Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Helping Improve Organisational Performance

A Membership Spotlight Interview with Janet Robertson, Scotland Director of EFQM, who tells us more about EFQM’s work in helping businesses change and improve, and their growth ambitions in Scotland and Ireland.

EFQM is the European Foundation for Quality Management, an independent, not-for-profit Foundation, headquartered in Brussels. EFQM helps organisations perform better by creating data-driven insights backed up by industry experts, to fit your priorities, your purpose, and your people.  

Through their integrated and carefully designed portfolio of products and services, they work side-by-side with leaders as they manage cultural change and digital transformation to deliver positive performance and meaningful benefits for all their key stakeholders.

Utilising the Causeway network to build new business relationships

Janet Robertson is EFQM's Scotland Director. She grew up in Derry / Londonderry, Northern Ireland, but has lived in Edinburgh since the mid-80s, graduating with a Law degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1989. Explaining more on the motives to join Causeway in her role with EFQM, Janet says:

EFQM is delighted to be a member of Causeway: Ireland: Scotland Business Exchange.  Joining the Causeway network made great sense, as it has opened up an existing network and facilitated opportunities for us to build new business relationships. We’ve enjoyed being a part of both online and in-person events so far, and are looking forward to participating in many more.”

The EFQM Model – A framework for change and improved performance

Powered by the EFQM Model, a globally - recognised framework for organisational change and performance improvement, EFQM has helped over 50,000 organisations perform better over 30 years. EFQM work globally, with a broad and diverse range of organisations across sectors, from large multinationals to small and mid-sized companies. Working both directly and through local partners in different geographical areas they provide Training, Insight and Recognition.

Founded in 1989, a Foundation of leaders from 67 European companies, many of them household names, set up a team of experts, from industry and academia, to develop the EFQM Excellence Model, a holistic framework that can be applied to any organisation, regardless of size or sector.  The EFQM Model has adapted and evolved over time but always retained its objective to increase the competitiveness and effectiveness of all organisations in a sustainable way.  

The EFQM Model is holistic. Its structure is based on the simple but powerful logic of asking three questions:

  • WHY? - “Why” does this organisation exist? What purpose does it fulfil? Why this particular Strategy… DIRECTION
  • HOW? - “How” does it intend to deliver on its Purpose and its Strategy?… EXECUTION
  • WHAT? - “What” has it actually achieved to date? “What” does it intend to achieve tomorrow?… RESULTS
Since its inception, the EFQM Model has provided a blueprint for organisations across and beyond Europe to develop a culture of improvement and innovation. If you want to define a strong purpose, inspire leaders at every level and create a culture committed to driving performance, while remaining agile, adaptive and able to evolve for the future, then the EFQM Model is for you.

An International Focus, with Growing Partnerships and Presence in Ireland and Scotland  

EFQM are committed to supporting their customers in their journey of becoming the best organisation they can be and, in turn, as the Model is completely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, improving their communities and society.

EFQM’s focus is international, they have offices in Brussels, London, and Dubai and partners from Columbia to China. Their methods and models are translated into more than 30 languages, and they welcome the opportunity to support all organisations across more than 40 countries.

They have partners in both Ireland and Northern Ireland and set up an EFQM team in Scotland in April 2021 to provide direct support to our community of customers, to engage new customers and grow the business.

The Causeway connection – a home for diaspora

Sharing the personal and professional value she finds from being part of Causeway, Janet said:

“On the personal side, I’m Northern Ireland born, but long-time Edinburgh based. Like many folk, both are ‘home’, so for me, finding Causeway has been great in terms of making connections with other folk who understand that paradox!

“Arriving in Edinburgh originally to study, my professional background is in housing, gradually transitioning to business improvement.  I’ve been working with the EFQM Model myself, since about 2010, when I introduced it in the organisation I was working with at the time, to make sense of all the performance and improvement activity we were undertaking.  So I know it works!  Since then, I’ve had the privilege of being a trainer, and also an assessor for organisations going through EFQM Recognition.  There are always opportunities to learn by sharing, and I want to continue to help organisations to do that.”

To find out more about EFQM, visit their website (; connect with Causeway member, Janet Robertson on LinkedIn or contact by email at


Thursday 24 March, Edinburgh

EFQM are hosting a free in-person event in Edinburgh for people to find out more about EFQM and how they support organisations to perform better. The event will be held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Thursday 24 March 2022, from 13.30-16.30, with an opportunity for networking until 18.00. Causeway members are encouraged to attend.

Author: Aoife O'Sullivan

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About The Author

Aoife O'Sullivan

Aoife O'Sullivan is Causeway's Communications and Events Manager. She is responsible for nurturing the membership engagement activity for Causeway, primarily through hosting events both online and offline in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, and helps to connect Causeway's members and raise their profile through communications, marketing and PR.


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