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Is Your Organization Eligible?

To be eligible for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, your organization must

  1. meet the general and one of the additional conditions described below
  2. meet requirements in one of six eligibility categories (manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit)

General Eligibility Conditions

Your organization must meet all of these conditions:

  • It is headquartered in the United States. (U.S. subunits of foreign organizations may apply for the award if the subunit is headquartered in the United States. For eligibility purposes, overseas U.S. military installations and embassies don't constitute U.S. territories.)

  • It has existed for at least one year (i.e., at least since April 1, 2013)

  • The operational practices associated with all of its major organizational functions are available for examination in the United States or its territories

  • It can share information on the seven Criteria categories at your organization's U.S. facilities and at The Quest for Excellence® Conference.

Additional Eligibility Conditions

Additional eligibility conditions established in 2012 focus organizations on getting early reviews from the Baldrige-based award programs that are members of the Alliance for Performance Excellence. These changes will help ensure a healthy, effective nationwide Baldrige Enterprise.


With these changes, your organization must also meet one of the conditions in the first column below to apply for the Baldrige Award.



Yes

No

1. Your organization has won the Baldrige Award (prior to 2009).

 

Your organization is eligible (All Baldrige Award recipients are ineligible to apply for the award again for five years).

 

Continue with statement 2.

 

2. Between 2009 and 2013, your organization received the top award from an award program that is a member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence.

Your organization is eligible.

 

Continue with statement 3.

 

3. Between 2009 and 2013, your organization applied for the national Baldrige Award, and the total of the process and results band numbers assigned in the feedback report was 8 or higher.

Your organization is eligible.

 

Continue with statement 4.

4. Between 2009 and 2013, your organization applied for the national Baldrige Award and received a site visit.

Your organization is eligible.

 

Continue with statement 5.

 

5. More than 25% of your organization's workforce is located outside the organization's home state.

Your organization is eligible.

 

Continue with statement 6.

 

6. There is no Alliance for Performance Excellence award program available for your organization.

Your organization is eligible.

 

Call 877-237-9064, option 3.

 


Eligibility Categories

Eligible organizations fall into six categories:

  • three in business (manufacturing, service, and small business)

  • education

  • health care

  • nonprofit

For descriptions of each of these categories, see the Eligibility Categories (MS-Word) document.

Eligibility of Subunits (Units or Divisions of Larger Organizations)

The larger organization that holds or has control of a subunit is the "parent"—the highest level of an organization that is eligible to apply for the award. In the nonprofit category, examples of parent organizations are
  • the U.S. Department of Defense (not the Department of the Army)

  • the State of Maryland (not the Maryland Department of Transportation)

  • the Montgomery County Government (not the Montgomery County Health Department)

Education and health care subunits. If the parent provides direct teaching and instructional services to students or direct health care services to people, a subunit that also provides these services is eligible as noted in the Education and Health Care sections above.

Other subunits are eligible if they meet the requirements below.

Manufacturing, service, small business, and nonprofit subunits. To be eligible, subunits in these categories must
  • be recognizable as discrete entities;

  • be easily distinguishable from the parent and its other subunits;

  • be self-sufficient enough to be examined in all seven Criteria categories;

  • have a clear definition of "organization" reflected in their literature; and

  • function as business or operational entities, not as activities assembled to write an award application.

In addition, subunits in these categories must

  • have 500 or more employees, or

  • qualify as small businesses as described below, or

  • be in manufacturing or service and (1) employ at least 25 percent of the parent's total workforce and (2) sell or provide 50 percent or more of their products or services outside the applying subunit, the parent, and other organizations owning or having financial or organizational control of the applying subunit or the parent.

A 2009 change in eligibility permitted a broader spectrum of organizations to apply for the award. Specifically, internal suppliers and support functions may apply as long as they have at least 500 employees and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Manufacturing and service subunits with fewer than 500 employees are eligible in the small business category if they
  • were independent before acquisition by the parent and continue to operate independently under their own identity, or

  • are separately incorporated and distinct from the parent's other subunits.

Subunit and parent. A subunit and its parent may submit eligibility certification packages in the same year, but only one may apply for the award in that year.


Eligibility of Baldrige Award Recipients

All Baldrige Award recipients are ineligible to apply for the award again for five years. For example, an organization that received the award in 2011 may not reapply until 2017.

However, during those five years, recipients may submit award applications annually to receive feedback reports outlining their strengths and opportunities for improvement based on the Criteria for Performance Excellence. After five years, award recipients may apply for the award or, if they wish, for feedback only.

Similarly, if a subunit receives the Baldrige Award, that subunit and all its subunits are ineligible to apply for the award for five years. They may also submit award applications to receive feedback only during those five years.

In addition, if a subunit with more than 50 percent of the total employees of the parent receives the Baldrige Award, the parent organization and all its subunits are ineligible to apply for the award for five years. They may submit award applications to receive feedback only during that time.

Eligibility of Baldrige Criteria Sponsors

An organization that sponsors the Criteria cannot apply for the award during the two years that the sponsored Criteria are published.

Eligibility of Participants in a Baldrige Collaborative Assessment

An organization that participates in a Baldrige Collaborative Assessment cannot apply for the award during the award cycle in which the assessment occurs.
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Award Process Hotline
1-877-237-9064, option 3