WSQA, serving Washington since 1994!


The Washington State Quality Award is awarded to organizations that have implemented and achieved exceptional quality performance. These organizations are seen as models for organizations throughout Washington and the nation who seek the same results.

The State Legislature officially established the Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) in 1994 with Senate Bill 6220. The bill's passing was the result of several years of hard work from a small group of quality professionals who banded together to draft legislation and establish the organization's first Board of Directors.

The volunteers who worked to create WSQA represented top business, government, and labor unions in the state. The group met for the first time in late December of 1992 in a small conference room at Weyerhaeuser, where they decided to pursue legislation to establish a state quality award.

Funded initially through generous donations from Weyerhaeuser and Boeing, WSQA was established as a 501.3(c) non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and training on the Baldrige model of performance excellence. The state government provided an administrative program manager, housed in the Secretary of State's Office of Corporations.

While continuing to be collaborate with the governor's office when possible, WSQA has reorganized its governance structure to incorporate a Board of Directors and a Panel of Judges. The Panel of Judges is represented with one member serving on the Board.

In 2005, House Bill 1970 was passed requiring all state agencies, boards, commissions and institutions of higher education to apply for the WSQA or equivalent by 2008.   In 2007 Senate Bill 5959 passed requiring all eligible organizations receiving over $500,000 for transitional housing operations and rent programs to apply to WSQA by 2011. 

Since its creation in 1994, WSQA has maintained the value and integrity of the award, providing excellent conferences and training on the principles of Baldrige with very little funding and a host of volunteer effort.

Today, WSQA remains committed to the region's pursuit of excellence. The organization aims to build a sound financial base, increase awareness throughout the Pacific Northwest, offer high quality educational opportunities, provide online survey tools and resources and continue to provide recognition of organizations pursuing and achieving performance excellence.