At a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy, Mohamed M. Al Qubaisi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy also revealed the prestigious ‘Diamond Award,’ the top prize up for grabs at the awards ceremony to be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on May 2nd 2004 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
“We have re-branded the Sheikh Khalifa Industry Award to reflect the great progress and development achieved by Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector since the Award launched in 1997, and the upgrades we have implanted into the assessment mechanism based on the most recent internationally recognized quality standards,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy. “The goal of the Award has remained the same, which is to bring our industry sector into par with its global counterparts in terms of management practices, production and manufacturing processes and output quality standards.”
A key feature of the Sheikh Khalifa Industry Award 2003 is the ‘continuous assessment process’ that injects an on-going improvement element at all performance levels. The Award assessments are based on the International Standards Organization 9004:2000 (ISO 9004:2000) criteria that incorporates all of ISO 9001:2000 clauses in addition to elements that take into account the needs and expectations of all interested parties in the manufacturing process. These include: customer focus, leadership, employee involvement, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial supplier arrangements.
“All participants in the award receive a special criteria based, self-assessment pack and check list that suits their stage of development. These packs are designed to allow the efficient determination of current performance by the management team. The criteria to be met and actions needed to improve are readily identified from the self-assessments,” explained Mohamed M. Al Qubaisi, Director of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy. “Following the self-assessment all factories are visited by full-time professional auditors, trained to international standards, who confirm the findings and assist in the development of improvement plans. When necessary future visits are arranged to enable the improvements to be assessed and to assist the company to reach their desired level in the award. Many factories find this free service one of the major benefits of the award.”
New companies to the award process start at the ‘Bronze’ level and progress through ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ and ‘Diamond.’ As each level is achieved companies automatically qualify for that award and for entry into the next level. To achieve the ‘Bronze Award’ companies are required to conduct their own self-assessment after which the assessors arrange to visit the factory to verify the results and advise on actions to be taken. If the factory achieves 100% of the checklist then they would have achieved ‘Bronze’ status, and if they achieve 95% of the required criteria, they would be given an ‘Appreciation Certificate.’ For the ‘Silver Award,’ companies that have achieved the ‘Bronze’ level or that have been certified as ISO9001:2000 from a recognized certification body are eligible. The assessment process is similar to the ‘Bronze’ level, and companies achieving at least 100 essential criteria set by the assessors become eligible for the award.
The ‘Gold’ award is only open for those companies that have achieved the ‘Silver’ level as are based on ISO9004-2000 standards. The self-assessment criteria are more rigorous and include ‘Total Quality’ elements such as management responsibility, resource management, product realization and measurement, analysis and improvement principals. Participating companies are assessed based on these criteria and receive a score which is weighted and compared to other participants at the same level. Companies that score over 70% on all four sections will achieve the ‘Gold’ level, while the company with the highest score will be awarded the ‘Diamond’ award. Those companies that do not achieve the required 70%, but have met the requirements inherent in the ‘Silver’ level will be given the ‘Silver’ award.
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