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Baldrige Award Applicants Can Now Receive Recognition for Best Practices

From NIST Tech Beat: June 27, 2012

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Contact: Michael E. Newman
301-975-3025

For the first time in the 25-year history of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, high-performing organizations that are candidates for the award will be eligible for recognition of their best practices in six of the seven Baldrige Criteria categories, even if they are not selected as a winner.

The 39 applicants for the 2012 Baldrige Award are currently being evaluated rigorously by an independent board of 478 examiners in the seven categories of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Late this summer, organizations that distinguish themselves in the initial screening will be site visited by teams of examiners to verify information in the application and to clarify questions that come up during the review.

Based on the results of the site visits, the Baldrige Panel of Judges will recommend to the Secretary of Commerce which organizations should receive the 2012 Baldrige Award. From amongst the remaining site-visited applicants, the judges also may identify examples of best practices in the first six categories of the Baldrige Criteria for special recognition. A site-visited organization may be recognized for one or more category best practices. In each case, the organization will achieve the recognition based on its performance in that category and the results related to that performance.

“We added category recognition to the award process as another encouragement for organizations to continue their engagement with the Baldrige Program, and to provide others with useful best practices that might be missed because the applicants weren’t selected for the Baldrige Award,” said Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

These organizations will be acknowledged in the program for the Baldrige Award ceremony, their achievement highlighted on the Baldrige Program website, and their leaders asked to present at the annual Quest for Excellence conference. Previously, only Baldrige Award winners were identified after each award cycle.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. The award—managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in collaboration with the private sector—promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 90 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.

Thousands of organizations use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence 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.

For more information, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige.