Winners of the award are presented with a trophy which serves as a symbol of prestige and excellence. The Q-shaped piece at the top denotes quality, while the rectangular base symbolises a solid management foundation. Made of black marble, the weight and texture indicates the significance of total quality management (TQM). The HKMA Quality Award was introduced in 1991. It is the association's most prestigious business accolade. Based on the American Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award judging criteria, it is the Hong Kong equivalent of Japan's Deming Prize and the European Quality Award. Named after the late Secretary of Commerce of the United States, it was created by Congress in 1987. It is the highest level of national recognition for quality performance and practices that a US company can receive. It is intended to spark interest and involvement in quality programmes and drive American products and services to higher levels of quality. The award also helps equip local companies to meet the challenges of global competition. The Deming Prize was instituted in Japan in 1951 by a formal resolution of the board of directors of the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers. The board did so in recognition of Dr W. Edward Deming's friendship with the Japanese business sector and his achievements in promoting industrial quality control. It has become customary in Japan for corporations intending to improve their performance in products or services to vie for the Deming Prize. The European Quality Award was first presented in Europe in 1992 to honour the most successful company in implementing TQM. To receive the award, an applicant must demonstrate that its approach to TQM has contributed significantly over the past few years to satisfying the expectations of customers, employers and others with an interest in the company. Only the most outstanding Hong Kong companies have won the HKMA Quality Award. Apart from receiving the trophy, the overall winner is allowed to use the award logo on its stationery, promotional literature and in advertising.