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).

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.

Want to prepare your award application with another winning team? Let us help! EMMA International and I can assist you with taking your organization to an award-winning level of quality excellence. Contact us by phone at 248-987-4497 or by sending an email to: info@emmainternational.com.


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

Diane Kulisek

Diane Kulisek

Ms. Kulisek serves as a Senior Quality Engineer and Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist for EMMA International’s Technical Operations team. She has experience in technical writing, quality management systems, regulatory enforcement remediation, corrective and preventive action management, electronic data management systems, cybersecurity, and design controls for the medical device industry. Ms. Kulisek also has significant past experience in quality engineering and management for mass-produced consumer products, electronics, aerospace and commercial filtration industries. Ms. Kulisek holds a Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Civil, Industrial and Applied Mechanical Engineering Management from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Biology, also from CSUN. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Program Management from West Coast University, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Six Sigma Systems, Inc., and Certifications for multiple EU MDR and EU IVDR topics from Greenlight Guru. Ms. Kulisek maintained American Society for Quality Certifications for more than twenty consecutive years as a Quality Engineer (ASQ CQE) and as a Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence (ASQ CMQ/OE).

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