College ‘one of UK’s most outstanding businesses’

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Bishop Burton College near Beverley has been named one of the most outstanding businesses in the country at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The land-based college has been announced as a British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Award Winner for the second time.

In doing so, it beat strong competition from some of the biggest names in UK business and reaffirmed the college’s position as the leading institution of its kind in the country.

Jeanette Dawson OBE, chief executive and principal, said: “For the college to win this prestigious award for the second time is a truly remarkable achievement.

“To win the award once is fantastic, but to do so a second time is quite unbelievable and is testament to the incredible working culture here at Bishop Burton College. It is all about the people we have at the college.”

To be a UK Excellence finalist is an award in its own right, and one of the highest accolades any organisation in the UK can achieve. It recognises organisations which have demonstrated excellence in all areas of operation.

Entrants for the award are assessed against the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, a management framework used by over 30,000 organisations in Europe and beyond. It enables organisations to assess their degree of business excellence, and helps them to understand their key strength and the areas in which they need to improve.

To become a finalist, the college had to score above a high benchmark, and be recommended by every one of the assessors who took part in the site visit. The assessors then had to present their findings to a UK Excellence jury.

Following the robust assessment, Bishop Burton was shortlisted alongside three of the country’s biggest organisations in Siemens UK, Ricoh UK Ltd and Virgin Trains.

The college was announced as winner by businesswoman and star of hit TV show, The Apprentice, author and columnist, Baroness Karren Brady CBE, in front of hundreds of prominent business figures and invited guests at the Intercontinental Park Lane, in London, last night (15 October).

In announcing the college as winner of the accolade for a second time, she said: “Core values underpin everything the college does.”

She went on to praise the college for its ‘one team, one Bishop’ ethos.

The college first won the award in 2011. The competition rules state a winner cannot re-enter for four years, meaning the college has won the award on the last two occasions it was entitled to enter.

It was represented at last night’s marquee event by staff and guests, including Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, and Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart.

Mrs Dawson said: “To win the BQF UK Excellence Award again is simply stunning. I am incredibly proud of my team and our college. It was a fantastic affirmation of our strengths when we won the award in 2011, but it was crucial we built on these, rather than rest on our laurels.

“That is exactly what we have done over the last four years – we always strive for constant improvement at the college. The EFQM Excellence Model is something I have used for years. It offers a workable frame for sound business theories, efficient processes, and coherent values.

“It has helped us drive the college forward during challenging times and I am confident it will continue to do so.”