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Recognition Levels

The Assessment and Recognition program currently has six levels.  Each successive level challenges community leaders to assess their performance against the Communities of Excellence criteria at increasing levels of maturity as they collaboratively create community solutions that can’t be achieved by a single sector or organization.  Through this process leaders develop shared community strategies and community scorecards, and engage residents in community planning and action to address their most pressing challenges and achieve more equitable outcomes.

Level 1 - Commitment to Community Excellence

Our first level provides communities with the tools and resources they need for their performance improvement journey. At this level, communities respond to the Community Profile questions of the Communities of Excellence Framework.  This is a powerful first step for community leaders, helping them agree on a shared mission, vision, and values and begin to view their community through a common lens and agree on their key factors for success.  This provides a strong foundation for the second step, Journey to Community Excellence.

Note:  The assessment fee is waived for communities participating in our National Learning Collaborative.  For all other communities applying, contact us for information on pricing.

Key Dates:

  • May 15th, 2023 - Commitment to Community Excellence Request for Assessment Due
  • July 15th, 2023 - Commitment to Community Excellence Application Due
  • October 15th, 2023 - Written Feedback Report Provided to Community Applicants

Level 2 - Journey to Community Excellence

At this level, communities continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve their community’s performance. In addition to responding to the questions in the Community Profile, communities describe key processes in how they collaboratively lead and govern (Category 1), how they develop and implement a shared community strategy (Category 2) and how they listen to, communicate with, and engage residents and stakeholders in key decisions and actions (Category 3).  This level provides a clear pathway for communities moving to the third level – Community of Excellence Recognition.

A requirement of this level of the program is to receive Commitment to Community Excellence Recognition before applying.

Key Dates:

  • May 15th, 2023 - Journey to Community Excellence Request for Assessment Due
  • July 15th, 2023 - Journey to Community Excellence Application Due
  • October 15th, 2023 - Written Feedback Report Provided to Community Applicants

Level 3 - Community of Excellence Recognition

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 its entirety, including the Community Profile and categories 1–7. In addition to diving deeper into the above areas of performance, communities also address how they measure performance (Category 4), work together as people and organizations (Category 5), and accomplish their collective goals (Categories 6 and 7). 

Communities are required to receive Commitment and Journey Level recognition before applying.

Key Dates:

  • May 15th, 2023 - Community of Excellence Request for Assessment Due
  • July 1st, 2023 - Community of Excellence Application Due
  • October 15th, 2023 - Written Feedback Report Provided to Community Applicants