U.S. Department of Justice

Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX)

Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) is a business model that offers a systems approach to change, specifically for correctional organizations. It provides multiple tools and strategies to build sustainable capacity toward higher performance, evidence-based practices, and data-driven decision making. Safety and security is one of the foundational principles of APEX. In addition, this model provides a pathway for agencies to create an organizational culture and a management environment that encourages innovative ideas to improve services, processes, and results.

APEX includes these components:
  1. The APEX Public Safety Model
  2. The APEX Guidebook Series
  3. The APEX Assessment Tool Protocol
  4. The APEX Change Team Training Curriculum


The APEX Public Safety Model


APEX Safety Model

The APEX Public Safety Model includes eight domains that reflect the shared vision and operating values of everyone working in any corrections system. In this model, the Organizational Culture domain is placed at the top to show that it is an umbrella over the organization, how it operates, and what it values. The Leadership, Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Focus, Workforce Focus, and Operations Focus domains rest on a foundation of Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management. All domains lead to Results.

The APEX Guidebook Series



The APEX Assessment Tool Protocol

These tools provide a comprehensive and systems-based picture of how a correctional organization operates in the eight domains, how ready the organization is to begin a change effort, and informs the development of plans and strategies to improve performance. Agencies can choose to use only the tools they wish and base their implementation plans on those results. The assessment tool protocol includes:


The APEX Change Team Training Curriculum

The APEX Change Agent Training is designed to create internal change agents in all sectors of corrections. The training will enable participants to be able to take the APEX Guidebook series and Assessment Tools out to their agencies and successfully implement the APEX processes: assisting their agencies as they go through the culture and performance tools, developing integrated and holistic implementation plans to meet any identified gaps, and working toward sustaining the change efforts.



Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2014
Document 028275
APEX Change Team Training: Facilitators Manual [and] Participant Manual [Lesson Plans and Participant Manual]
People in Charge, LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and People in Charge LLC are pleased to present the Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) Change Team Training Curriculum – part of the APEX Initiative. The APEX initiative incorporates culture, leadership, performance measurement, results, and a change management strategy to help corrections agencies use their resources wisely to improve their organizational performance … The APEX Change Team Training will provide correctional agencies with capa... Read More
ZIP
2 volumes (volume 1 – 250 pages, volume 2 – 146 pages)
2012
Document 025338
Achieving Performance Excellence: The Influence of Leadership on Organizational Performance
By Cebula, Nancy; Craig, Elizabeth; Eggers, John; Fajardo, Marge Douville; Gray, James; Lantz, Theresa. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Leadership is a very important component of higher performing organizations. This book presents a breadth and depth of information about leading others and describes what leaders need to excel at and what up-and-coming leaders need to know as they prepare themselves for leadership positions. Taking a balanced approach to leadership allows correctional leaders to influence different people and diverse stakeholder groups in differing situations. Good leaders know when they need to manage rather t... Read More
PDF
100 pages
2013
Document 025302
APEX Resources Directory Vol. 1: Change Management and the APEX Domains
By Cebula, Nancy, editor; Ritter, Elizabeth, editor. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge, LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This directory “is an integral part of the National Institute of Correction’s (NIC’s) Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) Initiative. It provides resources, tools, and interventions to sup-port correctional agencies on the APEX journey. This directory is designed to complement the APEX Guide¬book series and to enhance efforts to improve performance excellence by providing domain-specific resources and interventions. It can also be used as a stand-alone guide to change management and to the A... Read More
PDF
316 pages
2012
Document 025303
APEX Resources Directory Vol. 2: Communications, Focus Groups, and Development
By Bilson, Janet Mancini; Cebula, Nancy; Innes, Christopher; Lantz, Theresa; Ritter, Elizabeth; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“APEX Resources Directory Volume 2 provides supportive information to correctional agencies embarking on the APEX (Achieving Performance Excellence) journey. It introduces the National Institute of Correc¬tions (NIC) Information Center, provides detailed information on creating a communications plan for those implementing the APEX Initiative, describes how to use focus groups to effectively gather information and feed-back, and includes a team development guide for those who want to build teams,... Read More
PDF
76 pages
2012
Document 025300
Culture and Change Management: Using APEX to Facilitate Organizational Change
By Cebula, Nancy; Craig, Elizabeth; Innes, Christopher; Lantz, Theresa; Rhone, Tanya; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Culture, including beliefs, assumptions, values, norms, and practices in an organization, determines the success of an organization’s performance and change efforts. This book helps illuminate the role culture plays in an organization that is striving for higher performance ... Knowledge of culture enables an organization to proceed along the path to successful change. The APEX Change Management Model provides a process and map for organizational change based in research and best practices; it ... Read More
PDF
116 pages
2012
Document 025299
Understanding Corrections through the APEX Lens
By Cebula, Nancy; Lantz, Theresa; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This guidebook “is the second book in the APEX Guidebook series and is designed to help correctional practitioners deepen their knowledge of the Public Safety Model domains. It offers practical suggestions for improving performance and creating positive change by sharing best-practice methods and current literature on higher performance in corrections” (p. ix). APEX itself provides strategies for achieving performance excellence in the Public Safety Model domains—operations (which includes sa... Read More
PDF
96 pages
2011
Document 025287
APEX: Building the Model and Beginning the Journey
By Cebula, Nancy; Lantz, Theresa; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Through extensive research and analysis, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is offering the field of corrections a comprehensive business model entitled the APEX (Achieving Performance Excellence) Initiative. The APEX Initiative is an agency-driven systems approach to building capacity for higher organizational performance, best practices, data-driven decisionmaking using multiple self-assessment tools, and a Guidebook series with strategies, interventions, and pathways. The APEX Publi... Read More
PDF
56 pages
2012
Document 025301
Applying the APEX Tools for Organizational Assessment
By Bogue, Bradford; Cebula, Nancy. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Previously, not many assessment tools looked at issues that specifically affect those who work in the field of corrections … [This book] presents three organizational assessment tools developed specifically for the field of corrections. The APEX assessment tools are designed to look at an agency’s readiness to take on a change process, understand the importance of safety and security to correctional operations, measure performance on the APEX Public Safety Model’s eight domains, and provide gui... Read More
ZIP
128 pages

Related Resources

Date Title Type
2014
Document 028275
APEX Change Team Training: Facilitators Manual [and] Participant Manual [Lesson Plans and Participant Manual]
People in Charge, LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and People in Charge LLC are pleased to present the Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) Change Team Training Curriculum – part of the APEX Initiative. The APEX initiative incorporates culture, leadership, performance measurement, results, and a change management strategy to help corrections agencies use their resources wisely to improve their organizational performance … The APEX Change Team Training will provide correctional agencies with capa... Read More
ZIP
2 volumes (volume 1 – 250 pages, volume 2 – 146 pages)
2014
Document 029703
Forty Forward: Learning and Performance Symposium 2014 Participant's Manual and Proceedings
National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Academy (Aurora, CO).
This material is from the inaugural Learning and Performance Symposium. This event focused "on learning and performance practices based on established theory and research as well as the effective practices of successful learning leaders." Sections comprising the manual are: the Forty Forward agenda; "Correctional Learning and Performance: A Vision for the 21st Century" (2012) (NIC accession number 026506); needs assessment; "Innovation: Professional Development Series" by Barbara A. Collins ... Read More

348 pages
2014
Document 027999
Learning and Performance: Realigning Training to Achieve Agency Goals [Internet Broadcast]
By Hall, Amanda; Iszler, Bernie; Kinsler, Ted; Nelson, David . National Institute of Corrections Training Academy (Washington, DC).
This three-hour broadcast is intended to help realign your training with agency outcomes to help your agency become a learning organization. Using a variety of methods—including discussions, participant and team activities, and demonstrations—the broadcast will explore learning organization principles as exemplified by the work of David Garvin, Peter Senge and others. During this discussion, participants will: recognize the importance of linking training to agency outcomes; identify three ... Read More
VIDEO
156 minutes
2014
Document 029720
Can Corrections Heal? Reducing Recidivism and Increasing Public Safety in Virginia
By Richeson, Scott.
"When discussing recidivism reduction plans within U.S. correctional agencies, many ideas surface. Some ideas are tried and true; some are progressive and cutting edge; some are recycled and restructured; but all are hopeful. In 2010, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) began thoroughly examining its security measures, programs, human resources and their combined effectiveness in reducing recidivism … This started with an introduction of a new corrections paradigm. The paradigm focuse... Read More
PDF
4 pages
2013
Document 025302
APEX Resources Directory Vol. 1: Change Management and the APEX Domains
By Cebula, Nancy, editor; Ritter, Elizabeth, editor. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge, LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This directory “is an integral part of the National Institute of Correction’s (NIC’s) Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) Initiative. It provides resources, tools, and interventions to sup-port correctional agencies on the APEX journey. This directory is designed to complement the APEX Guide¬book series and to enhance efforts to improve performance excellence by providing domain-specific resources and interventions. It can also be used as a stand-alone guide to change management and to the A... Read More
PDF
316 pages
2012
Document 025338
Achieving Performance Excellence: The Influence of Leadership on Organizational Performance
By Cebula, Nancy; Craig, Elizabeth; Eggers, John; Fajardo, Marge Douville; Gray, James; Lantz, Theresa. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Leadership is a very important component of higher performing organizations. This book presents a breadth and depth of information about leading others and describes what leaders need to excel at and what up-and-coming leaders need to know as they prepare themselves for leadership positions. Taking a balanced approach to leadership allows correctional leaders to influence different people and diverse stakeholder groups in differing situations. Good leaders know when they need to manage rather t... Read More
PDF
100 pages
2012
Document 025300
Culture and Change Management: Using APEX to Facilitate Organizational Change
By Cebula, Nancy; Craig, Elizabeth; Innes, Christopher; Lantz, Theresa; Rhone, Tanya; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Culture, including beliefs, assumptions, values, norms, and practices in an organization, determines the success of an organization’s performance and change efforts. This book helps illuminate the role culture plays in an organization that is striving for higher performance ... Knowledge of culture enables an organization to proceed along the path to successful change. The APEX Change Management Model provides a process and map for organizational change based in research and best practices; it ... Read More
PDF
116 pages
2012
Document 025299
Understanding Corrections through the APEX Lens
By Cebula, Nancy; Lantz, Theresa; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This guidebook “is the second book in the APEX Guidebook series and is designed to help correctional practitioners deepen their knowledge of the Public Safety Model domains. It offers practical suggestions for improving performance and creating positive change by sharing best-practice methods and current literature on higher performance in corrections” (p. ix). APEX itself provides strategies for achieving performance excellence in the Public Safety Model domains—operations (which includes sa... Read More
PDF
96 pages
2012
Document 025301
Applying the APEX Tools for Organizational Assessment
By Bogue, Bradford; Cebula, Nancy. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Previously, not many assessment tools looked at issues that specifically affect those who work in the field of corrections … [This book] presents three organizational assessment tools developed specifically for the field of corrections. The APEX assessment tools are designed to look at an agency’s readiness to take on a change process, understand the importance of safety and security to correctional operations, measure performance on the APEX Public Safety Model’s eight domains, and provide gui... Read More
ZIP
128 pages
2012
Document 025303
APEX Resources Directory Vol. 2: Communications, Focus Groups, and Development
By Bilson, Janet Mancini; Cebula, Nancy; Innes, Christopher; Lantz, Theresa; Ritter, Elizabeth; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“APEX Resources Directory Volume 2 provides supportive information to correctional agencies embarking on the APEX (Achieving Performance Excellence) journey. It introduces the National Institute of Correc¬tions (NIC) Information Center, provides detailed information on creating a communications plan for those implementing the APEX Initiative, describes how to use focus groups to effectively gather information and feed-back, and includes a team development guide for those who want to build teams,... Read More
PDF
76 pages
2011
Document 025287
APEX: Building the Model and Beginning the Journey
By Cebula, Nancy; Lantz, Theresa; Ward, Tom. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). People in Charge LLC (Boulder, CO); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“Through extensive research and analysis, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is offering the field of corrections a comprehensive business model entitled the APEX (Achieving Performance Excellence) Initiative. The APEX Initiative is an agency-driven systems approach to building capacity for higher organizational performance, best practices, data-driven decisionmaking using multiple self-assessment tools, and a Guidebook series with strategies, interventions, and pathways. The APEX Publi... Read More
PDF
56 pages
2010
Document 025241
Context and Impact of Organizational Changes in State Corrections Agencies: A Study of Local Discourses and Practices in Kansas and Michigan
By Rengifo, Andres F.; Stemen, Don. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
The impact of external and internal forces on “corrections policy innovation in which measures to control prison populations and enhance service delivery were implemented despite challenging institutional and social environments” is examined (p. 2). This is good reading for those agencies looking to implement their own strategies for correctional system reform. This report contains these sections: introduction; the context and dynamics of corrections reform—expanding capacity (1980 to early 1990... Read More
PDF
65 pages

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