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Baldrige FAQs: Board of Examiners

How are Baldrige examiners selected?

The Baldrige Program selects about 450 Baldrige examiners each year through a competitive application process. Each fall, applications are solicited from individuals in manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education, professional, trade, and nonprofit organizations, as well as from government agencies, to serve as examiners for the following year.

Applicants for the Board of Examiners are evaluated on the basis of their (1) expertise in the seven Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence categories; (2) in-depth experience in several industrial or service sectors; (3) expertise in an area of high need for the program, such as small business operations, senior management, hospitality or service, health care, education, charitable nonprofits, and financial results; and (4) skills that have been proven to be useful for examiners. The Baldrige Program aims to ensure broad representation on the board and to minimize disproportionate involvement of one industry, sector, or organization.

Each year, approximately one-third of the examiners are new to allow wide participation.

For more information about the examiner selection process, see Who Should Apply? Baldrige Examiner Selection.

What are the benefits of serving as an examiner? Are examiners paid?

Service on the Board of Examiners offers individuals the opportunity to

  • strengthen their ability to use the Criteria for Performance Excellence within their own organizations for continuous improvement and self-assessment
  • network with peers and enhance personal growth
  • gain experience in organizational assessment by reviewing applications from organizations across the United States, and participating (if assigned) in Site Visit Review
  • be recognized for service by the secretary of commerce and the director of NIST
  • attend the annual presentation of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award by the President of the United States

Examiners receive valuable training and experience in understanding the Baldrige Criteria and applying them to a variety of organizations. Examiners develop analytical and consensus-building skills and a systems perspective that can be applied within their own organizations.

Members of the Board of Examiners are not compensated for their time; they serve on a voluntary basis. In "Baldrige Examiners: Patriots, Community Members, Elite Quality Professionals," Baldrige examiners themselves provide additional reasons for service to Baldrige.

What is required of examiners? How many hours?

Examiners contribute 10 or more days per year to the Baldrige Program, including a 3-to-4-day Examiner Preparation Course and an Independent Review and Consensus Review of an award application. (In preparation for training, examiners spend about 50 hours completing some online training and evaluating a case study.) The actual number of days required of examiners depends on the number of applications to be reviewed and on whether the examiner participates in a Site Visit Review. Travel is necessary for training and Site Visit Review.

Examiners spend about 40 hours on an independent review of an application at their work location or home. For Consensus Review, examiners spend approximately 30 to 40 hours completing their assignments before the consensus conference call, 10 to 15 hours on planning and consensus conference calls, and 3 to 5 hours after the call. Site visits require 20 to 30 hours of individual preparation and 6 to 7 days on-site at the applicant's location(s).

In addition to application review responsibilities, many examiners perform outreach activities, such as giving presentations, participating on panels, and writing articles. Many of these activities involve the professional, trade, community, and state organizations to which examiners belong.

Experienced examiners often participate in other tasks for the Baldrige Program, such as serving on a Baldrige Collaborative Assessment, writing/reviewing a Baldrige case study, and serving as a technical editor for Baldrige feedback reports.