NZ Business Excellence Awards

The NZ Business Excellence Awards are the pinnacle of business awards' programmes in New Zealand, recognising and rewarding organisations that have undertaken the comprehensive and very rewarding journey towards becoming “world-class”, high performing organisations.

The NZ Business Excellence Awards are based on the comprehensive Baldrige Excellence Framework,which is used and benchmarked worldwide. Organisations that apply for these awards undergo a rigorous 4-stage, team-based evaluation that offers an invaluable feedback report and significant validation of effort.

There are four levels of award that applicants can achieve – Commitment, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Business Excellence Awards


Gold NZ Business Excellence Award

Organisations that reach the level of Gold are demonstrably world-class organisations. This level is the equivalent of achieving the US Baldrige Award. An organisation that achieves at this level has done so through the sound, systematic approaches and wide deployment of performance excellence principles and practices. Significant and positive results/trends are clearly evident across the entire organisation and there is clear alignment between their strategic plan, measurement and results.

Silver NZ Business Excellence Award

The Silver level represents good progress, and validates that the organisation is on the right track. An organisation that achieves at this level demonstrates that there is sound integration of the principles and practices of performance excellence into all operations. Improvement is planned and actioned across all operations. Improved performance resulting from these initiatives can be demonstrated across most areas of the organisation. There are positive results/trends in areas that have high importance to the organisation.

Bronze NZ Business Excellence Award

The Bronze level is a Commendation in recognition of a good foundation and entry point. An organisation that achieves at this level demonstrates a sound understanding of the principles and practices of performance excellence. Improvement plans are in place which have been actioned across most areas of the organisation. Some results and improvemed performance related to these initiatives are demonstrated.


            2015 'Bronze Award' winner - Kamo Home and Village
                       2015 'Recognition of Commitment' recipient - Wintec

Who can enter the Business Excellence Awards? 

Applicants are generally already members of NZ Business Excellence so that they may take advantage of the training benefits and discounts available. We recommend that if you are interested in applying for this award, give us a call first to discuss your options so that we can understand where your organisation is at and advise on a plan towards application. Phone us on 09 489 8791 or feel free to email us.    


What are the benefits in applying? 

Other than positioning your organisation as “world-class”, a key motivation to entering the awards programs is the comprehensive feedback report the applicant receives. This report outlines the strengths and opportunities for improvement. A debrief of the report and a priority action plan going forward is also discussed. In addition, applicants are provided with a score showing their current performance against the business excellence framework, which is benchmarked against other applicants.

How does an organisation apply?

Contact NZ Business Excellence  to discuss your application, the process and timeline. Usually expressions of interest are submitted by March with fully completed applications to be received no later than May/June, followed by the evaluation process during July to September. Awards are announced in November.


How is the Business Excellence Awards' programme assessed?

All applications are evaluated by a team of experienced and fully trained National Evaluators, using a similar process to the prestigious US National Malcolm Baldrige Awards Program (an internationally-recognised and respected performance excellence awards program). Evaluators are usually selected from within the trained business excellence evaluator community. Evaluators are selected, by NZ Business Excellence, to ensure a balanced range of skills and expertise for each evaluation team.

A team of Evaluators will be assigned to your application and will review your Award application. From here they will come together in a Consensus meeting to agree on their findings. They will be accompanied by an Observer to ensure the team remains true to the Award evaluation process and ensures a fair process. Observers are selected from senior past evaluators.

At the conclusion of the consensus meeting, the team will submit a Consensus Feedback Report to the NZ Business Excellence CEO. Subject to their findings, the NZ Business Excellence CEO, in consultation with the Applicant, will decide whether to proceed to site visit to verify the application, of which the Observer will also attend. A Mentor can be made available to offer assistance and guidance to the Applicant in preparing for a site visit.

How are Award recipients selected?

Once the evaluation process is completed, the Evaluator team will prepare a final feedback report which will be submitted to a convened Panel of Judges. The Judging panel comprise of NZ Business Excellence Board members and other appropriate leaders from business and government organisations. 

After the completion of the above process, the Judging panel will determine if an Applicant is to receive an Award (based on the robust and mature scoring system within the Baldrige Excellence Framework) and if so, what level of Award will be presented.

Who are some prior award winners?

Click here to view a list of prior award winners. Members of the NZ Business Excellence also have access to our Knowledge Base, which includes examples of prior Award-Winning applications from New Zealand and around the world.

What is the difference between the Business Excellence and the

Business Achievement awards?

The NZ Business Excellence Awards are the pinnacle of business excellence awards, using the comprehensive Baldrige Excellence Framework and the associated full criteria of reflective questions, whereas the NZ Business Achievement Awards are based on the abridged criteria which is much less detailed (simplified).

What is the investment cost in applying for the Business Excellence Award?

The application fee in 2016 is $9,500 +GST for NZ Business Excellence members. Non-members should contact us before applying.
All applicants will also be required to cover any additional costs associated with the consensus meeting – where the evaluator team comes together to produce a collective agreement of their evaluation findings, alongside possible areas that need to be explored via a site visit. Additionally, applicants will be cover any costs associated with a site visit, if required.

The Foundation will be able to provide an estimate of these additional costs once the application process is underway.

Want more information?

Phone us on 09 489 8791 or email us at and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation would like to thank the following organisations for their support 


New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation
PO Box 331-658 Takapuna 0740

Phone: (09) 489 8791
GM: Ian Ris

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