Recognition Program Overview

In 2017, Communities of Excellence 2026, in partnership with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, launched the Communities of Excellence Recognition Program.  In parallel with Baldrige Program’s mission, the purpose of Communities of Excellence 2026 and the Recognition Program is threefold:

  1. To develop a nationally recognized standard of community performance excellence
  2. To establish role models of that standard through the Recognition Program
  3. To encourage continuous improvement through sharing of best practices and provision of feedback to communities on the performance excellence journey that will lead to better outcomes for the residents they serve.

"The Baldrige Program, and indeed the entire Baldrige community, are excited about helping communities achieve ever-higher levels of performance and improved quality of life for their residents. In fact, that is essentially the mission of the Baldrige Program: to benefit all U.S. residents through improved competitiveness. Until now, however, we have been focused on accomplishing that purpose through single organization. Partnering with Communities of Excellence 2026 enables us to carry out that mission on a much broader level, with the potential for greater reach and impact."

Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

Commitment to Community Excellence

This recognition level provides communities with the tools and resources they need for their performance improvement journey. At this level, communities respond to the Community Profile section of the Community Excellence Builder, describing their mission, vision, and key factors that lead to success. This provides a strong foundation for the second step, Journey to Community Excellence.

Key Dates:

August 15th, 2018 - Request for Commitment to Community Excellence Assessment Due

September 15th, 2018 - Commitment to Community Excellence Application Due

October 15th, 2018 - Written Feedback Report Provided to Applicants

Journey to Community Excellence

A requirement of the program is to receive Commitment to Community Excellence recognition before applying. At this level, communities continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve their community’s performance. In addition to responding to the Community Profile, applicants describe key processes in response to Category 1: Community Leadership and Category 2: Community Strategy. In their responses, they show that approaches are systematic and show appropriate deployment of these approaches. They also document levels and trends for key results related to the health, educational attainment and economic vitality of the community. This program provides a clear pathway for communities moving to the final level – Community of Excellence Recognition.

Key Dates:

July 15th, 2018 - Request for Journey to Community Excellence Assessment Due

August 15th, 2018 - Journey to Community Excellence Application Due

October 15th, 2018 - Written Feedback Report Provided to Applicants

Details will be provided in the Spring of 2018


Community of Excellence Recognition

Communities are required to receive Commitment and Journey level recognition before applying. Participation allows communities to take their performance excellence journey to a higher level through a full assessment. Applicants respond to the Communities of Excellence criteria in their entirety, including the Community Profile and categories 1–7. In their responses to the process categories (1–6), they detail the approach used, the extent of deployment, evidence of learning, and integration among processes. In responding to category 7 (Results), they report levels, trends, comparisons, and integration for all key results. This level includes the potential for a site visit.

Details will be provided in the Fall of 2018