The Judges Panel for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) chose 15 organizations to proceed to Site Visit Review, the final stage of the evaluation process for the nation’s highest award for organizational performance excellence.

Baldrige medallion

The judges met last week to review scoring data from the first two stages of the evaluation process for the annual Baldrige Award. The panel will reconvene in November to review findings about the site-visited organizations’ performance and determine which to recommend to the Secretary of Commerce to be named Baldrige Award recipients. The awardees will be honored at a ceremony during the annual Quest for Excellence® conference, April 2-5, 2017, in Baltimore, MD.

For the site visits that will be conducted in late September, judges selected 8 organizations in the health care category, 1 in education, 2 nonprofits, 2 small businesses, and 2 service businesses. The site visit evaluation teams, composed of Baldrige examiners, will include experts in each sector. The teams will spend several days at their assigned sites, interviewing employees at all levels of the workforce to clarify and verify information submitted in award applications.

This fall, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) also will be piloting a new service called the Baldrige Site Visit Experience for one organization not chosen for a traditional site visit through the award process.

The 34 applications received by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) earlier this year include 21 health care organizations, four education organizations, four nonprofit organizations, three small businesses, and two service businesses. All Baldrige Award applicants are evaluated rigorously by members of the independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the 2015–2016 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. Baldrige examiners provide each applicant with 500 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.

The BPEP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector and funded by the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award(link is external). The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; and educates leaders in all types of organizations about the practices of national role models. The Baldrige Award recognizes the nation’s top-level performers in six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education, and nonprofit.

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since the first Baldrige Award recipients were recognized in 1988, 109 awards have been presented to 102 organizations (including seven two-time award recipients).

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award, see www.nist.gov/baldrige.