ONS award

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has won the British Quality Foundation’s 2014 Lean Six Sigma Award at the 2014 UK Excellence Award Ceremony recognising exceptional performance improvement projects.

ONS was chosen by an independent panel for its methods and results on a project which addressed inconsistencies in management of ONS field staff on long-term sick leave.

ONS field staff are crucial to the organisation, there are around 850 of them reporting to more than 70 Field Managers. They work around the country gathering data for surveys, such as the Labour Force Survey, which form the basis of a number of Government policy.

The field staff work remotely and after it became apparent there was a need to tighten processes in dealing with the number of people on long-term sickness in this area, ONS’s award winning project to address this enabled an improved process for getting them back to work, thereby saving additional recruitment costs.

Rushmi Laidlaw, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in the ONS Continuous Improvement Zone, said:  ‘I think the key to our success has been to have Champions across the organisation who can help identify these types of improvement projects. We have extensive training programmes in place which aim to empower more people to make a difference to how we do things.’

Ian Stokes, Chief Executive of the BQF, said: ‘The ONS team has demonstrated how versatile Lean Six Sigma tools are with a great example of a streamlined and beneficial process.’

ONS was presented with its award at the 2014 UK Excellence Award Ceremony which took place on Thursday 16 October at the InterContinental London Park Lane. The event was hosted by actor, comedian and television presenter, Alexander Armstrong, and attended by guest of honour, HRH The Princess Royal.

The Lean Six Sigma Award recognises exceptional performance improvement projects based on Lean Six Sigma. Previous winners include London Underground, Royal Mail and Cooper Vision.  The BQF UK Excellence Award Ceremony is the most prestigious excellence event in the UK business calendar.

Photo Caption: (L-R Award host Alexander Armstrong, Peter Fullerton – Director of Data Collection at ONS, Rushmi Laidlaw – ONS Continuous Improvement Zone, Lindsay Cracknell – Operational Development ONS, John Collington, Board Director at BQF)