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Getting Started with Baldrige

Introduce the Baldrige Excellence Framework® and it's Criteria for Performance Excellence® to your organization. Your organization’s experience with the Baldrige framework will help you decide where to begin.


Are We Making Progress? and Are We Making Progress as Leaders?

Two questionnaires that will introduce the seven Baldrige Criteria categories to your organization and help you quickly identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.

easyInsight: Take a First Step toward a Baldrige Self-Assessment

Online survey helps identify gaps in understanding your organization and allows you to compare your organization to others.

Create the Organizational Profile

First step in a full self-assessment against the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence®.

Are You a Role-Model Leader?

Assess yourself and your leadership team against these role-model leadership attributes and behaviors.

Job Quality Toolkit

The Job Quality Toolkit is an actionable tool that organizations can use to improve the quality of the jobs they offer. This improvement tool is rooted in the Baldrige Excellence Framework®.

Foundations for a Successful Business

Foundations for a Successful Business helps your organization identify and leverage strengths and prepare to face challenges. This improvement tool describes organizational success in seven fundamental areas that apply to any corporation, nonprofit, government, or academic institution.

Beginners to Intermediate

Purchase the Baldrige Excellence Framework®

Answer the 17 Criteria Item Title questions to reach a basic understanding of the Criteria for Performance Excellence® and your organization's performance.

Download the Baldrige Excellence Builder® (Free Download)

Use the Baldrige Excellence Builder®, an abridged version of the Baldrige Excellence Framework®, to answer key questions for improving your organization's performance.

Ready to Conduct a Full Self-Assessment

Purchase the Baldrige Excellence Framework® (includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence®)

If your organization has some experience with the Baldrige Excellence Framework® or has completed smaller-scale assessments, you may be ready to conduct a full self-assessment using the seven categories of the Baldrige Excellence Framework's Criteria for Performance Excellence®. Below are six basic steps for conducting a full self-assessment. We encourage you to modify this process to meet your own organizational needs.

Step 1.  Identify the boundaries/scope of the assessment
The self-assessment might cover the entire organization, a subunit, a division, or a department.

Step 2Select Champions
Then select seven champions, one for each category in the Baldrige Excellence Builder® or Criteria. These champions each lead a team in preparing responses to the questions in a Criteria Category. If they have not already done so, have the champions prepare an Organizational Profile describing your organization and its challenges.

Step 3.  Select Category teams, and collect data and information to answer the questions
The champions select Category teams, and the teams collect information and data in response to the questions in their respective Categories.

Step 4.  Share the answers to the questions among the Category teams
In sharing the answers, the Category teams identify common themes.

Step 5.  Create and communicate an action plan for improvement
Each Category team creates and communicates an action plan for improvement based on their answers and organizational priorities. The Self-Analysis Worksheet can help your Category teams identify strengths and opportunities, set priorities, and develop action plans.

Step 6.  Evaluate the self-assessment process, and identify possible improvements
Senior leaders, champions, and teams evaluate the self-assessment and think about ways to improve it. 

Step 7.  Contact Your Alliance for Performance Excellence Program
Baldrige-based programs that are members of the nationwide Alliance for Performance Excellence network offer assessments against the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence® and provide other services to organizations that are striving to improve their performance, earn recognition as they progress along their improvement journeys, and ultimately achieve the levels of performance necessary to compete for the national award.

Begin your organization’s full self-assessment today!

Apply for the Baldrige Award

Be Recognized! 

If your organization is high-performing and tracking results across the dimensions of leadership and governance; strategy; operations; operational continuity; workforce; customers and markets; community engagement; and finance, apply for the Baldrige Award. 

  • Your organization may receive Presidential and/or U.S. Department of Commerce recognition as a national role model and/or an award finalist​. 
  • With recognition, your organization may also realize a competitive advantage and a validated brand, as well as receive a special honor related to your core business/values and aligned with your organization’s purpose​. 
  • All applicants for the Baldrige Award will receive an evaluation report--unique insights related to your performance, innovation, and readiness for disruption.

View the Award Criteria and learn more about the benefits of applying.

Baldrige Products and Services

Baldrige offers a wide array of educational and assessment products/services to help organizations improve their performance. These include best practices conferences, collaborative assessments, individual and organizational training, executive education, and more.

Find More Information and Sample Assessments



  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 25, 2010, Updated February 14, 2024