APQO Awards and Recognitions

Purpose of APQO awards

As the Asia-Pacific Center of Excellence (COE) for quality, APQO work towards encouraging and recognizing quality professionals and organizations. The International Asia Pacific Quality Award (IAPQA) of the APQO has been launched from 2000. In the same year, APQO International Individual Awards has been introduced. Name of the International Asia Pacific Quality Award (IAPQA) has been changed to Global Performance Excellence Award (GPEA) in 2010.

The purpose of the Organisational "Global Performance Excellence Award" (GPEA), the Awards for Contributing to Excellence (ACE) Teams, and the APQO International Individual Awards (AIIA) is to recognize and celebrate organizations, teams and individuals as role models to demonstrate a commendable performance of business excellence contributing to business success, and Teams and Individuals for contributing to quality advancement and business excellence at work place across all sectors in APQO member countries. These awards would spur and show case organisations embracing validated management best practices, quality systems, standards, procedures and processes that are proven leading local, regional and international practices used for quality advancement and business success for sustainability to support national, regional, Asia Pacific economic development, growth and success. The awards aim to promote the adoption of proven or new approaches and strategies, best in class practices in various aspects of operational performance, such as deployment of 4th Industrial revolution enabling technologies, automation and data technologies, smart manufacturing, service 4.0, digital transformation, data analytics, development of smart talents, etc., which are driving forces for companies or organisations to stay competitive in the ever-evolving economy.

Awards (APQO/GPEA) terms and conditions

  • Applications/entries submitted after announced deadline will not be accepted.
  • APQO Member Organisations may support as many categories as they wish.
  • Only entries/applications submitted that meets the stipulated criteria e.g. the award eligibility form/application form will be accepted for assessment and or consideration.
  • All entries/applications will become and remain the property of the APQO Awards Committee and APQO & GPEA Secretariat. APQO/GPEA Secretariat will manage the process and all submissions will not be returned to the applicant/entrant unless a separate arrangement has been made prior the submission of application.
  • Entrants should not disclose any confidential/classified or price-sensitive information, as the confidentiality of such information cannot be guaranteed.
  • Application/Entry is open only to organisations supported/sponsored by APQO Core Council members and are from countries the Core Council members are from.
  • The decision of the GPEA Governing Council and ACE Team/ AIIA Judging panel is final. No communication/correspondence will be entered into after the selection of the winners. APQO and GPEA Secretariat via its appointed council and judges reserves the right to determine the winners at its sole discretion, and is not obliged to divulge entrants' scores or any other judging information.
  • The granting of any APQO Award to an applicant/entrant is subjected to the organization making available the most senior person/a suitable senior representative or the individual award winner to attend the awards ceremony.
  • APQO/ GPEA Secretariat reserves the right to withdraw an award from an applicant/entrant in the case of non-attendance.
  • The cost for attending the Award Ceremony is to be borne by the award winner and any of his accompanying party. Entry fee per person to Award Ceremony will be required as advised by the host.

Global Performance Excellence Award (GPEA)

The GPEA (introduced in 2000 as IAPQA) is the only formal international recognition of performance or business excellence. The program is administered by the APQO. In 2010, the name of this prestigious global award was changed from IAPQA to GPEA to reflect the evolution in the field of quality from a focus on product and service quality to a strategic focus encompassing overall organizational performance termed performance/organizational/business excellence. The GPEA endeavors to bridge the cultural geographic and economic system gap of National Quality Awards (NQA).

APQO International Individual Awards (AIIA)

Past Winners

APQO International Individual Awards (AIIA) were introduced in 2000 to recognize deserving Individuals.

Considering the diversity and spread of APQO membership, APQO do not practice of naming its awards after individuals. However, would support this when and where an individual has played a significant role directly for APQO e.g. founder, linked directly to APQO as an organisation. This is to keep the award exclusive and meaningful for APQO in recognising worthy role models after whom the award is named as there are many role models all over the world.

The Harrington/Ishikawa Quality Professional Award named after APQO's first honorary joint Presidents will for now be APQO's only Individual International Award named after Individuals and will be presented to a deserving quality professional that has stood out and made outstanding contributions to the promotion and implementation of quality methodologies in the Asia Pacific region and or globally. Only one award will be presented to a deserving individual annually, however if there are no worthy nominations, no award will be presented.

Prior to 2018 the various categories of the APQO Awards named after individuals administered by APQO and judged by the WLHF Board were presented during APQO International Conference Awards & Dinner Gala Platform. To facilitate clarity in the effort to enhance the APQO award process and preventing any conflict of process when shortlisting worthy winners and role models, with effect from 2018 only AIIA winners managed and judged by APQO panel of judges will be recognised at the APQO International Conference Awards Presentation platform. This will also allow APQO to strengthen its processes and be independent in its efforts to have a robust award programme for outstanding individuals.

All awards must have a proposer from any APQO member organisations, supported by the Core Council Member and known to the nominee.

There are seven categories of APQO International Individual Awards (AIIA) namely:

APQO Award for Senior Leadership Commitment to Quality
APQO Award for Woman in Quality Leadership
APQO Harrington/Ishikawa Quality Professional Award
APQO President's Award for Demonstrated Excellence
APQO Special Recognition
APQO Lifetime Achievement Award
APQO Long Service Award

APQO Award for Senior Leadership Commitment to Quality

This Award is accorded to a senior leader (President, CEO, Principal, Owner, or Senior Vice President of a major corporation, Chief Operating Officer, Plant Manager, Division Manager, Partner etc.) in recognition of his/her contribution to the advancement of the quality movement within the Pacific Rim nations and beyond.

APQO Award for Woman in Quality Leadership

The Award is an exciting celebration of talent, achievement, imagination and innovation. The Award encourages and recognizes women whose outstanding leadership and exemplary engagement in Productivity/Quality and Business Excellence contribute to the vitality of the local, regional, national or global community in quality.

APQO Harrington/Ishikawa Quality Professional Award

This award is presented to a proven quality professional that has distinguished himself or herself as an individual in providing outstanding contribution to the promotion and implementation of quality methodologies in the Pacific Rim nations.

APQO President's Award for Demonstrated Excellence

This award is presented to deserving person whose enthusiastic and effective involvement contributed to the success of APQO projects undertaken / conference specifically from host country or to any person/s or team for an outstanding effort that had contributed towards APQO's success.

APQO Special Recognition

This recognition is accorded to deserving individuals / team whose enthusiastic and effective involvement contributed to the success of the APQO International Conference specifically from host country or to any person/s or team for an outstanding effort that had contributed towards APQO's success.

APQO Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognising worthy role models and committed APQO Leaders having made significant contribution to the betterment of APQO. Recommended by APQO Board.

APQO Long Service Award

Special award accorded to recognise APQO Officers/Members unstinting support in the long haul. Recommended by the APQO Board.


AIIA Introduction 2019
AIIA Proposer of nomination 2019
APQO Award for Senior Leadership Commitment to Quality
APQO Award for Woman in Quality Leadership
APQO Harrington/Ishikawa Quality Professional Award
APQO President's Award for Demonstrated Excellence
APQO Special Recognition

Awards for Contributing to Excellence (ACE)

ACE is a highly participative and interactive team excellence competition designed to recognise teams that demonstrate common values and goals imparting a powerful sense of shared purpose where they combine talents and skills to achieve new levels of performance.

APQO welcome teams from all member countries and organizations just starting out to those with more matured systems. The ACE applies to teams from public sector, not for profit or from any industry or size of organization.

The objective of ACE :

Provide a platform for competition to recognise the best of best of teams from APQO member countries. This competition process creates a "best-practice" sharing environment and fosters a healthy spirit of competition, which encourages and rewards excellence.

Why Participate?

ACE is the only international team recognition process of its kind recognising the best of best teams arising from various national team engagement activities at an international platform. The competition provides an outstanding opportunity for teams from diverse organizations around the world to come together and share their knowledge using a variety of continuous process improvement, innovation efforts and productivity enhancement efforts. Participation in the ACE Team Awards also provides an excellent opportunity to:

Learn & Share - study other teams and benchmark your team's efforts. Showcase and celebrate your organization's commitment to productivity, innovation and continuous improvement process.

Benchmark and Leap - compare how your team measures up against the best of the best in teaming and commitment to team excellence from around the world. Embrace best practices and leap towards excellence.

Recognise & Celebrate - demonstrate commitment to teams and workforce engagement and recognition to motivate staff to embrace excellence and commitment to the organization vision and it's stakeholders in particular customers' satisfaction.

Team participating will receive the APQO Team Excellence Awards of 1 Star, 2 Star, 3 Star or Certification of Participation based on their total score.

All teams will also concurrently be considered for five special awards as follows:

  • APQO International ACE Award - Overall Best
  • APQO International ACE Award - Best Impact on Productivity
  • APQO International ACE Award - Best Impact on Innovation
  • APQO International ACE Award - Best for Leveraging Technology (2017)
  • APQO International ACE Award - Best for Impact on Transformation (2018)


ACE Team Introduction V3.0 2018
ACE Team Criteria & Annexes V3.0 2018
ACE 2018 Announcement V3.0
ACE Team Registration Form V3.0 2018


ACE 2016 -1st ACE Rotorua New Zealand
ACE 2017- 2nd ACE Manila Philippines
ACE 2018 - 3rd ACE Abu Dhabi UAE

APQO Innovation Class (AIC)


We are indeed an innovative community and many of us keen to be engaged as innovation is our lifeline for sustainability. Creative people used to be abnormal, now some measure of creativity is expected in all of us. Creativity and innovation in our job can make or break our career: the trick is balancing your creativity and innovating in the right way in support of the organisation strategic objectives. Failures do occur in an innovative workplace: how you use those failures to improve ourselves, our team, and our organisation is the hallmark trait of the creative class for innovation excellence.

Today organizations who see and act upon the opportunities and possibilities for change through innovation in today's volatile and unpredictable business environment will not only survive, they will position themselves to successfully compete and flourish in the face of the range of emerging adverse and demanding business and economic conditions.

Many will use innovation as a strategic, systemic, human centred and technological lever for developing agile innovation cultures, robust business work systems and processes and eco-systems.

This will benefit them enabling organisations to achieve a slew of key outcomes including;

  • Engaging and inspiring its workforce to tap into the power of the internal crowd, and empower people to create, invent and innovate new products, processes and services.
  • Increasing their ROI
  • Achieving business growth goals and bottom line results,
  • Increasing business value making the business attractive to stakeholders,
  • Making productivity and efficiency gains to increase profitability,
  • Competing successfully, increase market share and extend product lifecycles,
  • Being agile, by developing the internal capability in both human capital and technology resources to change direction and remain relevant and succeed.


Today Innovation is a lifeline for almost every organization public or private to remain competitive. To help APQO Organizations and its members leverage on innovation, it is imperative that APQO introduce an initiative to enables its members successfully embark and thrive on their innovation journey. To make this a reality APQO will introduce the AIC Initiative and Criteria to help organization conduct self-assessment to understand their strengths and recognize their opportunities for success.

The AIC Criteria will:

  • Define Innovation excellence
  • Requirements and practices that enables and demonstrates Innovation
  • Non-prescriptive and adaptable
  • Support a systems approach and vision and strategy alignment
  • Provide a common language and framework for consistency

APQO Innovation Class (AIC) Framework

AIC Framework is an Innovation enabling framework requiring connectivity across every aspect of the organization, allowing the consistent delivery of creativity resulting in the most relevant forms of innovations benefiting each segment of the customer base along with organisational sustainability.

The AIC Model Framework today comprise 5 Categories with equal weightage namely;

  • Innovation Leadership / Innovation Strategy/ Knowledge (20%)
  • Talent and Competency (20%)
  • Innovation Processes / Work Systems and Partners (20%)
  • Customer Co Creation and Engagement (20 %)
  • Innovation Enabling and Success Measures and Outcome (20%)

Each category will have 4 to 5 statements / best practices for organizations to assess its performance.

The Key Benefits of Self- Assessment and Independent Assessment

  • Identifies strengths on which to continue building for success
  • Identifies next steps to enable achieving the next level of innovation performance
  • Identifies the most important next steps to take based on context and strategy
  • Develops widespread understanding of the AIC as an Innovation Excellence Framework

The 8 Steps Self-Assessment Approach is recommended as follows:

  • Step 1: Engage the Senior Leadership Team
  • Step 2: Plan the Self-Assessment
  • Step 3: Train/Brief Self -Assessment Team
  • Step 4: Conduct the Self-Assessment
  • Step 5: Analyse findings & Agree on the Priorities
  • Step 6: Seek Senior Leaders acceptance
  • Step 7: Develop and Implement Action Plans
  • Step 8: Track & report Progress on Innovation Excellence Journey

Work is underway to announce specific details and encourage organisations to conduct Self-Assessment to understand themselves better.

Note: APQO would announce more details in late August to encourage members to encourage their organisations to adopt the AIC framework for its Self-Assessment and report findings.

APQO Governance Mark (AGM)


In organizations, good governance starts with the board of directors.

The board's role and legal obligation is to oversee the management of the organization and ensure that the organization delivers its mission. Effective board members monitor, guide, participate and enable good management; they do not do it by themselves. The board generally has decision-making powers regarding matters of policy, direction, strategy, and governance of the organization.

Strong ethical and fiduciary oversight by those charged with governance of a not-for-profit entity is imperative to maintaining the members and public's trust. It must also ensure that the organization maintains its tax-exempt status and meets its ongoing legal and compliance responsibilities.

The board of a well-governed not for profit organization, just like the board of a well-governed profit-making company, will do all of the following:

  • Formulate key corporate policies and strategic goals, focusing both on near-term and longer-term challenges and opportunities.
  • Authorize major transactions or other actions.
  • Oversee matters critical to the health of the organization-not decisions or approvals about specific matters, which is management's role-but instead those involving fundamental matters such as the viability of its business model, the integrity of its internal systems and controls, and especially the accuracy of its financial statements.
  • Evaluate and help manage risk.
  • Steward the resources of the organization for the longer run, not just by carefully reviewing annual budgets and evaluating operations but also by encouraging foresight through several budget cycles, considering investments in light of future evolution, and planning for future capital needs.
  • Mentor management, provide resources, advice and introductions to help facilitate operations

APQO with a 33 years history with its recent challenges is a wake-up call for all and valuable lessons drawn for allowing one party to unilaterally take decision and authorise financials without Board and Core Council approvals. Its pertinent that strong ethical and fiduciary oversight by those charged with governance be robust, transparent with clear accountability.

APQO is rolling out an APQO Governance Mark or AGM is simple initiative. This initiative which was first presented in Rotorua, NZ in 2016 APQO Core Council Meeting and accepted for trials in Principle. The proposal was to have a GOOD GOVERNANCE Self- Assessment/ and an Independent Assessment options.

Objectives of the AGM are to:

  • Make Quality promoting Institutions more effective by sharing recommended practices on how effective these Institutions are governed and managed;
  • Provide guidance to Board/Exco members to help them carry out their duties as fiduciaries (representatives entrusted to act in the interests of the Not for Profit Institutions);
  • Boost public confidence in the Quality Championing Institutions sector by setting the standards of good governance for Quality Institutions to aspire towards.

The GOOD GOVERNANCE Level will adopt a Code of Practice for Good Governance for both the SELF-ASSESSMENT or INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT.

Self-Assessment/Independent Assessment by 2 assessors for 1 day:

  • To enable the Institution to effectively monitor performance.
  • To enable "stakeholders" affect its behaviour.
  • To allow Institutions to report its achievements and be recognized based on verified evidence rather than on anecdote/unsubstantiated claims.
  • Allow those who have an interest in the Institution and its stakeholders to judge if it is achieving the values and outcomes which it set out to achieve vis a vis its Vision.
  • To enable the Institution to effectively monitor performance.
  • To enable "stakeholders" affect its behaviour.
  • To allow Institutions to report its achievements and be recognised based on verified evidence rather than on anecdote / unsubstantiated claims.

S/N Code Categories Weight
1 Board Governance/Council 20%
2 Conflict of interest 5%
3 Strategic Planning 5%
4 Programme Management 15%
5 Human Resource Management 10%
6 Financial Management & Controls 25%
7 Fund Raising / Dues Collections Practices 5%
8 Disclosure & Transparency 10%
9 Public image 5%

Please refer to the Guide on how to submit the APQO Commitment to Governance Self-Assessment Checklist.

The score will be reported in LEVEL A/B/C or it can be AGM 1 or AGM 2 or AGM 3

  • The Code sets out the best practices in governance. The Code is operated on the principle of 'comply or explain'.
  • Where Organisations are unable to comply with certain Code guideline, they should be able to explain why they are unable to comply.
  • When explaining non-compliance, the Organisation should also indicate the steps being taken towards compliance or give explanations if they decide otherwise.


APQO Good Governance Mark Introduction V2.0 2018
AGM Self-Assessment Checklist V2.0 2018



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