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Excellence by the Dozen

12 organizations move closer to the Baldrige Award

Published: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 12:25

(NIST: Gaithersburg, MD) -- Twelve high-performing organizations have been selected to receive site visits for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest recognition for organizational performance excellence. Winners of the 2015 Baldrige Award will be chosen from the organizations evaluated during these site visits.

Each year, Baldrige Award winners are announced in November and then honored at a ceremony the following spring. The 2015 awardees’ ceremony will be held during the Quest for Excellence Conference, April 3–6, 2016, in Baltimore.

Judges selected eight organizations in the health care category, two nonprofits, one small business and one educational organization to be visited by teams of Baldrige examiners, including experts in each sector, starting next month. The teams will spend several days at their assigned sites, interviewing employees at all levels of the workforce to clarify and verify information submitted in award applications.

Of the 26 applications received by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) in 2015, 16 are in healthcare, four in education, four in nonprofit, and two in small business. 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; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. Examiners provide each applicant with 500 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization's strengths and opportunities for improvement.

The 2015 Baldrige Award process is the first conducted under revised requirements announced last year. The changes lift certain restrictions and provide some organizations with an alternate path to demonstrate award eligibility.

The BPEP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector and funded by the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality 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 educates leaders in all types of organizations about the practices of national role models. The Baldrige Award recognizes the nation’s top-level performers in six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, healthcare, education, and nonprofit.

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 105 awards have been presented to 99 organizations (including six repeat winners).

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Founded in 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a nonregulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.