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Baldrige Award Cycle Overview

Baldrige Award Process Review Cycle

Award Criteria | About the Award | How to Apply | Is Your Organization Eligible | Award Process Fees | Application Format

Award Process Review Cycle flowchart (Word) 

Application Evaluation

April - June

A team from the Board of Examiners is assigned to your award application.

Members of the team individually review your application against the new award Criteria to evaluate results provided for each question. Then, led by a senior examiner, the team will reach consensus on ratings based on supporting evidence.

Based on examiner teams' evaluations, the Judges' Panel determines which organizations receive site visits.

Site Visit Review


Led by a senior examiner, a team of examiners conducts virtual interviews and data collection to verify an applicant organization's performance results and explores key processes, systems, and various role-model characteristics. The team submits its evaluation report to the Judges' Panel.

Judges' Review


The Judges' Panel conducts final reviews and recommends award recipients to the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), who conveys the recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary of Commerce and the NIST director determine whether recommended award recipients are appropriate role models and should receive the award. The purpose of this determination is to help preserve the award's integrity. The Judges' Panel also recommends non-award-recipient organizations that will be recognized for having one or more best practices. In determining role models, NIST checks records on site-visited applicants and their highest-ranking officials to verify compliance with legal and various regulatory requirements. The Secretary of Commerce then selects the award recipients.

Evaluation Reports for Applicants


Members of the Board of Examiners prepare reports reflecting their teams' evaluations of applicant organizations. Each organization receives an evaluation report when it exits the process: after Application Evaluation, after Site Visit Review, or when it is selected as an award recipient.

Award Ceremony


The President of the United States or a designee traditionally presents the awards (in recent years shortly before the Quest for Excellence Conference begins in early April).

Related Links

Transformation of the Baldrige Award
2024 Baldrige Award FAQs
Baldrige Process Integrity
Baldrige Process Calendar
Baldrige Key Terms
Baldrige Award Recipient Listing
Baldrige Products and Services


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    (301) 975-2036
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    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 25, 2010, Updated February 2, 2024