The Discovery Program is designed to introduce organizations and their leaders to a business improvement framework based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework. SPQA will provide an introductory workshop on the Baldrige Excellence Framework and a mentor to help the organization understand the Framework and the Discovery process. The organization will then complete a Self- Assessment using the Discovery process. The level of effort associated with participating in the Discovery Program is significantly less than participating in the SPQA Award Program. SPQA provides a team of experienced examiners to conduct an objective evaluation of the organization’s Self-Assessment submission based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. SPQA provides a Discovery Feedback Report and an optional post-Feedback Teleconference with the examiner team and the assigned mentor.

Needed to Participate

Organizations will need two documents available for download.

  1. The Discovery Guide (PDF) provides details on both the process and how the Self-Assessment and Feedback are conducted.
  2. The Intent to ApplyForm (MS Word) must be provided prior to the Self-Assessment submission.

Discovery or Award

Some organizations question which program would be best given where they are in their journey to performance excellence. The answer depends on:

  1. where the organization is today relative to addressing the full range of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and
  2. how much time the organization is willing to invest relative to the quality of feedback it gets. Participation in the Award Program almost always provides a richer experience and perhaps an SPQA Medallion, but only if the organization is ready and willing to invest the time.


Discovery Guide (PDF)
Intent to Apply (MS Word)
Self-Assessment Form (MS Word)