Halfway through the eighties, management of medium-sized and small businesses increasingly needed insight into the factual functioning of management. Additionally, they wanted to prepare for a Europe without borders.

Several leading companies in the Netherlands then initiated the development of a standardised management testing method. A workgroup was composed, under the supervision of prof. Dr P.M. van Kempen, for creating a Statement of Requirements. Advisors of KPMG, Berenschot and Coopers & Lybrand participated in this workgroup. The result was a complete classification standard (EC-Standard ® - European Classification Standard).

After several meetings, it became clear to the entrepreneurs and managers that they jointly possessed more knowledge, expertise and practical experience than the consulting firms. They decided to stop using consultants and directly share their insights, knowledge and experiences with each other and help each other through best-practice examples. For this purpose, they founded the European Foundation for Business Qualification in 1992, with the same support from the European Commission, and in doing so made the consultants redundant. By now, this has become a group of 100 businesses that are all situated in the Netherlands.

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