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Revamped Baldrige Examiner Training to Include Learning Lab

Each year, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program gathers feedback on what training changes could most benefit Baldrige examiners’ work and Baldrige Award applicants. In 2017, planned changes aim to make Baldrige examiner training more like a lab situation, where participants can learn more from each other, increasing their skills in applying the six-step Baldrige evaluation process and increasing their knowledge of the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework. Following are some changes 2017 Baldrige examiners can expect:

  • An online training program has been developed for all new examiners and Baldrige Examiner Training Experience participants to help them better understand and accomplish their prework assignment. The online program covers Baldrige Award process fundamentals, such as the role of the examiner, the Baldrige framework, the award application, and the application evaluation process. The online program is intended to better prepare new examiners for the classroom.
  • The Examiner Preparation Course has been shortened by half a day (i.e., there is no Friday half day of training in 2017). While some practice time has been reduced to accommodate this, discussion time to ensure a consistent understanding of the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria, as well as the evaluation process, has been added. 
  • More feedback will be provided on participants’ prework. Similar to participants in an interactive learning lab experience, examiners will spend the better part of two days providing feedback to each other through a combination of one-on-one, small-group, and large-group exercises and discussions of the prework assignment.
  • More time will be devoted to discussion of how to evaluate results items (Criteria category 7). Most of Thursday’s session will be devoted to the review of examiners’ results prework items. 
  • More insight will be provided into the Consensus Review phase of evaluation by adding time to discuss how the six-step process applies to both the Independent Review and Consensus Review.
  • Alumni and senior examiners will be relied on to share their knowledge with newer examiners and Baldrige Examiner Training Experience participants. At each small-group table, senior and alumni examiners will play a key role in leading discussions. 

Baldrige examiner applicants were notified of their selection to the 2017 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners in mid-March. The 2017 training courses will be held on the weeks of April 24, May 1, and May 8 on Tuesdays through Thursdays for new, senior, and alumni examiners, and on Wednesdays through Thursdays for returning examiners.

More information on serving as a Baldrige examiner (application will reopen in fall 2017) and on participating in the Baldrige Examiner Training Experience (registration now open) can be found on the Baldrige website.

Baldrige examiner training has been nationally recognized with multiple LEAD Awards as among the very best U.S. and global continuing-education programs in organizational and leadership development and human resources. The LEAD Awards, highlighted in Leadership Excellence Essentials magazine and presented by, recognize and honor corporations, educational institutions, and individuals that excel in offering top leadership initiatives and programs on a local to global scale. In the most recent competition, Baldrige was the only state or federal government program to be recognized, often in the first or second slot, within its LEAD award categories for Baldrige examiner training and for the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program. Before 2015 and the change of category types, Baldrige examiner training was highlighted in the Baldrige Program’s multiple first-place honors in the government and military category of the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards.


Released March 21, 2017