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About the Awards

30 Year History

The Australian Business Excellence Awards represent a rich history of Quality Excellence Awards in Australia dating back to the Australian Quality Awards that were first launched in 1988. Over 450 organisations have been recognised at various Award levels throughout this rich history. The Awards are also internationally recognised through BEA's membership of the Global Excellence Council.

Rigorous Evaluation


The Business Excellence Award has the most comprehensive evaluation process in Australia and is one of the most rigorous in the world. The combination of independent highly trained evaluators, a panel of review comprising reputed business leaders and the use of leading-edge criteria make this a unique and impartial process. Organisations that meet the requirements will win an Award.


Awards Event

The annual Awards event is BEA's main event and attracts business and government leaders from around Australia. Along with the presentation of the coveted Awards, attendees enjoy unique entertainment and presentations from dignatories. Past keynote presenters have included Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Senator the Honourable Mathias Cormann and Ziggy Switkowski.



Organisations can formally apply for an Australian Business Excellence Award evaluation by signing and returning the declaration in this document.

The Application requires general information about the organisation.

This information is used to assist the Awards Manager to allocate the evaluation team.

Applying for recognition through an Australian Business Excellence Award follows the steps as below:

This step will involve the following activities:

  • Submission of the duly signed declaration
  • Contact between the Awards Manager and the applicant
  • Registration form completed and processed Clarification of the Awards Process and agreement with terms and conditions
  • Assignment of evaluation team including conflict of interest and confidentiality resolution 

Start your registration here


This step will involve the following activities:

  • Provision of documents for desktop review (guidance will be provided by the Awards Manager)
  • Documentation that will assist with the evaluation
  • Initial site visit arrangements
  • Evaluation team reviewing documentation
  • Clarification items to be addressed in Site Visit
  • Finalise Site Visit arrangements

This step will involve the following activities:

  • The Evaluation team spends one to five days on site
  • (depending on the size and geographical spread of the organisation)
  • The visit will consist of interviews, focus groups, observations and sighting of additional documentation
  • (covering key findings – including gaps – from the desktop evaluation) 

This step will involve the following activities:

  • The Evaluators consolidating their findings and preparing a draft feedback report
  • Draft discussed with Applicant
  • Report updated and sent to the Panel of Review
  • The Panel reviews the recommendations made by the Evaluation team (and makes final decisions on the evaluation and the level of recognition)
  • The final report is sent to the applicant
  • Face to face feedback is provided to the applicant’s leadership team

Awards are presented at an annual recognition event which will be advised when the location is finalised.



Levels of recognition are based on the recommendation of the Evaluation team and the decision of the Panel of Review. At the Award Level there may be more than one recipient as evaluation is criterion referenced. The score is only one of the elements in this final decision (i.e. achieving a score level does not confirm an award level). Other considerations include the extent of the applicant’s adherence to the nine Principles of Business Excellence, financial sustainability of the organisation and whether improvement is uniform across all seven Categories.


Recognition in Organisational Excellence

Recipients of this recognition will be organisations that demonstrate performance against the ABEF with a clear Approach and initial Deployment and show some evidence of improvement. This recognition is given to organisations that receive an evaluation score ranging from 300 to 500 and acknowledge initial efforts made by the organisation to embed excellence. This recognition is an incentive to further pursue quality excellence.


Bronze Award

Bronze Award recipients will demonstrate performance against the ABEF with Approach and Deployment that are well defined, planned and subject to review; and show evidence of improvement over time. Results will compare favourably with external organisations. Approaches have been in place long enough to show results in key areas and the organisation is learning and willing to share its learnings. Improvements are being made in a conscious manner. Evaluation scores range from 501 – 600.


Silver Award

Organisations at this level should be able to demonstrate not only performance against the ABEF at Bronze level, but also a philosophy of management that reflects the principles of Business Excellence. A better practice culture will have been in place long enough to sustain continuing improvement and be robust in the face of major change. Evaluation scores range from 601 – 650.


Gold Award

Organisations at this level should meet the requirements of a Silver Award plus be able to demonstrate superior performance in at least five of the Categories in the Australian Business Excellence Framework and also have scored at least 50% in each Item. The organisation is clearly demonstrating better practice and its activities will be benchmarks for others. Evaluation scores exceed 650.

Awards 2015