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Prepare to Apply for a 2017 Baldrige Award!

High-performing U.S. businesses, nonprofits, health care, and education organizations: consider applying next year for the nation’s most prestigious and only Presidential award for organizational excellence: the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. 

2017 Baldrige Award application forms and guidance are now available online to help organizations learn how to apply and begin preparing to submit a complete application by the deadline of May 2, 2017 (and eligibility package due date of February 22, 2017).

The reward of participating in the Baldrige Award process goes beyond the high honor of receiving recognition as a national role model. Every applicant receives a feedback report detailing strengths and opportunities to continue improving its performance. Here’s how senior leaders of Baldrige Award recipients in three different sectors have described the benefits of applying: 

“From the start, our primary goal in applying for the Baldrige Award was to learn from an objective and highly respected source how we could build on our successful business processes and results,” said John J. McGinty, vice president of the Customer Development Group of Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. “The Baldrige report indicated that we are on the right course and confirmed that we’re among the leaders in our industry in seven of the most important areas of business. But we truly believe there is always room for continuous improvement. That … will continue to drive our planning processes in the future.” 

Similarly, David Fox, president of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, stated, “We wrote the application and we experienced the very intensive examiner survey because we felt it would make us a better organization.” 

And from the nonprofit sector, Dr. Joseph A. Lannon, director of U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), said, “The advantage of applying for these awards is … to get the feedback from these experts from the outside who look at your organization in great detail and tell you what you do well and what you don’t do so well … to improve in those various areas.”

To prepare for your organization to apply in 2017, read about the process and download the forms on these pages online:

2017 Baldrige Award applications are to be written in response to the assessment questions of the 2017-2018 Criteria for Performance Excellence--to be available in mid-December 2016. Applicants in the health care sector should use the 2017-2018 Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence, and those in education should use the 2017-2018 Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, which will both be available in mid-January 2017.

For more information on the Baldrige Program and the Baldrige Award, see


Released November 9, 2016, Updated November 29, 2016