§ 42. Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the response to his Department's initiative to help developing firms improve the quality of their products.
§ Mr. Butcher
The national Quality Campaign was launched in April 1983 with the aim of providing a wider awareness of the importance of quality. Since its launch, it is estimated that the campaign has reached more than 70,000 firms. There is continued high demand for the comprehensive range of campaign booklets and videos. Quality-related events have been developed on a regional, company-supplier or sectoral basis. Around 20 such activity programmes have been held with the most recent one in Brighton last month for the south-east region.
There are around 9,000 company entries in the latest edition of the "Register of Quality Assessed United Kingdom Companies," a 50 per cent. increase on the previous edition. In addition, the level of demand for assisted quality consultancy advice has been significant—more than 5,000 so far. This help continues to be available through the enterprise initiative. From this it is clear that more and more firms are adopting the positive approach to quality which is so vital to the United Kingdom's competitiveness.