Yes! The U.S. Award for Quality Excellence is known as the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award (MBNQA). In fact, the award was established as Public Law 100-107 by an act of Congress under the Reagan administration in 1987.1
The award, in its 35th year of existence, is currently overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology2 in collaboration with the American Society for Quality (ASQ).3
Awards are not given for specific products or services, though. To receive an award an organization must have a system in place that ensures continuous improvement in the overall performance of delivering products and/or services and provides an approach for satisfying and responding to customers and stakeholders. Emphasis is placed upon the excellence of the organization’s overall products and processes, relationships with customers, the characteristics of the workforce, and the effectiveness of leaders. Financial and market outcomes are also assessed.
This Malcolm Baldridge Award assessment process is quite different from assessing compliance with regulations, which many of my colleagues and I would say is the least a business must do. This award assessment process is designed to determine how well your organization has gone beyond what is required. This is about achieving excellence.
Benefits of applying for and winning the award have consistently been reported to be more about the process than the outcome. The potential bottom-line impact is, however, the most compelling reason to participate in the Baldrige program. The most significant revenue gains were for organizations that repeatedly participated (and won). NIST analysts have assessed that the benefits to repetitive award winners have included:
- 80%: Median growth in revenue for two-time Baldrige Award winners
- 255%: Median growth in revenue for three-time Baldrige Award winners4
My personal philosophy is to try everything that looks good at least once. Considering the potential gains of continued participation in this program, I would encourage organizations to apply for (and win) the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, repeatedly.
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1 History: Who We Are: The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (baldrigefoundation.org), © 2022 by The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Inc.; accessed 08/09/2022 from: https://baldrigefoundation.org/who-we-are/history.html
2 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, published with an update on 10/06/2021 by the National Institute of Standards (NIST); accessed 08/09/2022 from: https://www.nist.gov/baldrige/baldrige-award
3 News Release – ASQ Awarded Contract to Administer Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Through 2024, press release from the American Society for Quality (ASQ.org) in Milwaukee, Wis., March 29, 2021, accessed 08/09/2022 from: https://asq.org/newsroom/news-releases/20210329-asq-malcolm-baldrige#:~:text=Milwaukee%2C%20Wis.%2C%20March%2029,performance%20excellence%2C%20the%20Malcom%20Baldrige
4 Baldridge Program Impacts, published with an update on 05/20/2022 by the National Institute of Standards (NIST); accessed 08/11/2022 from: https://www.nist.gov/baldrige/how-baldrige-works/about-baldrige/baldrige-impacts