’s foregoing cycles had witnessed an increase in the number of participants in the Award’s programmes and activities.

The press conference was attended by Mohammed Obaid Salem Al Dhaheri, Member of Higher Committee of SKEA; Mohammed Helal Al Muhairi, Member of the Higher Committee of Award, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber; and Prof. Hadi Al Tijani, General Coordinator of SKEA.

Al Fahim praised the support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, for the award for more than 15 years, noting that the award is honored to bear His Highness’s name since its inauguration in 1999. He also praised the follow up and huge support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the main sponsor of the award and its different activities.

“SKEA occupies a fine place amongst the awards of the region and the world as a strategic partner and legitimate representative of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM),” he said. “SKEA won this partnership after a fierce competition with a number of regional and local awards and establishments.” He noted that SKEA has launched recently the first regional center for translation, printing and publication in collaboration and coordination with its strategic partner the EFQM, saying that this came from the award’s policy in spreading the culture of comprehensive quality and corporate excellence in Arabic and English. He praised the hard efforts of the work team which worked on translating the international model of corporate excellence into Arabic; this model which is used in all local and regional awards in the Middle East.

Al Fahim added: “Translation efforts did not stop at the international model only, but it also included all training and consultancy programs which was issued by the EFQM. And now they are being introduced by SKEA program in Arabic and English and with the same level of approvals which are given to the owning foundation of the excellence model which is the strategic partner of SKEA.” He remarked that the Abu Dhabi Chamber has signed recently a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EFQM to make SKEA its legitimate representative and strategic partner.

“The Award has turned out to play a more effective role at the level of the private sector in Abu Dhabi and enhanced its contribution to sustainable economic development through raising efficiency, developing corporate performance and deepening effectiveness in performing businesses of all operating installations, something which helped curtail cost and improve the quality of products and services produced by the Abu Dhabi-based private companies and businesses”.

The Chairman of the Higher Committee said that the Chamber also signed a mutual cooperation agreement with the EFQM to build a strategic partnership with the later and emphasized on the responsibility of SKEA in supervising all the training and consultancy activities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole and in ensuring the application of the highest quality and corporate excellence standards by the entirety of the other operating entities.

Regarding what is new in the 13th cycle of the award, Al Fahim explained that participation in the award by companies and establishments has become easier this year that a new approach known as the “modalities’ map” was founded and applied which is a document of small number of pages (around 30 pages) compared to the complete document of 75 pages. “Besides, subscribing electronically will make it even easier to participate, and this was also applied during the previous cycle of the award,” he said.

The Chairman of the committee had announced the launch of new categories in the different economic sectors for this year’s award which are Excellence in Leadership which will be given for outstanding entities in regard to their higher management; and Excellence in Customer Service (the sixth criteria of the award), in addition to the Sustainability and Social Responsibility category which is given to the best and most outstanding entity in serving the local community. These categories shall be added to the previous categories which are the diamond, golden and silver categories in all the nine sectors namely the Industrial sector, services, trade, banking, oil and gas, tourism, construction, health and education sectors.

For his part, Mohammed Helal Al Muhairi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber and member of the Higher Committee of SKEA, said that this year’s cycle of the award will witness more strategic programs which will support the policies of Emiratization, especially after witnessing the success of last year’s experiment in launching the Emiratization Award in the Health Sector in coordination with and collaboration of the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi (HAAD). He noted that currently SKEA is coordinating with a number of authorities to launch similar awards that encourage for Emiratization and place appropriate frameworks for sustaining this principle on the real ground.

Al Muhairi spoke about the main layouts of the program of the 13th cycle of SKEA pointing out that starting this week a series of seminars covering the main principles of the corporate excellence model which is adopted by SKEA. He said that such seminars will be given by a distinguished team of approved and licensed experts by the EFQM. “Specialized workshops will follow to show the means of holding self-assessment and preparing assessment documents in addition to habilitating and training assessors.

Regarding the assessment and evaluation procedures this year, Prof. Hadi Al Tijani, Member of the Higher Committee and General Coordinator of SKEA, said that the 13th cycle of the award will witness a huge participation by national assessors who took part and succeeded in corporate assessment courses organized by SKEA in order to Emiratize this process in the future.

Regarding the membership of the Higher Assessment Authority of SKEA, Prof. Al Tijani said that it will include a group of prominent international experts.

SKEA program has announced that the door for registering in the 13th cycle of the award starts as of today until the end of May and that seminars and workshops will start as of today until the middle of May 2014. The management of the award set 14 August 2014 as the deadline for submitting the participation documents and that the processes of assessments and evaluation are to commence as of the second half of September until the end of October 2014.