After 23 years as the "Baldrige National Quality Program," the nation's public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence has decided to highlight that mission with a new name – the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Concurrently, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will now be called the Malcolm Baldrige Award.
"Performance excellence" describes a focus on overall organizational quality, and for years, followers of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have indicated that this term best reflects what makes Baldrige work. This opinion was confirmed by a study in 2007 that recommended changing the names of the Baldrige Program and Award. The recent realignment of the Baldrige Program's parent agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), provided a logical time to make this happen.
Baldrige program director Harry Hertz said, "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. 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."
For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Malcolm Baldrige Award, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige.