Ten U.S. organizations are this year's top candidates for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest recognition for organizational performance excellence. The Baldrige Panel of Judges selected eight organizations in the health care category, one in education and one nonprofit for the final review stage for the 2013 award. Starting this month, teams of experts will make site visits to these organizations to clarify questions and verify information submitted in award applications.
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) received 22 applications in 2013. (See "2013 Baldrige Award Process Kicks Off with New Applicants.") All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Examiners will provide around 1,000 hours of review to each applicant receiving a site visit, and all applicants will receive a detailed report on the organization's strengths and opportunities for improvement.
The 2013 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be named in late November, 2013. The awardees will be honored at a ceremony during the Quest for Excellence conference, April 7-9, 2014, in Baltimore, Md.
The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. The BPEP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector. It also is a partner in the Baldrige Enterprise, which includes the private-sector Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Alliance for Performance Excellence—a body made up of the 30-plus state, local, regional and sector-specific Baldrige-based programs serving nearly all 50 states; and ASQ, an international organization promoting quality.
The program helps U.S. organizations succeed in today's competitive marketplace by providing organizational assessment tools and criteria; educating leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizing them with the Baldrige Award in six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit.
The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 93 organizations have received the award.
For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award, see www.nist.gov/baldrige.