Site Visits Start for 2010 Baldrige Awards

The program has a new name reflecting the broader focus on overall organizational quality. This is the first year since the nonprofit category was added in 2007 with site visits taking place in all six categories.

The final lap of this year's Baldrige Awards competition is under way, with site visits taking place at 16 organizations in the six categories. In addition, the Baldrige National Quality Program name used for 23 years has been switched to the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to connote a focus on overall organizational quality rather than quality in products and service. A 2007 study had recommended such a change be made by the program's parent agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The 2010 winners will be announced in late November.

"We are pleased to now make performance excellence a central part of our name. In the more than two decades since the inception of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the field of quality has evolved from a focus on product, service, and customer quality to a broader, strategic focus on overall organizational quality, which we have called performance excellence," Program Director Harry Hertz said. "In line with this concept of overall organizational excellence, which some people refer to as 'biq Q' quality, the Baldrige Criteria have evolved to stay on the leading edge of validated management practice and needs, so it is fitting that our new name emphasizes the concept of excellence."

The 16 organizations are divided among the six categories in this way: two organizations in manufacturing, four in small business, one in service, one in education, seven in health care, and one in nonprofit. This is the first year since the nonprofit category was added in 2007 with at least one candidate in all six categories receiving a site visit. For more information, visit www.nist.gov/baldrige.

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