The HKMA Quality Award assessment system is modelled on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and aims to promote awareness of performance excellence as an important element in competitiveness and information sharing of successful performance strategies, and the benefits derived from using these strategies. 'The HKMA Quality Award is one of the most difficult to get,' says Professor Matthew Yuen, chairman of the 2010 Quality Award board of examiners. 'Participants need to spend substantial time to map out their operations that fulfil each of the seven judging criteria.' The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award annually recognises performance excellence among organisations in the United States. It serves as a framework for award programmes around the world. Organisations must display their ability to run an organisational management system which guarantees improvement in the delivery of products and services, shows efficient and effective operations, and provides a way of engaging and responding to customers and other stakeholders. Both awards guide an organisation towards performance excellence through aligning resources, improving communication, productivity and effectiveness, and achieving strategic goals. The HKMA Quality Award is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, with seven judging criteria: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. Process management is the focal point for the organisation's key work systems and work processes. Organisations should display how their work is accomplished as it emphasises the significance of core competencies and how an organisation capitalises on them for success and sustainability. Organisations need to display efficient work systems that can cope with daily operations, prepare for potential emergencies and ensure operations continue. Agility, cost reduction and cycle time reduction are important in all aspects of process management and organisational design. According to the Baldrige National Quality Program, measurement, analysis and knowledge management is the 'brain centre' for the alignment of an organisation's operations and strategic objectives. This category judges how an organisation uses key information about effectively measuring, analysing and improving performance, and managing organisational knowledge to drive improvement and organisational competitiveness, while boosting competitive advantage and productivity growth. Organisations must not fail to overlook their fulfilment of the rest of the criteria. Award winners are those who have outperformed their competitors in all seven criteria. Leadership is not only focused on how management runs a company. Attention is given to how senior leaders communicate with all staff and develop their leadership skills. Examiners and judges look into how management takes part in organisational learning and develops future leaders, measures organisational performance and creates a comfortable working environment which encourages ethical behaviour and high performance. Leadership includes the organisation's governance system and how it fulfils its legal, ethical, and societal responsibilities. Judges and examiners focus on how the organisation incorporates its plans for long-term organisational sustainability and copes with competition, and the organisation's strategic planning by allocating adequate resources and ensuring accomplishments are sustained. Listening to customers is one of the most important factors contributing to the sustainability of an organisation. Examiners and judges focus on an organisation's engagement in this area as an important outcome of an overall customer culture and listening, learning, and performance excellence strategy. The judging standards and workforce focus include workforce engagement, development and management, and how it is aligned with strategic objectives while maintaining a high-performance work environment. This criterion covers human resources or workforce planning as part of overall planning in the strategic planning category. Results, including the company's financial and market performance, and workforce results, provide a measure of progress.