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Hints and tips

Decide what you want to showcase

We cannot emphasise enough that these awards are open to all.  In-house practitioners may wish to enter a specific project or initiative.  Consultants or Consultancies may wish to showcase one piece of work, or demonstrate how they have added value in a broader sense through a longer-term relationship with a client.   

Choose the right category!

It may sound simple, but the sheer breadth and depth of our profession means that there is potential overlap between many of the award categories.  Remember, you can enter more than one category!

Individualise your entry

If you are submitting the same project into different categories, do not cut and paste!  Be sure to pay attention to the specific category criteria and tailor your entry accordingly.

Put your entry into context

Our judges are all experts in the people profession, but may not have detailed knowledge of your sector.  It always helps to put an entry into context to ensure that your reader fully understands.

Structure of submission

The entry form follows the same structure and there are further prompts specific to each category within the platform.  Please note that these are to help you make the most of your submission – you do NOT have to tick each factor listed!

Overall approach

A good submission will clearly indicate the business transformation, change or need that was being addressed, the driver for the initiative, the intended outcome, your overall approach, and the specific role that you/your team played.  Think about whether the project linked to a change in business strategy, market conditions or legislation?  Or whether it was implemented to enable a specific part of the organisation to be more effective?


Show the distinctiveness of your approach  – what is unique or innovative about your entry, how important it is, the scale and complexity of the challenge(s) that had to be overcome, and how the culture of your organisation evolved to ensure sustainable advantage, engagement and people development.


Some people aspects are generic to all categories:

Judges will be interested to hear how you secured support from both the most senior people in the organisation, and the entire workforce.  This may have involved interesting and/or innovative communications strategies that get the message across to all stakeholders.  What worked best for your organisation?

For projects that involve training/development initiatives, you may want to evidence good quality mentoring, line management, on-the-job learning, high-quality training.  And/or the impact on individual outcomes eg learner satisfaction, engagement, progression and the value to the business in terms of retention and innovation.

For projects focusing on new ways of working, you may want to give examples of how you consulted with employees and took on board their ideas.


Judges will want to clearly see and identify measurable results and outcomes as a result of the specific activities of the HR team and those who collaborated with the activities.  Feedback from previous years is that entrants have described their projects with great enthusiasm, and reported/delivered great results, but what it was meant to achieve and exactly what it did for the organisation has been less obvious to judges.

As part of sharing how decisive and distinctive action got the results you wanted, you might want to share the range of information you used to inform your actions, and quantify using appropriate  metrics where possible – this may include financial metrics (eg revenue, profit, ROI, productivity), customer engagement/satisfaction levels, people-related indicators (eg absence levels, staff turnover, engagement) as well as less tangible outcomes such as the impact on the credibility and integrity of the function/ profession within the organisation.

CIPD professional principles

Across all categories and in line with the CIPD’s profession map, we’re looking for entries that are evidence-based, outcomes-driven and principles-led.

Remember – a great idea, initiative or project that isn’t firmly embedded in the needs of the organisation or brought to life in your entry may not stand out – no matter how brilliant!