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22 Organizations Seek the 2014 Baldrige Award

From NIST Tech Beat: May 20, 2014

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Contact: Michael E. Newman

Twenty-two top-level candidates are lining up for a shot at being named one of America's best examples of performance excellence and innovation via the 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. This year's applicants include two service businesses, two educational organizations, 12 health care organizations and six nonprofits.

Once again in 2014, Baldrige-driven performance excellence proves to be popular within the health care sector. At least one health care organization in the United States has received a Baldrige Award annually since 2002. Also notable this year is the return of applicants in the service business category, an unbroken string in education (there have been applicants in this category each year since its start in 1999) and the continued strong showing for nonprofits (second only to health care among sectors represented in recent years).

Based on a change in eligibility requirements enacted in 2012, Baldrige Award applicants must first receive a performance excellence award from a state/local or sector-specific Baldrige-based program before seeking the national honor.

Working in teams over the summer, members of the volunteer board of Baldrige examiners will evaluate applicant organizations against the seven categories of the 2013–2014 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Examiners provide each applicant with 300 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization's strengths and opportunities for improvement.

In late August, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP)'s Panel of Judges will determine which organizations will receive site visits by examiner teams to verify information in the application and clarify questions that come up during the review. From those site-visited organizations, the 2014 Baldrige Award recipients will be selected in late November 2014.

BPEP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; develops and educates leaders in all types of organizations about the practices of national role models (in fact, BPEP recently ranked first among U.S. government and military organizations for leadership training*); and recognizes them with the Baldrige Award in six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit.

Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige Criteria to guide their operations, improve performance and get sustainable results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers organizations an integrated approach to key management areas. The criteria are regularly updated to reflect the leading edge of validated management practice.

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 101 awards have been presented to 95 organizations (with six repeat honorees). For more information on the Baldrige Program, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige.

*See"Baldrige Program Named Top Leadership Developer in Government," NIST Tech Beat, April 14, 2014.