About the program

Starting in 1983, Maryland’s U.S. Senators honored the quality, productivity and business achievements of Maryland organizations by presenting the Senate Productivity Awards for Maryland.  In 1997, we built on these prestigious awards by creating the Maryland Quality Awards – a new and expanded recognition and learning process for leading Maryland organizations. These traditions are carried forward with the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards Program and managed by the Maryland Performance Excellence Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit, charitable organization.

The purpose of the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards program is two-fold. The awards identify, recognize, and spotlight role model organizations whose performance is worthy of emulation.  More importantly, the award application process encourages organizations to learn and improve. Through conducting self-assessment, an essential step in preparing the award application, and by utilizing the written feedback report, which all applicants receive, the awards process helps applicants improve the way they manage their organization.

In 1997, Maryland adopted the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as the basis for the awards program. In addition, the levels of recognition were expanded to include the Maryland Quality Awards (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Certificate of Recognition), which serve to recognize organizations as they progress on their journey toward performance excellence.

The awards program is modified annually to better serve award applicants, the examiners who volunteer their time to assess the award applications, and the people and organizations of Maryland. The Criteria are updated each year to be aligned with changes to the Baldrige Criteria. Examiner training has been increased to better prepare the volunteers for their assessment of applications and writing of feedback reports.  Each applicant in the awards process has the opportunity for a face-to-face discussion with the examiner team for increased learning at the conclusion of the awards process.