Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic has been presented with a prestigious organisational excellence award — the Baldrige-affiliated Performance Excellence Study Award (PESA).

Errol Slyfield, Chief Executive of Business Excellence NZ, formally presented the award to Otago Polytechnic CEO Phil Ker at a ceremony at the Hub on Wednesday October 31.

Also present was PESA evaluator Steven Garlick, who congratulated Otago Polytechnic on being the first organisation in New Zealand to undergo an assessment process comparable to that for the United States Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – and to reach the required standard.

Administered by Business Excellence NZ (endorsed by the American Society of Quality), the PESA involves rigorous examination by United States-based examiners against seven core Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria to determine organisational excellence by world-class standards.

The journey towards PESA recognition was initiated more than a decade ago by Phil Ker, who had a vision to develop and embed a culture committed to continuous improvement. 

“I’m exceptionally proud to receive this award on behalf of Otago Polytechnic today,” Phil said at the ceremony.

“The award recognises the robust and lengthy process we went through to develop a world-class institution, always seeking to do better.

“Quality is never about instant gratification – it is about digging in for the long term, and our staff have done this.”

The US Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is one of the most internationally recognised frameworks for business excellence. Globally, many countries operate national quality awards aligned with Baldrige or have similar core criteria.

Key performance indicators and/or highlights noted by the examiners, include:

  • Otago Polytechnic’s strong organisational vision and culture of excellence
  • High levels of student satisfaction and employer satisfaction with Otago Polytechnic graduates
  • Excellent educational performance indicators (course completions, student progression, qualifications and course retention)
  • Sound financial performance and growth in overall EFTs/enrolments
  • High number of Ako Aotearoa Awards for Teaching Excellence
  • High levels of workforce engagement and staff satisfaction
  • Organisational agility and leading-edge innovation through a diverse provision of educational experiences. For example: EduBits, Otago Polytechnic’s suite of micro-credentials

The award-winning application was Otago Polytechnic’s fourth attempt, the institution having made its first PESA submission in 2012. 

 “After each submission, we receive immensely valuable feedback, which guides our improvement action plans,” Joanne Greatbanks, Director: Performance Improvement explains.

 “Otago Polytechnic is passionate about providing our learners with a ‘wow!’ experience. In order to continue to put our learners at the centre of everything we do, we need to continuously evolve, drive and innovate.”  

 Jo Brady, Deputy Chief Executive: People, Performance and Development states:

 “It is true that our people make a better world. We now have a globally recognised award to prove it and we remain committed to continuous improvement as the journey doesn’t have an end point. Our work matters — it has impact and transforms lives, communities and economies.”



Published on 1 Nov 2018

Orderdate: 1 Nov 2018
Expiry: 30 Sep 2020