Six Star Recognition

Aramco receives top award from European quality management group

Yanbu' Refinery Department is the first organization to achieve “6 Star Recognition.”

Aramco receives top award from European quality management group

The Yanbu' Refinery Department (YRD) has achieved “6 Star Recognition” from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), the first organization to reach such a level in Saudi Arabia.


The award recognizes organizations that have achieved an “outstanding level of sustainable achievement,” according to the Brussels-based nonprofit member foundation, which was established more than 30 years ago to promote business excellence.


Rigorous assessment

YRD underwent a rigorous virtual assessment over four consecutive days, during which assessors reviewed documents and interviewed individuals to analyze how effectively the organization performs in the delivery of its strategic objectives. YRD demonstrated a strong commitment to its sustainable best practices that distinguished it from its peers through showcasing an array of impactful systems and programs across the “eight fundamental concepts of excellence” in the EFQM Model. 


These included:

  • Adding value for customers
  • Creating a sustainable future
  • Developing organizational capability
  • Harnessing creativity and innovation
  • Leading with vision, inspiration, and integrity
  • Managing with agility
  • Succeeding through the talent of people
  • Sustaining outstanding results.


An “infinite journey”

Abdulatif S. Alshami, YRD manager, said excellence was an “infinite journey” of continuous improvement efforts. “Going through organizational assessments acts as an eye opener for more areas for improvement, which helps YRD to enhance its management system and its effectiveness,” Alshami said. 


He added that this journey of transformation became the desire for every employee in the refinery, which was shown in their commitment to Operational Excellence. YRD had clear strategies that included innovation, social responsibility, digital transformation, cybersecurity, environment control, energy, safety, and quality. These strategies helped YRD to improve its results and achieve satisfaction, Alshami said.


Prestigious excellence
Since 2017, YRD has now won more than 20 prestigious excellence awards and certificates, including eight company awards: two President Excellence Awards; two President Safety Excellence Awards; two President Environmental Excellence Awards; an Exceptional Safety Award; and a Reverse Engineering and 3-D Printing Award. Nationally, three awards were received: a National Safety Council Award; a King Abdulaziz Quality Award; and a King Khaled Sustainability Award. YRD received 15 international awards: Two Green Apple Awards; an Association of Energy Engineer Award; an Advancement Level in the Lighthouse Award; a Global Benchmarking Award; a Global Water Conservation Award; a Global Innovation in Water Technology Award; a Green World Award; an EFQM Committed to Sustainability Award; a Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Award; an Environmental Manager Award; a Middle East Oil and Gas Show (MEOS) Energy Award; a Fortress Cybersecurity Award; an Energy Manager Today Award; a Verdantix Award; and now the EFQM Recognition for 6 Star Excellence Certificate.


International standards

The journey began in 2017. Milestones included ensuring the YRD management system was meeting international standards by pursuing ISO certifications in the different fields. YRD has now achieved 19 ISO certifications over the past three-and-a-half years.


Other milestones involved listening to and implementing employees’ and contractors’ suggestions to improve the organization’s operations, and benchmarking with best-in-class outfits in different fields to learn and exchange experiences. YRD went through a sequence of corporate, national, and international assessments to achieve results.

— By Fareed Y. Enani and Ahmed A. Basodan


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