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Q2002 – The 46th European Organisation for Quality Congress


QualityZoneThe European Organisation for Quality (EOQ) is a federation of the quality management organisations or institutes in 34 member states. Focusing on the education, training qualification and continuous professional development of professionals in the techniques of enhancing the quality of management, it represents 140,000 individuals and some 23,000 businesses, mostly in the Small and Medium sector. Every year the EOQ holds a congress in a member state, and in 2002 it is the turn of the United Kingdom. It was last held in the UK in 1984 and is unlikely to return to these shores for another 25 years.


The Institute of Quality Assurance (IQA) is the professional institute for quality and quality management in the United Kingdom. It is a registered charity funded almost entirely by membership subscription with 13,000 individual member and 600 affiliated bodies or companies, many of the latter bring local or national government departments and small or medium size enterprises. Its members cover a wide range of disciplines, embracing quality management best practice in the manufacturing and service industries and in the public and private sector; and the right to be MIQA follows a testing, degree-based qualification process.

The IQA is the UK’s representative in the EOQ. Hence it falls to the IQA to organise the 2002 Congress; and the EOQ has asked the IQA to make it a congress for the world. It is planned to attract 1200 delegates.


The opening plenary will see presentations from senior figures in commerce on the subject of maintaining customer satisfaction in a climate of continuous change. This will be followed by an afternoon of parallel sessions that will include briefings targeted at senior managers from the public and private sectors on the main management systems in use today and the value they can bring to a business or organisation: ISO 9000; the Business Excellence Model; and Six Sigma.

Parallel sessions over the next two days will address quality in healthcare, in education, in manufacturing and in the service sector. Risk management, customer satisfaction and ethics in business will also feature, as will briefings on the mechanics of making the individual models work.

The final plenary will consider the impact of environmental considerations on business excellence and how care for the environment together with the pursuit of excellence are achievable.


This is, of course, not something the IQA can do alone. As a small organisation funded almost entirely by membership subscription the cash risk alone of such an undertaking is huge. Previous congresses run by other nations have attracted support from the highest echelons of government and industry and this is to be no exception.

The Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry has demonstrated the Government’s commitment to the congress with a grant of £50,000 and his department has taken its place as a Partner of the IQA. Both the Secretaries of State for Health and for Education and Skills have shown commitment to the programme by placing the IQA in contact with key officials to develop high-grade packages for health and for education and training. The Cabinet Office has also indicated its support with agreement to promote high-level political support for the event.

Business in the Community is developing with the IQA the programme for ethics in business. The Commonwealth Secretariat and The British Council are assisting with moves to give the congress a global dimension and the Commonwealth Secretary General has agreed, provisionally, to speak.

For a discussion about your involvement please contact the IQA on: +44(0) 207 245 6722


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