National Quality Award Program
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program recognizes
long term and post-acute care centers across the nation that strive for
improved quality care. The program, based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria, sets high standards for quality and encourages centers to
commit, achieve, and excel in quality performance.
The program is open exclusively to AHCA/NCAL member
centers in good standing with the organization. With more than 13,000 members,
the program seeks to recognize those centers that are outstanding in their
Applicants may apply for three progressive levels of awards; each
level has its own distinct rigors and requirements for quality and performance
– Commitment to Quality: The goal of
this award level is to provide applicants with the tools and resources they
need for continuous performance improvement.
– Achievement in Quality: At this level, applicants continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve performance and health care outcomes.
– Excellence in Quality:
At this level, applicants must show superior performance in areas of the criteria including leadership, strategic planning, and customer and staff satisfaction.
Quality Award Examiners
Silver and Gold applications are reviewed by volunteer
Senior Examiners and Master Examiners, respectively.
Examiners work on 4 person teams evaluating 5-6 Silver
applications, up to 25 pages each. Teams evaluate each application using a formal process established by AHCA/NCAL, complete a feedback report
identifying strengths as well as opportunities for improvement, and determine whether the application should be recommended to receive a Silver Award.
Master Examiners work on 3 person teams evaluating 1-2 Gold applications, up to 55 pages each. Teams evaluate each application using a formal process established by AHCA/NCAL, complete a
feedback report identifying strengths as well as opportunities for improvement, and in some cases, present the application to a Panel of Judges for Site Visit consideration.
Master Examiners may also be asked to conduct a Site Visit at a Gold applicant
organization to verify and clarify strengths and opportunities found within the
Please note that recruitment is not open for Bronze Examiners. Bronze applications are reviewed by a small number of highly trained Examiners who are selected by AHCA/NCAL.
Candidate Experience and Skills
AHCA/NCAL welcomes Senior and Master Examiner applicants with experience in the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria and/or application of systematic quality improvement from both within and outside the long term care profession.
Candidates with prior Examiner experience may apply to serve as a Master Examiners, while individuals new to the Baldrige criteria or without Examiner experience should apply as Senior Examiners.
Above all, the program looks for individuals that exhibit the following characteristics:
- Passion for continuous quality improvement
- Willingness to learn and take feedback
- Ability to work effectively in a team environment
- Strong analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong communication skills- both verbal and written
- Good time management skills
- Ability to meet deadlines and work independently
Examiner Responsibilities and Time
The review process requires a significant investment
of time. Applicants must secure support from the leadership of their
organization before applying to become an Examiner. An overview of Examiner responsibilities is outlined below. All applicants must be willing and able to perform these tasks:
AHCA/NCAL will cover the costs associated with travel
to the training and/or in person review session for all Examiners required to
attend. This includes airfare and hotel accommodations. Breakfast and lunch are
served during the meetings and Examiners also receive a small daily stipend to
offset any additional costs.
Examiners who do not fulfill the duties and responsibilities listed above will not be reimbursed for travel expenses associated with the training and/or review session, and may be asked to reimburse AHCA/NCAL for costs associated with the in-person training.
Returning Examiners are selected based on previous
service. The evaluation process for returning Examiners relies on the results
of the peer review process. Examiners are chosen based on competence,
understanding of the criteria, ability to work as a team member, honoring
guidelines and timelines, quality of feedback reports, and overall commitment
to the program.
New Senior Examiners are chosen based on expertise in
the Baldrige criteria, quality discipline, success in leadership of
award-recipient organizations, interest in systematic quality improvement, and
other salient factors.
Master Examiners are selected from Gold recipient
centers, highly experienced Senior Examiners and individuals with review
experience with other Baldrige-based award programs.
All Examiners must have access to private email, be
proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Products, be able to use Webex, and
online document sharing software (i.e. Box, Dropbox, GoogleDocs, etc.).
The deadline to apply as an Examiner for the 2017 program cycle has passed. If you are interested in participating in future program cycles, please submit your name and contact information using the potential Examiner survey. The program will contact you with information on the 2018 award cycle.
Additional questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.