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The Official Baldrige Blog

Baldrige Framework Revisions Aim to Keep Criteria on the Leading Edge

Man holding the 2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework with open hands.
Credit: Horoscope/Shutterstock

The Baldrige Program has been in the process of seeking inputs needed to revise the Baldrige Excellence Framework® booklets and ensure that the Criteria for Performance Excellence® remain “proven leadership and management practices for high performance.” An additional goal is to simplify the Criteria as much as possible, without losing its robustness as a management guide.

The Process

The process began with gathering feedback (including feedback received since the last revision). A call for feedback was sent out through email, the Baldrige website, social media, and direct requests. In addition, literature reviews were conducted, and benchmarking of other excellence programs was shared. In addition, Baldrige staff members have met with experts, including ISO representatives, health care thought leaders, and superintendents, and asked master examiners in business, nonprofit, health care, and education sectors to suggest revisions to those Criteria, respectively. Baldrige consultants, who are typically master examiners with in-depth Criteria experience, have been particularly helpful in sharing how their clients understand (or misunderstand) Criteria requirements and which parts of the Criteria are key for attaining excellence.


Over the last few months, six webinars were held, with themes based loosely on a sorting of the general feedback received on what needs to change in the Criteria from 2021/2022 to 2023/2024. During each 2.5-hour webinar, attendees—Baldrige Award recipients and applicants, framework publication purchasers, consultants, and Alliance for Performance Excellence representatives, among others—spent time thinking through general questions and then providing feedback on specific suggestions.

Participants in the following webinars discussed these main questions.

Advanced Technology

  • What technologies (including disruptive) do you see impacting organizations in the next five years? How about in the next two years?
  • How might factors such as disruptive technologies, cloud computing, digital technology adoption, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and other data analysis methods, and robotics be important to running a successful organization in the future?

Award Process Improvements

  • Is the definition of excellence too broad?
  • What makes the Criteria too complex?
  • What improvements could be made to the application process?

Impacts of COVID and Virtual/Hybrid Working Environments

Where in the Criteria might organizations focus on issues that have been exacerbated during COVID (e.g., issues related to staffing, safety, resource allocation, methods of working, global supply chains)?


  • How has leadership changed in the last two years? How would you represent this holistically in the framework? 
  • Metrics such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG); and Drucker Institute five dimensions of corporate performance (Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility, and Financial Strength) are being tracked by leading organizations around the world and are already present in the Criteria in various ways. Do they need to be further emphasized?

Operations, Including Supply Network Challenges and Innovation

  • In previous framework versions, the term “supply network” was introduced to show how organizations must increasingly rely on a supply network to manage assets outside traditional organizational boundaries. How have the lessons from 2020-2022 impacted that reliance?
  • Much of the related feedback on the Criteria could be sorted into three main buckets: transformation, supply network, and innovation. How important are these concepts for the 2023-2024 framework? 

Workforce Issues

  • Given the workforce supply-chain vulnerabilities exposed and exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, what changes are needed in the Criteria’s coverage of workforce recruitment and retention?
  • In considering the remote worker, travel staff, temporary staff, and virtual/hybrid worker, how/where might these types of workers be incorporated/referenced across the Criteria?

If you weren’t able to attend a webinar or contribute feedback, how would you respond to some of these questions?

The 2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework® booklets (including the Criteria for Performance Excellence®) are expected to be published in late 2022/early 2023. There will be three versions: Business/Nonprofit, Health Care, and Education. In addition, the shorter version of the framework, Baldrige Excellence Builder®, will be updated and published in 2023.

2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit feature image

Baldrige Excellence Framework®

The Baldrige Excellence Framework has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. It includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

Purchase your copy today!

Available versions: Business/Nonprofit, Education, and Health Care

About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience, 18 years at the Baldrige Program. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.

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