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How to Apply for the Baldrige Award

About the Award | Award Cycle Overview | Is Your Organization Eligible | Award Process Fees | The Feedback Report | Changes and Reminders

Applying for the Baldrige Award is a two-part process.

Step 1: Submit an Eligibility Certification Package
Step 2: Submit an Award Application Package

(If your organization has applied before, please see Changes and Reminders for 2020.)

2020 Due Dates

Eligibility Certification Package

February 12

(submission must be postmarked by this date with or without a nomination to the Board of Examiners)

Submit the eligibility certification package to certify your organization's eligibility in one of six award categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, or nonprofit.

Award Application Package

April 30 (PDF file only)

(applications must be submitted electronically by this date)

Submit PDF file of the application

Step 1: Submit an Eligibility Certification Package

Is Your Organization Eligible?

The Eligibility Certification Package consists of the following:

  • Completed Eligibility Certification Form signed by your organization's highest-ranking official
  • Organization chart and other required documents described in the form
  • Nonrefundable Fee of $400
  • Proof of the date you send the package (Eligibility Certification Package Checklist)
  • Nominate a Senior Member of your organization to the Board of Examiners (Optional)

Eligibility Form Details

The Baldrige Program keeps this material confidential. We use it to avoid conflicts of interest when assigning examiners to your application. In addition, the information in the Eligibility Certification Form provides a useful profile of your organization and is often the first information read by the examiners assigned to your application.

We'll review your eligibility certification package promptly and contact your designated eligibility contact point or alternate if it needs clarification, but you'll self-certify your organization's eligibility to apply for the award. You do not need notification from the program to begin preparing your application.

The Baldrige Program relies on the information you submit in the Eligibility Certification Form. If we find during the award cycle that the information is inaccurate in a way that makes your organization ineligible, you will forfeit eligibility for the award, and your organization will receive a feedback report only. Please call the hotline with any questions.

Award Process Helpline
1-877-237-9064, option 3

Nominate a Senior Member of Your Organization to the Board of Examiners (Optional)

Gain insight into the Baldrige Excellence Framework and the Baldrige Award process by nominating a senior member of your organization to be noncompetitively appointed to the Baldrige Board of Examiners when you submit your Eligibility Certification Package. The nominee must not have served previously as a Baldrige examiner and must fully participate as a member of the board by

  • attending Examiner Preparation Training
  • participating in the evaluation of an organization that has applied for the award

Board appointments provide a significant opportunity for your organization to learn about the Baldrige Framework and the evaluation process. Examiners

  • improve their understanding of the Baldrige Framework
  • see how the Baldrige Framework is used in high-performing organizations
  • develop a network of professional colleagues

Being a Baldrige examiner requires a substantial time commitment. All board appointments are for one year only, and your organization or the nominee must cover travel and lodging expenses incurred for Examiner Preparation Training. View the Baldrige Examiner Role for responsibilities, terms and conditions, and timeline.

Step 2: Submit an Award Application Package

In this package, you provide the information that a team from the Board of Examiners needs to conduct a rigorous evaluation of your organization. All information you provide is considered confidential.

The Award Application Package consists of the following:

Award Application Details

Your application will be accepted only if you've certified your eligibility by the key date (see above). To apply for the award, you'll also need the appropriate Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet for your organization.

  • We reserve the right to return incomplete applications and those that don’t meet the content and formatting requirements. Please call the helpline with any questions.

Award Process Helpline
1-877-237-9064, option 3


Purchase Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit, Education, Health Care
Baldrige Process Calendar
Application Content and Format
Baldrige Process Integrity

Related Links

Baldrige Award Recipient Listing
Baldrige Impacts
Self-Assessing Your Organization
Baldrige Improvement Tools
Baldrige FAQs



  • Award Process Hotline
    (877) 237-9064 ext. 3
  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 11, 2010, Updated April 6, 2020