Board of Examiners

The Wisconsin Forward Award evaluation process is carried out by our very esteemed Board of Examiners. Examiners are professionals representing all sectors of Wisconsin’s economy. They are inquisitive about what makes great organizations tick, and have an interest in performance management, leadership and assessment processes.  Examiners volunteer their time and expertise.

Many national examiners serve at the state level first. The WFA program is particularly fortunate to have a number of judges and examiners who are also active in the national Baldrige, ACHA and military Baldrige programs.  They share their learning and experiences with us.

Examiner Overview

The Wisconsin Forward Award program is modeled after the Baldrige Performance Excellence program, and while WFA processes are slightly different, both programs use  either the 2024 Baldrige Award Criteria and/or the  Baldrige Excellence Framework as the foundation for applicant review.

Examiners work in teams assigned to each application and conduct all phases of the evaluation. There are Team Leaders (examiners with advanced understanding of the Baldrige Criteria, well-developed project management and team skills, who have the responsibility for leading the examiner team and producing the feedback report) and examiner team members (with beginning to advanced understanding of the Criteria and their application). Each team also has one or two Team Leader back-ups with well-developed Criteria and/or team process skills.

The Panel of Judges serves as a technical resource to the Examiner teams throughout the evaluation process and ensure calibration in scoring and application of the Criteria across Examiner teams.

Requirements and Investment

We recommend individuals interested in becoming examiners attend the  “Principles of Excellence: Baldrige 101” workshop  and Advancing Performance Excellence: Baldrige 201 (see our event calendar for upcoming trainings).  Al examiners participate in training conducted WCPE to learn how to conduct a Baldrige-based evaluation.  Examiners are then placed on teams of  volunteers from all professional walks of life and sectors including business, education, health care, manufacturing, service and nonprofit.  Examiners follow a three-phase assessment process (Independent Review, Consensus, and Site Visit) — culminating in a Feedback Report that’s delivered to an organization’s leadership team in an improvement planning session. 2024 Key Dates for Examiners provides more details.

Examiner training fees are $250 for members/$495 for non members.

Examiner Application Process

To be considered for the Wisconsin Forward Award Board of Examiners,  completed applications should be submitted by April 15th.  Additional information about examiner training and other important dates will be posted on our Examiner Resources page. Please contact us with questions.

Complete the Examiner Application