Discovery is a six-month program designed to introduce organizations and their leaders to a business improvement framework based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework; it often is the first step for an organization interested in applying for the SPQA Award program.

Virginia SPQA provides Discovery participants assistance that is not provided to SPQA Award applicants. This assistance includes an introductory workshop on the Baldrige Excellence Framework and a trained and experienced mentor who will help the organization understand the Baldrige Framework and the SPQA Discovery process. We provide the template for you to enter your responses to the Baldrige criteria questions  which becomes your organizational self-assessment. The self-assessment is reviewed by a team of Baldrige-Criteria-and-Framework-trained and experienced examiners who conduct an objective evaluation and prepare a Feedback report for the organization. This feedback report includes actionable comments resulting from examiner review. Discovery organizations also receive an optional post-Feedback teleconference with the examiner team and the assigned mentor.

Participating in the Discovery Program involves significantly less effort than participating in the SPQA Award Program and, because of the organizational learning and gaps identified, many organizations first participate in Discovery and, after learning about and addressing opportunities for improvement identified in the feedback report, apply for the Award program in a subsequent year.

To learn how your organization might participate in the Discovery program, see the Join us in Discovery post or contact



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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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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Pathways to Excellence

SPQA is now offering Pathways to Excellence! We’ve created four pathways in which our team can interact with your organization in order to create a platform for success. Our goal is to promote continual improvement strategies and to provide training, mentoring and recognition to organizations in pursuit of performance excellence. TIER 1: INTEREST Level Target…

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