At Awards International, the integrity and transparency of our judging process is extremely important. It’s why the Independent Awards Standards Council has consistently accredited us with the Gold Standard Awards Trust Mark.
We believe that Finalists want a fair competition, in which the strength of their initiative – not the depth of their pockets – determines the winner.
So let’s take a look at the top 4 reasons that customers can have confidence in our judging process.
1. Our judges are independent
To assess the written entries and presentations, we rely on teams of independent professionals from a diverse range of business backgrounds. They are not employed by Awards International, and have no association with the day-to-day running of the company.
It’s scandalous to think that, at other awards, the judges sometimes work for the company organising the awards! What’s to stop them favouring a bigger client? Commercial pressures will inevitably lead to conflicts of interest, which is why we keep both worlds apart.
Our judges have always been independent, and they always will be.
2. They assess each entry thoroughly
Entrants want to have confidence that judges take the time to read their entry. But the structure of other awards programmes makes this much more difficult.
Let’s take the Engage Awards as an example. They have 21 judges assessing entries over 20 categories. Let’s say they receive 500 entries, and each one takes half an hour to read and score.
That’s 250 hours of judging. Each. Do these judges take the time to assess each entry with the thoroughness it deserves?
This is why Awards International events have a different judging panel for each category. On average, 5 judges will assess 6 entries. Assuming they spend half an hour, each judge has 3 hours to score the written entries – far more manageable for someone with a full-time job.
Presentations on the day of the Awards also count for 50% of the final score. Each presentation is 40 minutes in total – 15 minutes for the presentation, 15 minutes for questions and 10 minutes for scoring. So the overall time a judge spends on an entry is more than an hour.
3. The judges don’t confer
In those 10 minutes of scoring, judges don’t discuss the presentations with each other – they simply write down the scores for each criterion.
The same goes for the written entries – the judges assess these without conferring.
We do things this way because we value our judges for their individual business expertise. In a team environment, particularly a team of 5 or 6, it’s quite common for someone to dominate the conversation and skew the judging outcome towards their preferences. We’d much rather get each judge’s score, then compile the scores separately.
In fact, the chair of each judging panel doesn’t know the winner of the category until a minute before they announce it on stage!
4. The process is transparent
Our judging decisions don’t take place behind closed doors. Most of our presentations are open to other Finalists and attendees, enabling them to learn from the latest and greatest ideas in their field of interest. This also keeps the process honest and accountable.
Because we want every entrant to have the chance to do well, the judging criteria for all our Awards are available online.
And since it’s frustrating not to know why you won or lost, every Finalist receives a personalised feedback report after the Awards. It contains their scores, as well as how they compared to others in their category.
To be fair…
We keep everything above board – we owe it to our customers.
The background of our judges and the nature of the judging process are independent.
And we keep the ratio of judges to entrants sensible, so that every entry is assessed thoroughly.
Fairness is integral to what we do. Enter our Awards and you’ll see for yourself!
The UK Complaint Handling Awards 2020 is also open for entries – enter now!
And for more news, comment and insight, check out the Awards International website.