The quality labelling system consists of three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. While the Bronze label is not a quality label in the narrow sense, it just demonstrates that a cluster management is interested in improving its management performance, the Gold label is a quality label based on very high standards of cluster management practice. Cluster management organisations that do not meet the Gold standards yet, but are interested in demonstrating both to their cluster and potential partners that they are on the path towards cluster management excellence can subject themselves to a Silver label audit.
The Silver Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative is a quality label in its own right. The Silver Label quality confirms the successful implementation of improvement processes that were initiated following a Bronze label benchmarking. Organisations that are able to demonstrate improvements in the course of an audit conducted by an assessor of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative will be awarded with the Silver Label.
The Silver Label audit is based on four steps:
- Cluster organisations subject themselves to a second Bronze Label benchmarking after 1.5 to 2 years of the first benchmarking and
- Indicate three areas with regard to the quality indicators of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative in which they have improved. For this purpose ESCA will provide a form. Each area of improvement has to be described in a meaningful manner. The cluster organisation is expected to describe how each of the selected improvements effected the overall development of the cluster.
- The audit will then be continued by an on-site visit by an auditor to validate the indicated areas of improvement. The criteria of the Gold Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative relevant to the identified areas of improvement will be used as a validation benchmark. In this context it will be also checked whether the cluster organisation meets the minimum requirements of the "Cluster Management Excellence Label GOLD". These requirements are described the document "European Cluster Excellence Baseline - Minimum Requirements for Cluster Organisations", which you can download here. If a cluster organisation does not meet one of these criteria the Silver Label cannot be awarded.
- The auditor will produce a report that details the results and includes a recommendation for the award. The eventual decision on whether the award will be given to the cluster organisation is taken by the "Silver Label Expert Group".
Please contact ESCA for application and any further information.
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