Apply for a TNCPE Award

Applicant Resources

Congratulations! Applying for a TNCPE Award sets you on a journey toward performance excellence. Whether your organization is a returning applicant or this is your first year to participate, the knowledge you gain will result in more efficient processes, an empowered workforce, and a greater bottom line.


TNCPE Award Application Process: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Order the Excellence Framework 

The Framework is the foundation of your application. TNCPE's version of this book contains the entire Baldrige Framework, in addition to other important information regarding applicant eligibility, award application levels, fees and more.

Order THE Framework 


Step 2: Determine your award application level.

TNCPE recognizes four different award levels. Forms and deadlines for Level 1 applicants differ from the those of Levels 2, 3, and 4.  

Please refer to page iv of the TNCPE-published Baldrige Excellence Framework for complete descriptions and requirements for each level.

Determine your application level, then move to Step 3 to identify the forms and deadlines that pertain to you. 


Step 3: Prepare and submit documents based on your application level.


Level 1 Award Applicants


Level 1 Application Packet (Everything you need to apply for a Level 1 Award).

Stand-alone Level 1 Application Form

Deadlines Level 1 awards are accepted year-round.
*See note below if you want to be recognized at the 2018 Excellence in Tennessee Banquet.


  • Read through the Level 1 Application Packet and complete the Level 1 Application Form found within.
  • Complete the Level 1 Criteria response by answering the questions in the Organizational Profile (P.1 and P.2 on pages 4-6) of the Baldrige Excellence Framework. This may be up to five pages long. 
  • Submit the following to TNCPE:
    • Level 1 Application Form 
    • Application and Processing Fees
    • One printed copy of your Organizational Profile
    • An electronic copy of your Organizational Profile saved in one PDF (please do not send a PDF of a scanned document)

Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence
2525 Perimeter Place Drive, Suite 122 
Nashville, TN 37214-3773


*Note on Level 1 Deadlines: TNCPE accepts Level 1 applications all year long. However, to be recognized with a 2018 Level 1 Award at the February 28, 2019 Awards Banquet, we must receive your application by December 31, 2018, and your site visit must be completed by February 20, 2019.


Level 2, 3 and 4 Applicants


  • Level 2, 3, and 4 Application Packet: This Application Packet includes the Intent to Apply Forms, resources, and instructions; AND Application Forms, resources, and instructions — everything you need to apply for a Level 2, 3, or 4 TNCPE Award. 
  • Stand-alone Intent to Apply Form: This file is just the Intent to Apply Form and instructions. *The Intent to Apply Deadline has passed for 2018. Please contact our office if you have any questions.
  • Stand-alone Level 2, 3, and 4 Application Form: This file is just the Level 2, 3, and 4 Application.


TNCPE accepts Level 2, 3 and 4 applications just once a year. In order to be considered for the 2018 award cycle, all Level 2, 3, and 4 application documents must be postmarked or timestamped no later than: 

  • April 15, 2018: Intent to Apply deadline
  • July 16, 2018: Level 2, 3, & 4 Application deadline


  • Read through the Level 2, 3, and 4 Application Packet
  • Complete the Intent to Apply form (also in the Application Packet)
  • Send TNCPE one copy of the Intent to Apply Form, along with a $250 intent fee. We accept these forms in printed or electronic (PDF) format. They must be postmarked or timestamped no later than April 15, 2018. 
  • Complete the Application Form found in the Level 2, 3, and 4 Application packet, and the Criteria Response for your application level. 
  • Submit the following to TNCPE (postmarked no later than July 16, 2018):
    • One printed copy and one electronic copy of the Level 2, 3, & 4 Application Form 
    • One printed copy of your Organizational Profile and Criteria response
    • One electronic copy of your Organizational Profile and Criteria response saved in one PDF file (please do not send a PDF of a scanned document)
    • Application Fee

Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence
2525 Perimeter Place Drive, Suite 122 
Nashville, TN 37214-3773


Step 4: Prepare for Site Visit

A team of examiners assigned to your organization will begin their evaluation a few weeks after you submit your complete application.

Shortly after this initial evaluation, an examiner team leader will contact you to schedule a site visit. During this visit, examiners will tour your facilities and ask questions to gain a greater understanding of your organization.

Level 2, 3 and 4 site visits typically occur during September and October. Level 1 site visits typically take place within six weeks after TNCPE receives the application.

A site visit fee applies to this step of the process. You will receive an invoice for this fee after the examiner team has completed its site visit. Use the fee schedule in your application packet to determine cost.


Step 5: Award Notification and Feedback Report

In mid-November, the TNCPE Panel of Judges will review the examiner team’s work and confirm your award. Following this meeting, TNCPE will call with your results. You will receive your feedback report by the first of January.


Step 6: Recognition

Join us for the Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet, a gala event where your organization will officially receive its award and be recognized for your pursuit of performance excellence.

In addition, after you have been notified of your award, TNCPE will publicize your accomplishments via press release, e-mail blast to our database and posting on our website.

Member Application Privileges

TNCPE members may submit applications for evaluation and feedback at any time during the year (normally Level 2, 3, and 4 applicants must adhere to our awards cycle schedule).

Members who apply outside of the program cycle will not be in contention for an award, however this offers a great opportunity for honing performance improvement initiatives on an organization's own time.

For more information about TNCPE membership, please visit our membership page.



TNCPE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

2525 Perimeter Place Drive, Suite 122. Nashville, TN 37214-3773. (800)453-6474.