Almost 500 participants, six thematic panels, notable guests and a whole day of substantive talks on the importance and role of quality in achieving business success. This is a short summary of the 1st European Congress of Quality, which took place on March 23, 2015 in Warsaw. The organizer – the QUALITAS Foundation – has made things which were seemingly impossible: it integrated theoreticians and practitioners of the quality management theme with the slogan: QUALITY. A NEW PERSPECTIVE. The event was combined with the ceremonial presentation of the Quality of the Year®2014 certificates.

And the European Congress of Quality is a special initiative. For the first time representatives of the world of business and science had the opportunity to meet, discuss and exchange views and experiences. The event was open to everyone so that everyone could benefit from the knowledge they were given. The experts gathered discussed the aspects of management through quality, innovation and ecology.

– Quality is a way of thinking. Nowadays, in Europe, quality is taken for granted. We have achieved it and we think that it will always be so. As a result, she found herself on the defensive. We want the European Congress of Quality to become a new force for the development and change of the way in which we think about quality – said Marcin Kałużny, the originator of the event and the Chairman of the Chapter Committee during the inaugural speech. – We are also happy that Congress offers an opportunity to integrate pro-quality environments – he added.

The event was honored by outstanding special guests: professor Andrzej Blikle, author of the book “Doktryna Jakości”, which for years managed one of the oldest and best known family companies: A. Blikle, and Dr. Eric Janssens, General Director of the European Organization for Quality, based in Brussels. Both gave lectures and took part in discussions and shared their knowledge. – You should talk about quality as much as possible, and such meetings are a perfect opportunity for this – said professor Andrzej Blikle. The same opinion is also shared by Dr. Eric Janssens, who emphasized that quality is something you have to work at all the time, confirm it with certificates and talk about it to your customers.

In addition to lectures and plenary speeches, during the Congress six thematic panels were held, led by specialists in their fields. They concerned various aspects of quality and were divided into two parts. “Changes in the ISO 9001: 2015 standard – what will the new version of the quality management standard bring for your organization?” was moderated by Marek Roszak, Member of the Management Board of the Polish ISO 9000 Forum, sitting simultaneously in the Chapter of the QUALITY OF THE YEAR. In the panel “KAIZEN in the service of quality – effective management of the organization” the main expert was Ilona Nowicka, director of KAIZEN Institute Poland Operations. On the other hand, the debate on how to promote the quality of your organization and what are the benefits of it, was led by Krzysztof Stadler, president of the board of the QUALITAS Foundation.

In the second part of panel discussions, experts moderated by professor Stanisław Borkowski from the Częstochowa University of Technology sought to answer the questions: what is the significance of the transfer of theoretical knowledge to the organization and what are the chances and opportunities for cooperation on the science-business line in this respect. At the same time, Piotr Błoński – trainer and auditor of DEKRA, discussed the risk management aspects with the use of internal audits. In turn, the panel of Małgorzata Skucha, the president of the board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, concerned the place and role of quality in ecology.

Substantive discussions, interesting conclusions and many valuable comments for managers – this is how these one-and-a-half-hour panel sessions can be summed up.

The main debate, summarizing the conclusions from earlier thematic panels, took place in the evening. The discussion was led by Marcin Piasecki, the editor-in-chief of the SUKCES magazine, looking for answers to the question of what the new quality perspective was – in line with the Congress’s slogan.

The substantive part of the event was closed by the ceremonial Final Gala, during which the Quality of the Year®2014 certificates were awarded. The prestigious group of laureates included only those enterprises, institutions, scientific and research units and universities, which in their daily work are characterized by a pro-quality approach to conducting business and management. Among the nearly 200 winners there were representatives of various industries, representing both small local companies and large corporations with global reach. Diplomas were awarded to them (including Farmio SA, Agito Sp. Z o. O., ABAKUS OKNA SA, Seifert Polska Sp. Z o. O.) And the Quality of the Year® ROSE statuettes (including PLUS Bank SA, Gandalf Sp. Z oo) , SREBRO (including Amex Bączek, Oras Olesno Sp. Z oo), ZŁOTO (including the Institute of Computer Science PAS, INNOVA SA, Sokółka Okna i Drzwi SA) and DIAMENT (CLASSEN-POL SA, VauPe Sp. z oo and Vetrex Sp. z oo).

– This edition showed a very high level of quality management among Polish enterprises – emphasized Krzysztof Stadler, president of the board of the QUALITAS Foundation, a member of the QUALITY OF THE YEAR Chapter Committee. – We want to talk more and more about quality, and such events help spread this idea in the business world.

During the Congress there was also the official premiere of the new magazine, which appeared on the market in the first quarter of this year: QUALITY TODAY. The new title addresses issues related to practical aspects of quality, its impact on the achieved business effects and the functioning of the economy. The magazine is published along with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and with the POLITYKA weekly.

The 1st European Quality Congress ended with a ceremonial banquet combined with a recital by Basia Janyga, finalist of the program “The Voice of Poland”. It was a perfect moment to establish business contacts and network in the lobby. The participants could also, in a specially designated space, view and test the awarded products, marked with the QUALITY OF THE YEAR emblem.

A prestigious group of honorary patrons and partners, excellent experts and special guests, the presence of representatives of local government units from all over Poland, as well as great interest from the participants of the 1st European Congress of Quality – all this proves that the event was long-awaited and needed. The organizers have already announced next editions, and Congress will certainly enter the economic landscape of Central Europe and a calendar of the most important events concerning quality.

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