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Autism 2016 Professionals Awards

Category: Awards, Events, Recruitment, Autism, education, profession, organisation

Autism 2016 Professionals Awards

Autism 2016 Professionals Awards

What are the Autism Professionals Awards?

The Autism Professionals Awards, supported by our headline sponsor, Axcis Education Recruitment, have been created to recognise and reward services and professionals who are leading the way in innovative autism practice and making a real difference to the lives of autistic people in the UK.

The Awards seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, teams and organisations who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of autistic people.

How many awards are there?

There are 13 awards, 11 of are open for nomination. Awards are divided into 3 categories:

1) Individual professional

2) Team of professionals

3) Autism Accreditation

The lifetime Acheivement award and the Autism Accreditation Award are not open for nominations this year.

Awards for an individual professional

1 - The Axcis Award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional

2 - Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual on the Autism Spectrum sponsored by Network Autism

3 - Award for Most Inspirational Volunteer

4 - The Lifetime Achievement Award - not open for nomination

Team awards - open for nomination

5 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – Primary Schools

6 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – Secondary Schools and post 16 provision

7 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – other education provider

8 - Award for Outstanding Adult Services

9 - Award for Otstanding Health Services

10 - Award for Innovative Family Support

11 - Award for Most Supportive Employer

12 - Award for Most Creative Community Project

13 - Autism Accreditation Excellence Award - not open for nomination

How do I enter?

Online nominations are now open. Please read the entry regulations as well as tips below to make your entry as persuasive as possible. Entry forms are available on the categories page. You can also download these entry guidelines.

How does my entry get judged?

After the entry deadline of Friday 30th October, the judges will be able to access your entry and read your submission.

From November to December, the judging panel will look through all the entries and will consider which nominations best fit the award categories and criteria below with strong, clear reasons and evidence that supports the nomination. The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

In completing the online form, it is important to provide specific examples of how the nominee(s)’ practice has been particularly innovative and creative, as well as examples that show the impact this has had on autistic people and how sustainable the innovation will be.

What are the criteria the judges will look at to evaluate my nomination?

Criteria are:

  1. Innovation: use of innovative approaches, working practices or technologies to improve the service they provide for autistic people. In this section, the judges are looking for something over and above general good practice – make sure you explain exactly what is pioneering or innovative about the work the nominee has been doing. Weighting given to this criterion 30%
  2. Creativity: high levels of creativity in use of funds, space, staff or other resources to enhance the services delivered. Weighting given to this criterion 20%
  3. Impact: delivery of quantifiable benefits to the people supported through the implementation of creative or innovative practices within their organisation. The number of people impacted by the nominee should be included in this part. Weighting given to this criterion 30%
  4. Sustainability: evidence that the practice has been / will be sustainable in providing long-term benefits for autistic people. Weighting given to this criterion 20%

When can I submit my nomination? 

Nominations must be submitted through our online system on the Autism Professionals Awards Website.

We strongly advise you to start working on your submission well in advance of the deadline (Friday 30th October), so you have plenty of time to prepare your submission.

Download the entry guidelines to give your nominations the best chance to be selected - (No hard copy entries will be accepted.)

Can I nominate myself?

Individuals cannot nominate themselves for either of the four awards for an individual professional. However, teams or organisations are welcome to submit a nomination about themselves for any of the 8 team awards.

When is the entry deadline?

Friday 30th October 2015

When will the finalists be announced?

Wednesday 20th January 2016

When will the winner be announced?

At the awards ceremony on Tuesday 1st March 2016 in Telford.

What do I get if I win?

If you win you will receive a trophy at the awards ceremony on 1st March in Telford together with a winner’s logo to add to your email and website to let everyone know you won!

Tips for entering

Remember that by the time the judges get to your entry, they may have already sifted through hundreds of others, so make yours stand out.  Here are some tips:

  • Prepare your submission in a word document before entering it online as this will prevent the system from timing out before you have finished writing it.
  • Involve the nominee(s):  if you are nominating someone else, make the entry a joint effort - this will often produce a better, more comprehensive summary, as well as making the story appear more interesting.
  • Involve a service user: often the most persuasive words are from the people you/ your nominee(s) support.
  • Use supportive statements and/ or quotes: this will give your application more depth as well as making it more interesting.
  • Tell a story: write your submission as though you are telling a really good story and don’t be shy about talking about the nominee’s achievements and successes.
  • Use real evidence with lots of factual examples and illustrations: this will give more depth to your application
  • Try to use a user accolade in your summary; if you are nominating yourself for an award, they are very insightful and can add weight to your entry.
  • Keep it simple:  less is often more. Avoid unnecessary jargon and flowery language. Check for typos, grammatical errors and spelling.
  • Stick to the truth:  don't exaggerate or include false claims, as judges will see through them.
  • Be ruthless when redrafting:  once you've written your rough draft submission, read it over several times and cut out unnecessary information. This will make it much clearer. It's also a good idea to get someone who hasn't been directly involved to look over it to double-check for clarity.
  • Don't forget to call us if you have a query on 020 7903 3763.

Rules entering

  1. Nominations must be submitted through our online system.  No hard copy entries accepted.
  2. Only fully completed entry forms are accepted. Word limits are to be strictly observed. Judges will only receive the exact number of words requested.
  3. All nominations must relate to accomplishments occurring during the calendar years 2014-2015
  4. All nominee(s) must be UK-based.
  5. Members of the judging panel may not be put up for nominations.
  6. The entry form represents the full and entire official entry. Attempts to further influence the judges by any means outside of, or in addition to, the official entry may result in disqualification.
  7. If you nominate someone for more than one award, each nomination must be submitted as a separate entry.
  8. Completed nominations must be submitted no later than 5.00 pm on Friday 30th October 2015.
  9. On receipt of your entry, the awards administrators will confirm its arrival via email. If you do not obtain a receipt within three days, it is your responsibility to contact us to confirm its arrival. Unless you have this written or verbal confirmation from us, we cannot guarantee the arrival of your entry.
  10. It is essential that we can contact the nominee easily with questions regarding the submission, or for judging enquiries and requests for further information. Therefore, please provide us with full contact details for the nominee on the entry form.
  11. Shortlisted organisations and individuals will be published on Wednesday 20th January 2016. The winners will be announced at the Professionals Awards Dinner on Tuesday 1st March 2016 in Telford.
  12. All shortlisted nominees must have at least one representative at the awards ceremony to potentially collect their award. Therefore, all shortlisted entrants are entitled to one free seat at the Awards Dinner. All entrants reaching the provisional shortlist will be contacted upon announcement of the provisional shortlist to discuss their attendance. Entrants unable to commit to attendance at the Awards Dinner will not be included in the final shortlist.
  13. The National Autistic Society will publish details of the shortlisted entrants and category winners, including profiles of their projects / services using the information taken from the entry form. We will not reveal the names of those organisations/individuals who are not shortlisted

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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