Wisconsin Forward Award—You Choose the Path

Applying for a Wisconsin Forward Award sets your organization on a journey toward excellence. Whether returning as an applicant or just beginning your involvement with the WFA/Baldrige Criteria, the knowledge and insight you gain will help your organization improve efficiency, engage and satisfy customers, stakeholders and staff.  Think of it as a low cost, high impact consulting service. Learn more by reviewing this link: The-Baldrige-Criteria-101

The Criteria are not a flavor-of-the-month management technique. They’re a comprehensive, proven approach to running your business. If you already use quality tools like Lean, Six Sigma or a Balanced Scorecard–great! The Criteria provide a framework for these tools and will help you align your improvement efforts so they work more effectively.

For organizations that are new to quality management, WCPE offers training and programming to address all levels of experience. We can help you launch a new era of performance and growth. No matter where you are in the process, the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence is here to help you along the way.


Wisconsin Forward Award is a 50-page narrative application that is accepted twice a year in winter and summer.Apply

Organizations submit a 50-page self-assessment based on the seven categories of the WFA/Baldrige Criteria:

  1. Leadership
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Customer Focus
  4. Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management
  5. Workforce Focus
  6. Operations Focus
  7. Results

The Wisconsin Forward Award application is most suitable for organizations that:

  • Conduct strategic planning
  • Have a set of measures and targets
  • Have identified, and are beginning to document, and measure the effectiveness of key customer, product, service, business and support processes
  • Have human resource plans
  • Have generally positive results over time (trends) in many to most key business areas and are using comparative and benchmark data to set targets
  • Most importantly, are open to continued feedback for improvement, and want to celebrate their successes!

Wisconsin Fast Forward is the beginning-to-intermediate-level application—it’s a Applystepping-stone for organizations aspiring to complete a full 50-page written Wisconsin Forward Award application. Wisconsin Fast Forward applications are accepted at any time throughout the year. Organizations submit a Fast Forward self assessment (there is no page limit) based on the basic and overall requirements of the Criteria for Performance Excellence. Organizations are welcome to submit a Fast Forward application whenever convenient for them. Fast Forward applicants are recognized at the annual awards gala to showcase their pursuit of advancing to higher levels of performance.

The Fast Forward application is most suitable for organizations that:

  • Are new to internal organizational self-assessments and the Baldrige/WFA Criteria
  • Want to engage employees in the organization’s management practices and related results
  • Have some, but not most, of their key processes documented in some format
  • Have favorable measures/results, and have started to trend data and use comparative data

The Baldrige Excellence Builder is a free resource from the national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program that answers key questions for improving your organization’s performance.


Baldrige Express Survey is an expanded organizational profile and key results designed for organizations in the to mid-to-advanced stages of the performance excellence journey who have limited time or resources to write a full 50-page narrative. Click here to visit the Baldrige Express Survey page of our website.


Wisconsin Challenger Profile helps organizations get started by responding to Applystraight forward questions about their organizational context and key results which will help lay groundwork for future improvement efforts—as well as future applications.  Challenger Profile applications are accepted throughout the year.  The fee includes a planning session that will help lay the groundwork for a Fast Forward or narrative application. Challenger applicants are recognized at our annual awards gala.