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The Baldrige Excellence Framework

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is being used today by business/nonprofit, health care and education organizations as a framework for organizational performance management, assessment and excellence. They are used not only as an application for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award but as the way to run a business—even being called “A Road Map for the Future” by Quality magazine. It offers something different than Lean Six Sigma, ISO, Magnet, and other methodologies and strategies; the Baldrige Criteria offer an organization-wide perspective that optimizes an entire system rather than just focuses on pockets of excellence.

There are three versions of the Baldrige Excellence Framework:

  • The Business/Nonprofit Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by the manufacturing, service, small business, nonprofit and government sectors.
  • The Health Care Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by health care organizations. See how the American Healthcare Association’s National Quality Awards Program has adapted the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
  • The Education Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by educational organizations.


All three versions of the Baldrige Excellence Framework book may be purchased from the NIST Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for $30 per copy. You can also purchase a downloadable PDF of the Framework for $12 per copy. These are available at Please note, digital versions of the Framework will not include NCAfE-specific information such as the award cycle schedule and award application forms.