Are you interested in learning more about what makes organizations successful — what helps them achieve and sustain high performance?  Are you interested in helping other organizations — such as schools, hospitals, non-profits, and businesses – in the Upper Midwest improve outcomes?  Would you be interested in networking, learning, and sharing with others who feel the same way?

Then consider becoming an Evaluator for the Performance Excellence Award. Some have mentioned that serving as an Evaluator has been the most enriching learning experience in their career; some have declared that it’s like getting an MBA in a few months!

Benefits of Becoming an Evaluator

There are many benefits to becoming an Evaluator, such as:

  1. The experience strengthens your understanding of what drives organizational excellence.  The Baldrige Framework represents a validated set of best practices for organizational excellence – practices that can help your organizations reach higher levels of performance.
  2. Networking with other Evaluators can expand your contacts and form deep relationships with influential leaders and professionals from across the region.  Usually, PEN's Board of Evaluators are 50-100 professionals representing all sectors (manufacturing, service, healthcare, education, non-profit, and government), all levels of leadership, and all organizational roles (CEOs, presidents, Superintendents, VPs and department/unit leaders, physicians and surgeons, RNs, school teachers, and many other practitioners).
  3. The experience allows you to see “best practices” deployed within another organization – knowledge that you could use back at your organization and/or in your career.
  4. Your contribution helps organizations throughout the region – many of them schools, healthcare providers, non-profits, public sector agencies, and certainly businesses – improve their performance…simply get better at what they do.  Your participation helps Minnesota, North and South Dakota improve its competitiveness and productivity, and helps create/sustain jobs.  (If you are in a different region of the US, visit here to find your local Baldrige-based program!)
  5. You can develop or refine a set of other professional skills that may help you advance your career – skills such as consensus- and team-building, written communication, verbal communication and interpersonal skills, interviewing, analysis, and systems thinking.
  6. You can earn three hours of undergrad or graduate-level credit through the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Stout, for those interested.
  7. We expect an increase in the number of organizations seeking an assessment, so we are trying to grow the number of Evaluators in our program.  In other words, we need resources!
  8. And we have greatly improved our process in the recent years, eliminating significant time for our volunteer Evaluators.  Most Evaluators consider the experience to be among the most valuable of their careers.  In fact, many have claimed that the experience and knowledge gained from this process rivals getting an MBA or advanced business degree!

Becoming an Evaluator -- Process, Timeline, and Application

The process and timeline of becoming an Evaluator is as follows:

  • Attend “Baldrige 101” (new Evaluators only) -- a one day open-enrollment (for Evaluators and the public) workshop that provides an overview of Baldrige.  Offered 6-8 times a year.  Upcoming offerings are here.
  • Attend “Baldrige 201” (all Evaluators) -- a one day open-enrollment (for Evaluators and the public) that provides a deeper dive into the Baldrige Framework.  Offered 3 times a year.  Upcoming offerings are here.
  • Complete Evaluator application (or revisions, if returning Evaluator).  Deadlines are May 1 (for Cycle 1), July 1 (Cycle 2), or Oct 1 (Cycle 3).  Download a current application below.
  • Complete “Independent Review” and "Consensus Review": May-July (Cycle 1), August-October (Cycle 2), November-January (Cycle 3).
  • Participate in 3-day Site Visit: August-September (Cycle 1), November-December (Cycle 2), February-March (Cycle 3).
  • Participate in (optional) 2-hour Improvement Planning Session: about 4-6 weeks after site visit.

For a current Evaluator application, click here.

For more information on our Performance Excellence Award process, click here.