WSQA is making Washington a better place to live, learn and work by helping organizations achieve superior results through the use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

To fulfill this mission, WSQA provides opportunities for organizations to submit their applications for the WSQA Award and trains examiners in support of the application review process.

WSQA also provides opportunities to partner with experienced examiners for first time appliants to learn how the Baldrige criteria may best support thejourney toward excellence.

Finally, consulting services are available in a wide array of topics relating to organizational excellence.

How can WSQA improve my business?



SAVE THE DATE – October 21 and 22


Please reserve time on your calendar to join Results Washington and Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW) at the Governors 3rd Annual Lean Transformation Conference and PENW Awards Banquet.

Results Washington


Washington State Government Lean Transformation Conference

Performance Excellence Northwest Awards Banquet

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence

Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

October 21-22, 2014

Tacoma Marriott

October 21, 2014

5:00 PM Social Hour

6:00 – 9:00 PM Dinner and Program

Book your group rate: WA State Quality Awards

Marriott hotel(s) is offering a special group rate:

Courtyard Tacoma Downtown 179.00 USD  per night

BOOK BY 9/30/14



Date in Quality History!! August 20, 1987

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was signed into law on this date! Happy Anniversary BPEP!!

ASQ Portland Section Meeting  November 11, 2014

Topic: Malcolm Baldrige

Speaker: Laura Kinney

Location: Century Hotel Tualatin, OR

Go to asqpdx.com for more information on the program schedule.

Washington State Quality Award Honors 2013 Award Recipient

The Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) today announced the 2013 recipients of the WSQA awards for Performance Excellence. Over the years, such levels of recognition have been achieved by Washington organizations demonstrating leading practices and performance in business, education, healthcare and non-profit. The 2012 recipients continue that tradition of excellence.

The Achievement Award recipient is Del Norte Credit Union of Sante Fe, New Mexico.

The award program, which emulates the national Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, recognizes organizations that demonstrate superior performance in seven key business areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.

Bruce Requa, Chair of the WSQA Board, said “We are exceedingly proud of recipients both within the region and among our partner state and regional programs. Whereever exceptional performance is demontrated, organizations are progressing on their efforts toward achieving excellence.”

About the Washington State Quality Award
Founded in 1992 with generous donations from Weyerhaeuser and Boeing, the Washington State Quality Award was established as a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and training on the Baldrige model of performance excellence. WSQA offers high quality educational opportunities, provides online survey tools and resources and continues to provide recognition of organizations pursuing and achieving performance excellence.

Register Now for the 2014 Baldrige Regional Conferences!


Register now for the 2014 Baldrige Regional Conferences in Los Angeles and Minneapolis for a one-day showcase of Baldrige best-practices!  The conferences, which will each showcase current and past Baldrige Award recipients, will be held:


September 9, 2014
Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

September 23, 2014
Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington-Minneapolis South
Minneapolis, MN


Attend and engage in a day dedicated to improving your organization’s performance.  The dynamic conference schedules include an in-depth plenary session featuring senior executives from the 2013 Baldrige Award recipients, 15 interactive management sessions to choose from, and a closing session featuring the leader of a Baldrige Award recipient.


Learn how these role-model organizations achieve high performance and outstanding results in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, operations, and much more! Network with leading practitioners who use the Baldrige Criteria on a daily basis to improve their organizations.


An optional Pre-Conference Workshop for Baldrige beginners facilitated by a Baldrige Award recipient is available the day before each conference.


Register now and book your stay at the conference hotels! To learn more, visit the Regional Conferences Webpages.


Co-sponsored by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the California Council for Excellence, the Performance Excellence Network, and the Alliance for Performance Excellence.


For questions about the conferences, contact the Baldrige Program at 301-975-2036 or baldrige@nist.gov.  For registration inquiries, contact Experient at 888-772-1888 (Domestic) or 301-694-5124 (International) or e-mail to NIS@experient-inc.com.


Notification of Upcoming Events

Lite Applicant Training


Introduction to Baldrige and Training for first time Lite Applicants

Working with experience Examiners, you will learn to better understand the Performance Excellence Criteria, the application process and how to use the feedback report to strengthen your organization's overall performance. For more information, please contac the WSQA office at wsqa@wsqa.net or 253-277-1142.

Washington State Quality Award Program

PO Box 5941

Kent, WA 98064-5941

Making Membership Work

How can Performance Excellence Northwest membership help you and your organization? If you are interested in participating with an online discussion, please contact the WSQA office.

U.S. Organizations Honored with 2013 Baldrige National Quality Awards

November 13, 2013

All Winners from Health Care and Education

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker today announced that three U.S. organizations will receive the 2013 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. All of this year's winners are from the health care and education sectors.

The 2013 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:

"I am happy to congratulate the 2013 Baldrige Award recipients, three organizations that are leading innovative practices, dynamic management, sound financial performance, outstanding employee and customer satisfaction, and a solid commitment to excellence and proven results," said Secretary Pritzker. "The Baldrige program has had a tangible impact on the success of thousands of organizations worldwide and our nation's economy, and the winners announced today will undoubtedly continue that legacy and serve as role models for their peers in the health care and education sectors."

The 2013 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 22 applicants that were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. An organization may compete for the award in one of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).

The Baldrige Program has real benefits for the organizations that follow the criteria and for the nation's economy. A December 2011 study measuring the Baldrige Program's value to U.S. organizations conservatively estimated a benefit-to-cost ratio of 820 to 1. In a 2011 report, Truven Health Analytics found that health care organizations that have won or been in the final review process for a Baldrige Award were six times more likely to be among its annual "100 Top Hospitals" and outperformed other hospitals in all but one metric the company uses to determine its list.

A study of the six organizations to win two Baldrige Awards found that for the years between awards their median growth in revenue was 93 percent and the median growth in jobs was 66 percent. The job growth was significantly higher than the average growth in jobs of 2.5 percent for matched industries and time periods.

Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige Criteria to guide their operations, improve performance and get sustainable results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers organizations an integrated approach to key management areas. The criteria are regularly updated to reflect the leading edge of validated management practice.

To date, more than 1,500 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award, and there are Baldrige-based award programs in nearly all 50 states. Internationally, the program has served as a model for nearly 100 excellence programs.

The Baldrige judges also recognize best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories by organizations that are candidates for the award but are not selected as a winner. This year, the judges have chosen to honor two health care organizations for their best practices in the leadership criterion:

  • Duke University Hospital, Durham, N.C.
  • Hill Country Memorial, Fredericksburg, Texas

The 2013 Baldrige Award will be presented at an April 2014 ceremony during the Quest for Excellence conference in Baltimore, Md.

Established by Congress in 1987, the Baldrige Award is managed by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) of the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector. It also is a partner in the Baldrige Enterprise, which includes the private-sector Baldrige Foundation, the Alliance for Performance Excellence—a body made up of more than 30 state, local, regional and sector-specific Baldrige-based programs serving nearly all of the United States; and ASQ, an international organization promoting quality. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizes them with the Baldrige Award.

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 102 awards have been presented to 96 organizations (including six repeat winners).

For more information, including profiles of the 2013 Baldrige Award recipients, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Value of Baldrige Criteria Affirmed at Conference of U.S. Health Care Executives


U.S. hospitals and other health care organizations can raise the quality of health care while reducing costs by improving their performance using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as a complement to accreditation standards, affirmed key presenters at a recent conference of American health care executives.

The Baldrige framework is aligned with the standards of The Joint Commission—the Illinois-based accrediting body that influences U.S. health care quality through its role in accrediting thousands of health care organizations and programs. Due to their alignment, the Baldrige Criteria and The Joint Commission standards can be used together to advance organizational improvement and excellence, according to presenters at the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2014 Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago.

At the meeting, leaders of North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS), a 2012 Baldrige Award recipient, presented how they have used both the Baldrige Criteria and The Joint Commission standards to improve their organization’s performance. Rodger Brown, NMHS vice president, said his organization has utilized The Joint Commission standards and Baldrige Criteria in a "relentless pursuit of excellence" by its 6,200 employees and 491 physicians across 113 facilities, including 6 hospitals, 4 nursing homes, and multiple outpatient and support locations. He identified differentiators of NMHS’s performance as systematic, aligned, and deployed processes, with ongoing cycles of improvement, in accordance with the Baldrige Criteria and aligned with the accreditation principles.

Dr. Ormella Cummings, NMHS chief strategy officer; Lee Greer, NMHS physician/chief quality and safety officer; and Donna Pritchard, North Mississippi Medical Center chief nurse executive and administrator, also affirmed the value of the Baldrige Criteria in speaking about their organization’s improvement strategies and results.

Ann Scott Blouin, executive vice president of customer relations for The Joint Commission, pointed out similarities between the Baldrige Criteria and The Joint Commission standards, noting that both view leadership as essential in driving organizational improvement and both provide a consistent framework for criteria/standards-based assessment and evaluating progress.

The presenters pointed out synergies between accreditation and business practices for results in both clinical and nonclinical areas, and they showed how to integrate the Baldrige Criteria and The Joint Commission standards into organizational processes to achieve high performance while reducing costs.

For more information on the Baldrige Health Care Criteria or to download an electronic copy of the 2013-2014 booklet, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/hc_criteria.cfm.


Examiner Recruitment Begins in June!

If you are intereted in becoming an examiner, contact the WSQA office for an examiner application packet.


Award Recipients

MultiCare Health System - 2012 Leadership Award Level

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital - 2012 Achievement Award, Yakima, Washington; and the

King County Department of Assessments - 2012 Commitment Award Level

MultiCare Health Systems - 2011 Leadership Award Level

Whitewater Creek, Inc. - 2011 Commitment Award Level

MultiCare Health Systems - 2010 Leadership Award Level

Qualis Health - 2009 Leadership Award Level

Division of Child Support - 2009 Achievement Award Level

PAML - 2009 Achievement Award Level

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center - 2009 Achievement Award Level

Pullman Regional Hospital - 2009 Achievement Award Level





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