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Embargoed until 9pm, Wednesday, 19 October 2011




Nine Organisations Win Business Excellence Awards 2011


Business Excellence Awards 2011 Winners

1.            Nine organisations have won top honours for their significant achievements in business excellence. Among the nine winners of this year’s Business Excellence Awards are three educational institutions and three public sector agencies and three private sector organisations. The latter include a bank, a local company and an electronics manufacturer.


2.            The Singapore Quality Award (SQA) with Special Commendation will be given out to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and Subordinate Courts of Singapore. Both organisations are previous SQA winners. ITE was awarded the SQA in 2005 and the Subordinate Courts in 2006.  The SQA with Special Commendation is presented to past SQA winners who have done even better since they won the award at least five years ago. Only three SQA winners have received the award since it was first given out in 2007. They are the Housing & Development Board, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd.


3.            This year sees the largest crop of SQA winners since the award was presented in 1995. In 2009, there were five winners. Of the six winners this year, three are second-time winners. They are the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (2003), National Library Board (2004) and Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd (2006), who is also the second local company to win the SQA twice, after Qian Hu Corporation Ltd (2004 and 2009). To date, six organisations have won the SQA twice. The other two-time winners are Baxter Healthcare (1997 and 2008) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (2005 and 2010).


4.            The two other educational institutions among the 2011 winners are Nanyang Polytechnic, the first Polytechnic to win the SQA, and Raffles Institution, the third school to win the award. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) was the first SQA winner, in 2009, followed by Hwa Chong Institution in 2010.


5.            The sixth SQA winner this year is Yokogawa Electric Asia Pte Ltd. It is the first electronics manufacturer to win the award since Systems on Silicon Manufacturing won in 2005. Large electronics firms -- 3M, Sony, Philips, ST Microelectronics and Motorola -- were among the winners since Texas Instruments bagged the first SQA in 1995.


6.            This year’s People Excellence Award winner is Maybank Singapore. It is the second bank to win the award since it was first given out in 2001.


7.            The following table lists the 2011 winners of the Business Excellence Awards.





Singapore Quality Award

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Singapore Quality Award (2003)


Nanyang Polytechnic

People Excellence Award (2005)


Innovation Excellence Award (2009)


National Library Board











Innovation Excellence Award (2001)


Singapore Quality Award (2004)


Service Excellence Award (2009)


People Excellence Award (2010)


Raffles Institution


Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd

Singapore Quality Award (2006)


Yokogawa Electric Asia Pte Ltd


Singapore Quality Award with Special Commendation

Institute of Technical Education

Singapore Quality Award (2005)


Subordinate Courts of Singapore

Singapore Quality Award (2006)


People Excellence Award

Maybank Singapore



8.            The winners will receive their trophies from the Guest-of-honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs, and Trade and Industry at the Business Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony to be held at Shangri-La Hotel on 19 October.


9.            They will join the exclusive ranks of 71 (not including this year’s winners) Business Excellence Awards winners that have distinguished themselves in the various aspects of business excellence. To date, there are five winners for the SQA with Special Commendation, 44 for the SQA, 16 for the People Excellence Award and 10 for the Innovation Excellence Award.


10.         “The internationally-benchmarked Business Excellence framework enables organisations to strengthen their management systems and processes for higher performance. Each year, we see more and more organisations coming onboard the Business Excellence journey. Also, those who have achieved success continue to improve in various aspects and to strive for even higher standards. This shows that organisations see the benefits of the pursuit of business excellence in enhancing their competitiveness,” said Professor Cham Tao Soon, Chairman of the SQA Governing Council.


11.         Some 850 organisations employing about 550,000 employees, or about 20% of Singapore’s workforce, have been certified to various standards based on the Business Excellence framework. These certifications are for the Singapore Quality Class, People Developer, Singapore Innovation Class and Singapore Service Class. About 60% of these organisations are from the private sector and the rest are from the public sector.



Tertiary institutions to offer business excellence courses


12.         From next year, three institutions of higher learning will introduce business excellence courses in their curricula on a pilot basis. The aim is to prepare graduates to work in organisations that are on the business excellence journey. Those who choose to start their own business will also be able to apply the fundamentals of business excellence in their companies. This initiative will be extended to other tertiary institutions after the pilot phase.


Guides for Productivity Measurement and Gainsharing

13.         Organisations that have adopted the Business Excellence framework are found to be more productive than their industry counterparts. A National University of Singapore study found that on average, the productivity of Singapore Quality Class organisations, as measured by value-added per employee, was about 21% higher than their industry counterparts. For Singapore Quality Award winners the result was even higher, at about 35%.

To help companies implement the framework, SPRING Singapore has also introduced a suite of tools, publications and programmes that companies can use.  They include two new guides to help organisations implement productivity measurement and gainsharing – two key components of the Integrated Management of Productivity Activities (IMPACT) framework.


14.         The Guide to Productivity Measurement introduces productivity measurement concepts, provides steps on how to set up a measurement system, and the practical applications of productivity measurement. The Guide to Productivity Gainsharing, jointly published by National Trades Union Congress, Singapore National Employers Federation and SPRING, introduces the basics of productivity gainsharing and presents a step-by-step approach to designing a productivity gainsharing scheme in an organisation. The guides complement other broad-based productivity initiatives like the Productivity Management Programme and the Productivity@Work portal that have been rolled out to help SMEs raise their productivity.  The guides are now available online at Productivity@Work.

Fact Sheet on Business Excellence Courses in Tertiary Educational Institutions


1.            Three institutions of higher learning will incorporate concepts and key elements of the Business Excellence framework into their business curricula. The National University of Singapore, SIM University and Nanyang Polytechnic will introduce the courses on a pilot basis in 2012. 

2.            The courses will give graduates a good grounding in business excellence and better prepare them for their career in organisations that are on the business excellence journey, or if they start their own business. 

Course Details

3.            National University of Singapore Business School

  1. From January 2012, NUS Business School will incorporate the business excellence model and concepts, among other tools and concepts, in its Service Operations Management elective course for senior students reading a Bachelor/Honours Degree in Business Administration.
  2. This course is essential for students wishing to work in service or service-related environments. It will provide a comprehensive and systematic coverage of how operations are managed in these organisations.
  3. The module spans 14 weeks, with two classes being offered for about 35 students per class.
  4. Besides case studies and quizzes, students are evaluated on a group project where they analyse a real-life service organisation and make recommendations to improve its operations.

SIM University (UniSIM)

      i.        The School of Business at SIM University will introduce a ‘Business Excellence’ course in its Bachelor of Science in Business programme in 2012.

    ii.        The course will cover quality theories, business excellence models and criteria requirements. Students will also learn how to plan and target improvements in critical business activities that will help organisations drive higher levels of performance.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to plan, implement and manage business excellence in an organisation.  They will be able to facilitate self-assessments and implement improvement plans to sustain excellence.

   iii.        The five week course is compulsory for students in the programme.  The average intake per year for the BSc Business programme is estimated to be around 400 students.

   iv.        Students on this course will be assessed based on discussion forums, group-based assignments and a final individual project.

Nanyang Polytechnic

i.          Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) will introduce a new 15-hour General Studies Module entitled Business Excellence in April 2012. This is part of NYP’s objective to develop all-round graduates. The module will be conducted once a week.

ii.         The module will cover the principles and concepts of business excellence and address how organisations can embrace the business excellence framework to achieve higher levels of performance.

iii.        Students will get to visit business excellence certified organisations and award winners, and work through case studies to gain a deeper understanding of the implementation of the business excellence framework.

iv.        NYP will also incorporate the business excellence framework into two modules for third year students in the schools of Business Management and Engineering. The objective is to prepare them for employment in organisations that are certified or are working towards business excellence certification. Those who choose to start their own companies will also gain from a deeper understanding and application of business excellence concepts to achieve success and sustainability of their business.

v.         The newly introduced Business Excellence curriculum will benefit about 400 students per year.


4.            This initiative will nurture more business leaders who are conversant in business excellence and are able to implement robust management systems and practices.  These leaders will be able to drive business excellence in their organisations to achieve higher levels of performance.

5.          Organisations that employ graduates who have taken the business excellence courses will benefit as these employees will help them to :

(a) Acquire the ‘know-how’ to implement quality systems and processes

(b) Integrate the various activities and functions of the organisation to address business challenges

(c) Establish a culture of quality and excellence  

(c) Sustain the journey by driving continuous improvements

Plans Ahead

6.            After the pilot phase, these institutions will include the course as compulsory modules and/or extend the course to other schools within the institution.

7.            SPRING will also work with other tertiary institutions to incorporate business excellence in their curricula.  




Fact Sheet on Guide to Productivity Measurement and

Guide to Productivity Gainsharing


Guide to Productivity Measurement


What is the Guide about?


The Guide to Productivity Measurement introduces productivity measurement concepts, provides steps on how to set up a measurement system, and the practical applications of productivity measurement.



Why is there a need for the Guide?


SPRING Singapore developed an Integrated Management of Productivity Activities (IMPACT) framework to guide organisations to manage productivity in a holistic and systematic manner.  Details of the framework are found in A Guide to Integrated Management of Productivity Activities (IMPACT) at the Productivity@Work website. 


Productivity measurement is an integral part of the IMPACT framework and a prerequisite for improving productivity.  It helps an organisation track and monitor its performance, and provides information on how effectively and efficiently it manages its resources.


SMEs may not be familiar with how to assess their productivity performance and how to apply productivity measurement to support their improvement efforts.  The Guide shows organisations how they can implement and use productivity measurement.



Who is the Guide for?


The Guide is for everyone involved in the productivity management process – senior management, productivity managers and line managers in specific functions such as finance and quality control.



Where can I get a copy of the Guide?


Organisations may download a copy of the Guide at the Productivity@Work website ( or obtain a copy at the five Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs).  The EDCs are at: the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation and Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


For further assistance on productivity measurement, SMEs can approach the productivity advisors at the EDCs.




Guide to Productivity Gainsharing


What is the Guide about?


The Guide to Productivity Gainsharing introduces the basics of productivity gainsharing.  It presents a step-by-step approach to designing a productivity gainsharing scheme in an organisation.



Why is there a need for the Guide?


Employees play a critical role in productivity improvement.  Establishing a structure to reward and motivate them is part of a good productivity management system.  Productivity gainsharing is one of the productivity incentive schemes that organisations can apply to reinforce teamwork and to incentivise sustained and continuous improvements. It is a core programme of the IMPACT framework.  The Guide provides steps on how organisations can implement a productivity gainsharing scheme.



Who is the Guide for?


The Guide is for senior management, productivity managers and human resource personnel involved in the productivity management process.



Where can I get a copy of the Guide?


Organisations may download a copy of the Guide at the Productivity@Work website ( or obtain a copy as part of the related training programmes conducted by the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).


For further assistance and training programmes on productivity gainsharing and productivity management, SMEs can contact SNEF at 6827 6927 or email to





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