Malcomb Baldridge National Quality Award

The Malcomb Baldridge national quality award (MBNQA) is a certification of sorts that was established by the U.S. Congress to increase awareness about quality management and to recognize U.S. businesses that have successfully implemented quality control systems. This award is the highest honor given by the president to performers.

This award encourages sharing of success strategies. An organization can receive the Baldridge Award if it has a top-notch management system that allows for continuous improvement in the delivery of products and/or services. This award recognizes efficient and effective operations. It also provides a means of responding to the Voice Of the Customer (VOC)

Each year, three MBNQA awards are given in six categories.

  • Manufacturing
  • Service Company
  • Small Business
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Non-profit

1999 saw the addition of education and healthcare, and 2007 saw the addition of government and non-profit categories.

The Malcomb Baldridge national quality award was named after Malcomb Baldridge (the late Secretary of Commerce), who was a strong advocate of quality management. ASQ administers the award. The award is administered by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.


An independent panel of examiners reviews applications for the Malcomb Baldridge national quality award. The Baldrige Criteria of Performance Excellence is used to select recipients. It measures achievement and improvement in seven areas for the Malcolm Baldrige certification.

  1. Leadership What the upper management does to lead the organization and how it leads in the community.
  2. Strategy How an organization plans and establishes strategic directions.
  3. Customers: How an organization develops and maintains strong, long-lasting relationships with customers.
  4. Measurement and analysis of knowledge and knowledge management. How an organization uses data to support key processes, manage performance, and improve efficiency.
  5. Workforce: How an organization empowers its employees and includes them.
  6. Operations: How an organization designs, manages, and improves key processes.
  7. Results How does the organization rank in terms of customer satisfaction, finances and human resources, the performance of suppliers and partners, operations, governance, and Social Responsibility? Also, how it compares with its competitors.

The 2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework is now available to the business/nonprofit sectors. The 2019-2020 Baldrige Excellence framework is available to the education, business, and healthcare industries. This criterion addresses the management of all parts of an organization, cybersecurity risks, as well as an understanding of the role and importance of risk management in a system-based approach to organizational performance management.