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2021 Baldrige Award Evaluations Set to Begin Soon

With Baldrige examiner training recently completed, evaluation teams will be formed starting this week for the annual Baldrige Award process, which will kick off later this month. This year’s teams of evaluators—volunteers selected for the 2021 Board of Examiners based on their complementary sector expertise and trained on the 2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework—will examine 14 organizations that have submitted applications for the 2021 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The applicants include five health care organizations, four nonprofit organizations, two service businesses, and three education organizations.

“Given the pandemic-related challenges faced this past year by organizations in every sector of the U.S. economy, we salute both the resilience and the quest for excellence of the 2021 Baldrige Award applicants,” said Bob Fangmeyer, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). “These organizations once again reflect the value of the Baldrige Excellence Framework in helping organizations of all sizes and sectors to improve and sustain high performance despite economic and other difficulties.”

“This value is also demonstrated by the strong interest shown this year in the newly revised Baldrige Excellence Framework publications (business/nonprofit, health care, and education versions) and in participation in our program’s virtual Quest for Excellence® Conference and annual Baldrige Executive Fellows program, as well as in the Baldrige-based state/regional and community award programs that are BPEP partners."  

During the upcoming 2021 Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner teams will first work virtually for ten weeks, assessing each of the award applicants against the 2021-2022 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The assessment criteria address an organization’s leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. Baldrige examiners traditionally have provided each applicant annually with 500 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.

In August, the Judges Panel for the Baldrige Award will meet to determine which organizations will receive site visits by the Baldrige examiner teams to verify information in the organizations’ applications and clarify questions from the teams’ reviews. Baldrige Award recipients are traditionally selected from the site-visited organizations and announced by the Secretary of Commerce in November.

In conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the private sector, BPEP manages the Baldrige Award. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; and develops and educates leaders in all types of organizations about the practices of national role models.

Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige framework and Criteria, which are regularly revised to reflect leading practices, to guide their operations, improve performance, and get sustainable results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers organizations an integrated leadership guide to key management areas, including strategy, operations, data and information, and results. 

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 134 awards have been presented to 124 organizations (including one three-time and nine two-time award recipients). For more information, contact the Baldrige Program at 301-975-2036 or baldrige [at] (baldrige[at]nist[dot]gov).

Released May 17, 2021