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Our assessment is an effective way to energize and engage employees.

About the Assessment
& Awards Program


Applying for an Oklahoma Quality Performance Excellence Award is an effective way to look at your organization from a systems perspective, energize employees, and increase the focus on business results using the comprehensive feedback report that details your organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Successful organizations use this low-cost consultation as a key strategic planning input.

The OQF Award program is open to companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations throughout Oklahoma (some out-of-state organizations are also eligible). Whether you’re large or small, established or start-up, the program is scalable to fit your organization’s unique profile.

Level 1

This level helps identify gaps to help organizations focus on what matters while setting the foundation for integration as well as a sustainable systems approach to performance excellence.

Level 2

This level involves developing clarity around the most important aspects of your business and focuses on the six foundational process categories for performance excellence.

Level 3

This level is for organizations that use systematic processes and are actively moving toward a system-wide integration of performance excellence practices and long-term sustainability.

Level 4

This level is for organizations that have made progress toward a sound management system and the achievement of performance results.

Level 5

At this level, organizations, upon winning, are state-level role models that have met the criteria to apply for the National Level Baldrige Award. They demonstrate effective, systematic, well-deployed approaches that improve key processes.

Ready to get started?

A great way to get started is by ordering a copy of the OQF Baldrige Excellence Framework. This book is the foundation of the OQF program and provides details regarding application and eligibility requirements, as well as the Criteria for Performance Excellence on which to base your self-assessment. Order your copy of the framework online here or by emailing the OQF office at

The Framework is the foundation of your application. Our version of this book contains the entire Baldrige Framework, as well as information on Oklahoma Quality Foundation's assessment process and support workshops. This will help you determine the award level you would like to apply for. There are no prerequisites, so jump in based on what’s best for you!

Prepare and submit documents based on your application level. For Level One, you will submit an application and appropriate fees. For levels 2, 3, 4, and 5, the application is broken into two parts: 1- The Intent to Apply and 2 - the Application Form and written response to the criteria questions. Once you complete the intent to apply form, OQF will contact you to outline the next steps and help you choose the best-fit award level for your organization.

Oklahoma Quality Foundation will assign a Master Examiner coach to facilitate a ½ day workshop or work with your organization on the next steps. This workshop will prepare you and your leadership team to write an organizational profile and/or review the organizational profile before submitting it with the continued help of your coach. Once you submit your completed Organizational Profile meeting all criteria, you are officially an OQF Level 1 recipient!

You’re not finished yet! After becoming a OQF Level 1 Award winner, your coach will return for another ½ day workshop to introduce you to the rest of the Baldrige Criteria. This interactive workshop will help you identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Once you are ready to complete an application for a Level 2, 3, 4, or 5 award, you will need to submit a written response to the appropriate Criteria question level. Your written response will be assigned to a highly-trained examiner team who will conduct an initial evaluation to explore the appropriate award level.

During the site visit, your examiner team will tour your facilities and ask questions to gain a greater understanding of your organization. An organization applying for level 3 may choose to have a site visit at an additional cost.

When your examiner team has completed the evaluation of your written response & their site visit, the assessment is assigned for review. The Panel of Judges will review the team’s work and will determine your award level. A member of the Oklahoma Quality Foundation leadership team will call with your final Award information and send you a report detailing the strengths & opportunities for improvement the examiners identified.

Award recipients are honored at the Annual Oklahoma Quality Foundation Excellence Conference. Join us as guests of honor at our Excellence Celebration to receive your official award and be recognized for your pursuit of excellence.

The Assessment Process

The OQF Award program is based on a proven excellence framework published annually by OQF. Using questions posed in the Criteria, you’ll create a self-assessment that is analyzed by a team of OQF Examiners. This self-assessment can range from five to 55 pages, depending on the award level sought.

After analyzing your self-assessment, OQF Examiners will make a site visit to your workplace to gain a thorough understanding of your organization. Based on its findings, the examiner team will prepare a detailed feedback report that identifies your strengths and opportunities for improvement. The OQF Panel of Judges will review the examiners’ work and determine your organization’s recognition level.

Ready to level up your excellence journey?

"I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results."

Jim Collins Author of Good To Great

Applicant Resources



Tips, Tools & Best Practices

How do I learn more about the criteria? 

Check out our #ExcellenceAtADistance series for more information about the criteria and how to apply it to your organization.

How many pages should we allocate to each Category?

How do we learn more about writing an application? 
No matter where you are on your excellence journey, OQF has a workshop to help you improve performance. We can provide tailored instruction at your workplace on various topics. 


Baldrige Excellence Builder

Based on the more detailed Baldrige Excellence Framework and Criteria for Performance Excellence, the Baldrige Excellence Builder helps you assess your organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement against the most important features of organizational performance excellence. By completing and acting on this assessment, you will be better positioned to accomplish your mission, improve your results, and become more competitive.


Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder

The Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder is a self-assessment tool to help organizations better understand the effectiveness of their cybersecurity risk management efforts, and identity improvement opportunities in the context of their overall organizational performance. This self-assessment tool blends organizational assessment approaches from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) with the concepts and principles of the Cybersecurity Framework developed by National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Applied Cybersecurity Division (ACD).

Download the free Cybersecurity Excellence Builder


Criteria Commentary

The Criteria Commentary provides summaries of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence categories and items.

You can download the Criteria Commentary for free: