Highest Level of Recognition for

Performance Excellence in California

The Eureka Award for Performance Excellence is the highest level of recognition for performance excellence that an organization can receive in California. This award follows the same process as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence. The focus of the award is on seven criterial aspects of managing and performing as an organization: 

  1. Leadership 

  2. Strategy 

  3. Customers

  4. Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management

  5. Workforce

  6. Operations 

  7. Results 

There are three levels of the Eureka Award: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The Eureka Award is not given for specific products or services. To become an Award recipient, an organization must have a system that ensures continuous improvement in overall performance in the delivery of products and/or services and provides an approach for satisfying and responding to customers and stakeholders. Organizations that receive the Eureka Gold-Level Award are eligible to apply for the national MBNQA.

What are the Benefits of Applying for the Eureka Award? 

Each applicant gains an outside perspective on its organization based on 300-1,000 hours of review by members of the Board of Examiners. The results of this review are synthesized in a feedback report outlining strengths and opportunities for improvement based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Feedback reports are often used by organizations as part of their strategic planning process to focus on their customers and to improve results , as well as help energize and guide their organizational improvement efforts. 

Eureka Award Overview

  • Criteria Used: Applicants respond to all seven categories of Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence​​

  • Organizational Profile: Yes 

  • Application Page Length: 50 pages 

  • Submission Deadline: June 1st 

  • Site Visit: Yes

  • Examination Team: 

  • Optional Executive Briefing: 

  • Award Levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold 

Application Fees

  • Intent to Apply (non-refundable)

    • February Submission $500

    • April Submission $600

  • Eureka Application Fees

    • Organizations with more than 150 employees - $10,000

    • Organizations with 150 employees or less - $4,250

    • K-12 Public Education - $4,000

  • Site Visit Review Fee​​

How to Apply

  • Step 1: Complete and submit an Intent to Apply Form

  • Step 2: Prepare and complete an Award Application Package, including an application report. The application report must summarize the organization's practices and results in response to the requirements delineated in the most recent version of the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence. 


  • 2021 Eureka Award Timeline 

  • Eureka Award Application Instructions Packet 

  • Purchase the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence from ASQ

    • Business/Nonprofit (includes government) 

    • Education

    • Health Care 

Award Cycle Timeline 2021 

  • Stage 1: Independent Review 

  • Stage 2: Consensus Review 

  • Stage 3: Site Visit 

  • Judges Meeting 

  • Feedback Report 

  • Awards Conference 

California Council for Excellence is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID: 33-0542335)

© 2020 California Council for Excellence. All Rights Reserved.