The Alabama Performance Excellence Award provides support to Alabama organizations seeking to achieve unprecedented levels of quality and performance. A means of this support is through an award program modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria, a team of trained volunteer Examiners evaluate organizations and provide them with detailed feedback that can be used to improve their organization’s processes and results. The Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria provide a systems perspective for improving an organization’s performance. They reflect validated, leading edge management best practices against which an organization can benchmark. With their acceptance nationally and internationally as the model for performance excellence, the Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria represent a common language for sharing best practices among organizations and will serve to enhance the competitiveness of Alabama businesses.
Objectives of the Award
The Alabama Performance Excellence Award recognizes and honors organizations which are using effective productivity and quality improvement strategies, techniques or practices which could be shared with other organizations with the expectation that they will contribute to the overall economic well-being in the state of Alabama.
The Award Promotes
- understanding of the requirements for performance excellence and competitiveness improvement; and
- sharing of information on successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies.
Administration of the Award
The Award is administered by the Alabama Performance Excellence Program (ALPEx) and the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). An Advisory Board works with the Program to continually improve the structure and administration of the Award.
Potential Award Categories
Small Business Sector – Organizations with less than 500 full-time employees and unaffiliated, wholly owned (not a part of a larger corporation; this group includes those firms that do not have access to external corporate resources). Business activities may include manufacturing and/or service. All business sectors are eligible, including Manufacturing, service, health care, education, and non-profit.
Service Sector – This Sector is for organizations, companies, or subunits of a larger entity that sell or provide a service.
Note: Where an applicant is both a manufacturer and a service provider, the appropriate eligibility category is the activity that provides the larger percentage of sales.
Nonprofit Sector – Public, private or government organizations. Some subunits or nonprofit organizations, including U.S. subunits of foreign organizations located in Alabama, may be eligible. Eligibility is intended to be as open as possible. For example, eligible organizations include local, state, and federal government agencies; trade associations; charitable organizations; social service agencies; credit unions; and professional societies.
Education Sector – Eligible organizations include elementary and secondary schools and school districts; colleges, universities, and university systems; schools or colleges within universities; professional schools; community colleges; and technical schools in Alabama. More than 50 percent of all faculty and staff members and/or the budget must be devoted to providing teaching/instructional services directly to students. Departments within schools or colleges are ineligible.
Note: For-profit organizations may choose to apply under the service or small business category, as appropriate, using the Business Criteria, or under the education category, using the Education Criteria.
Health Care Sector – Eligibility is open to all Alabama health care organizations that include for-profit and nonprofit public, private, and government organizations. Health care organizations are defined as organizations primarily engaged in furnishing medical, surgical, and other health services to people.
Note: Examples of health care organizations include, but are not limited to; hospitals, HMOs, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health care practitioner offices, home health agencies, and dialysis centers and ambulatory surgery centers.
For-profit health care organizations may choose to apply under the service or small business category, as appropriate, using the Business Criteria, or under the health care category, using the Health Care Criteria.
Award of Excellence in Continuous Productivity and Quality Improvement – This award is open to Previous Recipients of the Level Three Alabama Performance Excellence Award.
Note: Sub Units: For purposes of the Award, a subunitis a unit or division of a larger organization. The larger organization that owns, holds, or has organizational or financial control of a subunit is the “parent.” A parent is the highest level of an organization that would be eligible to apply for the Award. The subunit must be self-sufficient enough to be examined in all seven Criteria Categories, and it must be a discrete entity that is readily distinguishable from other parts of the parent organization.
Five Levels of Recognition
Introductory Level – Pathway to Performance Excellence – This level is for organizations that have just made the decision to begin their journey toward Performance Excellence using the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence. Application at this level requires completion and submittal of the five-page Organizational Profile. Also included should be an organizational chart and a glossary of terms, which are not a part of the page count.
Level 1 – Commitment to Performance Excellence – This level is for organizations that have made a serious commitment to use and implement performance excellence concepts and principles. Application at this level requires a description of the Organizational Profile and a self-assessment of how the organization is applying the seven categories of the Alabama Performance Excellence Award Criteria (Baldrige Criteria). Use up to one page per category with the exception of category 7 where you can use one page per item for a total of 11 pages plus the Organizational Profile. Include an organizational chart and a glossary of terms, which are not a part of the page count. Applicants at this level do not receive a site visit. (New in 2017 applicants at this level may choose to have a site visit if they are willing to pay the site visit expenses.)
Recognition is provided at this level to organizations that have begun to deploy systematic management and improvement processes within at least some parts of their organization. Measurable improvements have occurred as a consequence of these efforts. Organizations recognized at this level will receive a bronze award.
Level 2 – Progress Toward Performance Excellence – This level is for organizations that have demonstrated sustained commitment to and application of performance excellence principles and practices. They have made progress in building sound and notable systematic processes that have improved results in key portions of the organization. Application at this level requires a description of the Organizational Profile and a self-assessment of how the organization is applying the seven categories and 17 items of the Alabama Performance Excellence Award Criteria (Baldrige Criteria). You are allowed 22 pages – one page per item with the exception of category 7 where you have two pages per item). Include an organizational chart and glossary of terms, which are not a part of the page count. Applicants at this level receive a site visit.
Recognition is provided to organizations that have made significant progress in demonstrating effective systematic approaches that are deployed across much of the organization. Good performance levels and/or improvements in results are evident in much of the organization. Organizations recognized at this level will receive a silver award.
Level 3 – Alabama Performance Excellence Award – This highest level of recognition is presented to organizations that have demonstrated through their practices and achievements sustained performance excellence. Application at this level requires a description of the Organizational Profile and a self-assessment (maximum of 50 pages) of how the organization is applying the seven categories and 17 items of the Alabama Performance Excellence Award Criteria (Baldrige Criteria). All categories, items and areas must be addressed. Results achieved must be presented in terms of performance levels, trends, and comparative data. Include an organizational chart and glossary of terms, which are not a part of the page count. All applicants at this level receive a site visit.
Recognition is provided to outstanding organizations in the state of Alabama who can serve as role models of performance excellence. Organizations recognized at this highest level have demonstrated leadership in their fields, with widespread improvement and superior results clearly evident. They continue to improve and build upon their high performance. Organizations recognized at this level will receive a crystal award with gold etching.
Award of Excellence for Continuous Productivity and Quality Improvement – This award is for previous winners of the Alabama Performance Excellence Award who must wait three years before they are eligible to re-apply. Applicants should request a copy of the criteria from Linda Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org. These organizations (previous winners) will be presented a plaque in recognition of their continued achievements.
Criteria for Performance Excellence
The Award is based upon the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (To obtain a copy of the criteria go to www.nist.gov/baldrige or contact Linda Vincent 205-799-7917 or email@example.com) In responding to these criteria, each Award applicant is expected to provide information and data on the organization’s key processes and results. Information and data submitted must be adequate to demonstrate that the applicant’s approaches are effective and yield desired outcomes.
The Award Criteria are designed not only to serve as a reliable basis for making Awards but also to permit a diagnosis of any organization’s overall performance management system. The Criteria are used by organizations of all kinds for self-assessment, planning, training, and other purposes.
Organizations must have headquarters or substantial parts of operations in Alabama, and they must be capable of responding to all category items of the applicable criteria.
All business sectors are eligible, including Manufacturing, Service, Health Care, Education, and Non-Profit.
To ensure that Award recipients meet all reasonable requirements and expectations in representing the Award throughout the State of Alabama, potential applicants must have their eligibility approved prior to applying for the Award. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their Pre-Application/Eligibility Determination Form as early as possible. A copy of this form may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The applicant’s efforts must be implemented within the state of Alabama, but the organization may have affiliates, divisions, or headquarters in other states. Applicants of all sizes are eligible for the Alabama Performance Excellence Award, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.