Multiple safeguards ensure the integrity of the Baldrige Program and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and ensure fairness and confidentiality for customers.
Baldrige Award and Other Assessments
- All information about organizations receiving Baldrige Award evaluations and other assessments is held in strictest confidence by all individuals with access to this information. Applicants may disclose that they have applied for the award. Only the names of award recipients are released to the public by the Baldrige Program. The Baldrige Program will ask organizations receiving other (non-award) assessments and organizations receiving category recognition if their names may be released. The program will not release their names without permission.
- Only Baldrige examiners review applications and evaluate Baldrige Award applications and perform other assessments, and only Baldrige judges recommend award recipients. All Baldrige judges and examiners are volunteers.
- In assigning examiners and judges to evaluate Baldrige Award applications and perform other assessments, the Baldrige Program carefully avoids real and perceived conflicts of interest.
Each examiner and judge signs a Code of Ethical Conduct that applies to their participation in all organizational evaluations and assessments. They pledge to be guided by the principles of integrity, professional conduct, confidentiality, and respect for intellectual property. Among other provisions, they pledge to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest and never to approach an organization they have evaluated for their personal gain.
- Before recommending organizations to the Secretary of Commerce as Baldrige Award recipients, the Baldrige Program performs background checks on all potential recipients and verifies that they can serve as role models for other organizations. Applicants selected to receive the Baldrige Award ultimately receive about 1,000 hours of scrutiny from Baldrige examiners and judges.
- The Baldrige Board of Overseers , the policy advisory group for the Baldrige Program, meets in a public session each June and December and reviews the program's processes and performance. After careful review, the overseers have continuously reaffirmed the integrity and efficacy of the program.
Members of the Board of Overseers never see information on Baldrige Program customers, including applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award or other assessments.
- Members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award do not evaluate or select recipients. During the evaluation process, neither the Baldrige Program, nor examiners, nor judges inform board members of applicants for the award. Board members receive the names of the award recipients only through the general press release to the public after selection.
The members of the board and staff of the Foundation never see information on Baldrige Program customers, including applicants for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award or other assessments.
Neither financial contributions to the Foundation nor the purchase of sponsorships has any impact on the award evaluation process. Furthermore, the Foundation board has no programmatic oversight over the Baldrige Program.
The Baldrige Program director recuses himself from Judges' Meeting discussions of Baldrige Award applicants that have employees who are Foundation officers or members of the Foundation Board of Directors.
Rules of Engagement with Customers
Evaluation and Assessment Services
The Baldrige Program provides Baldrige Award evaluations and other assessment services that identify organizations' strengths and opportunities for improvement relative to the Baldrige Excellence Framework. These services do not provide prescriptive solutions or approaches.
- Organizations that receive assessment services from the Baldrige Program outside the Baldrige Award process are not eligible to apply for the award in the same calendar year that they receive these services.
- From receipt of an intent to apply (through the Eligibility Certification Form) through the organizations' receipt of the feedback report, the Baldrige Program does not individually approach current-year award applicants on the provision of other services.
The Baldrige Program provides educational services and events that focus on organizational improvement through the use of the Baldrige Criteria. These services do not provide prescriptive solutions or approaches.
Limitations on educational services to Baldrige Award applicants:
- Beyond general guidance for award applicants, the program does not instruct individual organizations on writing Baldrige Award applications.
- The Baldrige Program does not provide individual educational services to current-year Baldrige Award applicants during the calendar year in which they apply for the award. Only publicly available events, such as The Quest for Excellence® Conference, are offered to current-year applicants.
- From receipt of an intent to reply (through the Eligibility Certification Form) through the organizations' receipt of the feedback report, the Baldrige Program does not individually approach current-year award applicants on the provision of other services.