Baldrige Scoring Guidelines and other Scoring System Guides and Tools


The scoring of responses to Criteria Items (Items) and Award applicant feedback are based on two evaluation dimensions: (1) Process and (2) Results. Criteria users need to furnish information relating to these dimensions. Specific factors for these dimensions are described below. Links to all Scoring Guidelines versions are provided on this page.

Process Scoring

Results Scoring

Process” refers to the methods your organization uses and improves to address the Item requirements in Categories 1–6. The four factors used to evaluate process are Approach, Deployment, Learning, and Integration (ADLI).

Approach” refers to:

- the methods used to accomplish the process

- the appropriateness of the methods to the Item requirements and the organization’s

  operating environment
- the effectiveness of your use of the methods

- the degree to which the approach is repeatable and based on reliable data and

  information (i.e., systematic)

Deployment” refers to the extent to which

- your approach is applied in addressing Item requirements relevant and important to

  your organization
- your approach is applied consistently
- your approach is used (executed) by all appropriate work units

Learning” refers to
- refining your approach through cycles of evaluation and improvement
- encouraging breakthrough change to your approach through innovation
- sharing refinements and innovations with other relevant work units and processes

  in your organization

Integration” refers to the extent to which

- your approach is aligned with your organizational needs identified in the

  Organizational Profile and other Process Items
- your measures, information, and improvement systems are complementary across

  processes and work units
- your plans, processes, results, analyses, learning, and actions are harmonized

  across processes and work units to support organization-wide goals

Results” refers to your organization’s outputs and outcomes in achieving the requirements in Items 7.1–7.6 (Category 7). The four factors used to evaluate results are Levels, Trends, Comparisons, and Integration (LeTCI).

Levels” refers to:
- your current level of performance


Trends” refers to
- the rate of your performance improvements or the sustainability of good performance

  (i.e., the slope of trend data)
- the breadth (i.e., the extent of deployment) of your performance results

Comparisons” refers to
- your performance relative to appropriate comparisons, such as competitors or

  organizations similar to yours
- your performance relative to benchmarks or industry leaders

Integration” refers to the extent to which

- your results measures (often through segmentation) address important customer,

  product, market, process, and action plan performance requirements identified in

  your Organizational Profile and in Process Items
- your results include valid indicators of future performance
- your results are harmonized across processes and work units to support

  organization-wide goals

2012 Baldrige Scoring Guidelines

Baldrige Scoring Guidelines

Previous Versions

Business Health Care Education







2009 - 2010 2009 - 2010 2009 - 2010 2009 - 2010 2009 - 2010 2009 - 2010
2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008
2007 2007 2007 2007 2007 2007
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005


Has the Baldrige Award gone out of business?

For the first time in the 25 year history of the award, in 2013 there are no Baldrige business applicants
and Criteria degradation and impracticality are looking more and more like the primary causes

2013 Baldrige Applicants Summay

To put this in perspective, not one of the 20 million for-profit businesses in the United States applied for the Baldrige Award this year.


Even worse, the number of applicants has declined 73% for Health Care and 80% for Education since 2010

Source: NIST Baldrige Website


2013 Baldrige Scoring Guidelines Improvements Needed


Baldrige Results Scoring Guidelines Quiz

Q: Which American document has approximately 150 more words than the other? a) the Baldrige Results Scoring Guidelines or b) Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"?

A: The Results Scoring Guidelines have 400 words. The Gettysburg Address has 256.

Q: Which of these three terms are not used to assess results? a) 'early good', b) 'on time good', or c) 'late good'

A: If you thought this was a trick question, unfortunately you're wrong. 'Early good' is used in the 0 to 5% scoring range. Silly me. I thought getting good results early would have scored higher.

Q: Results are quantitative by nature. However qualitative and/or judgmental guideline terms are used to assess them in all scoring bands. Is this: TRUE? or FALSE?

A: TRUE. The judgmental terms "poor", "good", "good relative", "very good", "good to excellent", "excellent", and my personal favorite "early good" are used to assess the quantitative results. For 2011, the terms "good for nothing", "good enough", and "too good to be true" will be added . . . not true. Also not true is that because some people do not understand what "early good" means, "on-time good", and "late good" will also be added.

Q: "World class" was once part of the Results Scoring Guidelines: TRUE? or FALSE?

A: TRUE. The early guidelines required winners to demonstrate 'world class' results to score in the highest scoring range.

Q: Which of the following terms are not used to assess the quantity of results? "no", "any", "few", "little", "little or no", "limited", "limited or no", "some", "some to many", "mainly", "many", "many to most", "majority", "most to fully", or "fully"

A: Believe it or not, "some to many" and "most to fully" are not in the scoring guidelines. "Mainly"???

Q: Not one Examiner knows how to interpret the relative meaning of these results assessment terms: "important", "high priority", and "key". TRUE? or FALSE?

A: I don't know how many but I do know that there is at least one who has never been able to figure it out (LOL).

Special limited time offers:


Download special MS Word versions of the 2012 Baldrige Criteria in a more practical format approved by more than 20 national award programs

2012 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence - basic versions

Baldrige Criteria                    Baldrige Health Care Criteria                    Baldrige Education Criteria

See the hundreds of Criteria requirements that have been deleted from the previous versions


Baldrige Scoring System