Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail

What benefits will our organization get from applying?

Hard evidence is provided by a study indicating effective implementation of quality principles impacts bottom-line business results. A five-year study of more than 600 quality award winners shows that, as a whole, they experienced significant improvement in the value of their common stock, operating income, sales, return on sales, employment and asset growth.

Award winners experienced:

44% higher stock price return,

48% higher growth in operating income, and

37% higher growth in sales compared to the control group.

Can I recommend an organization to receive an award from the Governor's Quality Award?

No, this process is about continuous improvement to drive performance excellence in organizations. Therefore, the written application is the organization's response to a set of criteria that covers seven areas: 1) Leadership; 2) Strategic Planning; 3) Customer Focus; 4) Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management; 5) Workforce Focus; 6) Operations Focus; and 7) Results.

What kinds of questions are asked in the application?

The Governor's Quality Award program uses the same application criteria as does the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program. These criteria cover seven areas of doing business: 1) Leadership; 2) Strategic Planning; 3) Customer Focus; 4) Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management; 5) Workforce Focus; 6) Ooperations Focus; and 7) Results.

To purchase a copy of the Criteria for Performance Excellence click on

To learn more about the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program click here to visit its website,

Do we have to start at the Challenge Level and work our way up?

No, you can apply at any one of the four levels: Challenge, Commitment, Achievement, or the Governor's Award. The Governor's Award for Performance Excellence is our top honor.

How do I know at which level of award my organization should apply?

This will depend upon the level of education and experience that your employees have regarding a quality management system and the processes that you have in place. If you are not familiar with the concepts in the criteria, you probably should start out at the Challenge level. If your company has some good ways of doing business (processes) in place, but not throughout your entire organization, then the Commitment level will be a good fit for you. If you have good processes throughout your organization and have collected data on results and use these data in your decision-making process, your company is probably ready to apply at the Achievement or Governor's Award level.  To receive more detailed information about applying, go to 2013 Governor's Quality Award Application Book.

Our headquarters is located outside of Arkansas. Can this plant/division located in Arkansas apply?

Yes. As a matter of fact, if only a department within your organization would like to apply, this is allowed, as long as it is located in Arkansas.

My organization is thinking about applying, but we do not have a quality manager. What is the best way to educate ourselves on the criteria?

Have one or more of your employees apply for our tuition-free examiner training. Individuals must be accepted for the training and commit to serve on the Board of Examiners after training is completed. The Board of Examiners is made up of volunteers who give their time to do the actual assessing of the applications we receive. Therefore, you will obtain a well-rounded education on the criteria and have the opportunity to assess actual applications. To view the Board of Examiner application, click on 2013 Board of Examiners Application.

If my organization applies for the Achievement Level and doesn't obtain that level, will we be recognized for our efforts?

Yes, all applicants will receive recognition at or below the level at which they applied.

Do I have to have a minimum number of employees before our organization can apply?

No, any organization located in Arkansas with any number of employees can benefit and improve by going through this process

I see where we are required to submit no more than 50 pages in our application if applying at the Achievement or Governor level. I can't possibly do it in that number of pages. Will our application be disqualified if it goes over the page limit?

You won't be disqualified, but you will receive a call and be asked which pages you would like for us to remove to be in compliance with the 50-page limit. If you do not designate which pages, the last pages will be removed to conform to the 50-page limit.

We would like to start the Challenge level, but we don't have anyone that can attend the seminar. Is it a requirement?

Yes, this is a requirement. The Challenge level is offered for organizations that have no background or experience in quality management systems; therefore, this is an educational experience for them.

I would like to visit with some of the past recipients, especially the top winners of the Governor's Award recipients. Can I do this?

Our current recipients are listed on this website. All have given the Governor’s Quality Award program office permission to publicize their names. Also listed are all of the past Governor's Award recipients.