SPQA’s Award Program is its premier offering. Authorized in 1982 by Resolution, SPQA (the United States Senate Productivity and Quality Award) pre-dates the National Baldrige Program and is the oldest continuous state program of its type offering awards for performance excellence based on the national Baldrige Performance Excellence model. Virginia SPQA administers the Award Program on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s US Senators who serve as Honorary Chairpersons

Applicants may earn any of 4 levels of the SPQA award and, if an organization has previously earned the top award (Medallion), it may apply for the Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE). Awards are determined by the feedback report of Examiners and the determination of an external panel of judges.

The Awards are:
    • Commitment to Performance Excellence 
    • Progress in Performance Excellence 
    • Achievement in Performance Excellence
    • Medallion of Excellence
    • Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE). (The application is the same as for the Medallion award).
View our past award winners by sector here.

Organizations receive extraordinary learning by conducting a self-assessment using the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework. This effort, coupled with independent examiner feedback which highlights strengths and opportunities for improvement (OFIs), is a unique learning experience which if otherwise outsourced, could easily translate to significant consultant costs.

The SPQA Medallion Award acknowledges the recipient as being among the best performing organizations in the Commonwealth and the District of Columbia. In addition to improving organizational pride, SPQA Medallion winners use the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a management tool to improve relationships with customers, stakeholders, and employees. Winners also can use their award to validate excellent performance with rating agencies and other independent entities.

Businesses, large and small, and organizations in the public, private, nonprofit sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, and government are eligible to apply. Eligibility is intended to be as open as possible to all organizations. While SPQA primarily serves organizations located in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, organizations in other states or territories may apply.


Intent to Apply: $500

Application Fee is based on the organizational size:

  • $5,500 for Small Organizations (100 employees or fewer), and
  • $7,000 for Larger Organizations (greater than 100 employees)

Site-Visit Fee is a flat fee for all organizations receiving a site visit:

  • $2,500 Site Visit Fee
Not ready to fully engage?

For organizations interested in a less-intense, yet equally rich organizational self-assessment and examiner feedback based on the Baldrige Framework and Criteria, SPQA offers a lower-tier program called Discovery. Many organizations participate in the Discovery program as preparation for a subsequent Award application.

Additional details about SPQA’s Award program may be found in the How to Apply and Deadlines post. If you are interested in applying for the SPQA Medallion Award or wish to learn more about the SPQA Award Program, contact the Award Program at programs.services@spqa-va.org.


2023 Awards

Eastern State Hospital (ESH) & Educational Employee’s Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Thank you to our 2023 award honorees, Eastern State Hospital (ESH) and the Educational Employee’s Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC). Their dedication to relentless advancement has set a benchmark in delivering superior service to customers, stakeholders, and employees alike….

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Become an Examiner

Apply to work alongside dedicated others from a variety of sectors and positions to help improve the economic engine of the region one organization at a time. Apply to become a member of the 2024 Board of Examiners and immerse yourself in this proven methodology. More details are available in the downloadable SPQA Examiner Guide…

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2024 Application Process

SPQA uses the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework as the basis for its award application, evaluation, scoring, and feedback methods. To apply, contact us at programs.services@spqa-va.org. We will build a custom quote for your services.  Service agreements in place: Friday, October 13, 2023  The 2024 SPQA Award Guide provides details on how to complete your application….

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Organization Recognition

Participating in a Self-Assessment and receiving feedback from an Examiner team is the start of any organization’s improvement journey using the Baldrige Framework for Improvement. At the SPQA this program is called “DISCOVERY”. This year, the Educational Employee’s Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) submitted their Discovery Self-Assessment. They clearly have recognized the benefit…

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UNOS wins 2021 Award

SPQA is excited to announce UNOS winning the 2021 SPQA Achievement in Performance Excellence Award. We applaud them as they continue their journey toward implementing the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.               About the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven non-profit…

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ESH wins 2021 Award

Eastern State Hospital took an important step this year on its journey toward implementing the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework by winning the 2021 SPQA Commitment to Performance Excellence Award.               As the first public mental health hospital in the United States, Eastern State Hospital traces its roots back to…

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Join Us in Discovery

Start your SPQA Journey with our Discovery Program SPQA’s Discovery program is a partnership between SPQA and your organization. We will be with you every step of the way as you learn and apply Baldrige criteria to your organization and complete an application. The documents below can help you decide whether Discovery is right for…

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VHHA wins 2020 Award

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) took an important step this year on its journey toward implementing the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework by winning the 2020 SPQA Progress in Performance Excellence Award. VHHA began its work with SPQA in 2018 and was recognized for completing the Self Discovery process during the 2019 award cycle…

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FFD wins 2020 Award

The Federal Facilities Division (FFD) has been awarded Virginia SPQA’s prestigious Achievement in Performance Excellence Award. This distinction greatly contributes to FFD’s reputation and builds upon its vision to earn the unquestioned reputation of being the best-in-class facilities management organization. The Division’s mission is to preserve the institution of the Pentagon and cultivate an inspired…

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