Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award Award Criteria

Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award Award Criteria


The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States. It is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is based at and managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Up to 18 awards may be given annually across six eligibility categories—manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. As of 2014, 105 awards have been presented to 99 organizations.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) is presented annually by the President of the United States to organizations that demonstrate quality and performance excellence. Three awards may be given annually in each of six categories:

  • Manufacturing
  • Service company
  • Small business
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Nonprofit

Established by Congress in 1987 for manufacturers, service businesses and small businesses, the Baldrige Award was designed to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. companies that have implemented successful quality-management systems.

The education and healthcare categories were added in 1999. A government and nonprofit category was added in 2007.

The Baldrige Award is named after the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, a proponent of quality management. The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technologymanages the award and ASQ administers it.

Organizations that apply for the Baldrige Award are judged by an independent board of examiners. Recipients are selected based on achievement and improvement in seven areas, known as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence:

  1. Leadership: How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.
  2. Strategic planning: How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.
  3. Customer and market focus: How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.
  4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage performance.
  5. Human resource focus: How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.
  6. Process management: How the organization designs, manages and improves key processes.
  7. Business/organizational performance results: How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.
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