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Top tips for awards success

Written by Catherine Park

The deadline for submitting your ITI Award entries – 31 January – is not that far away. Here are our top tops for putting in a entry that stands out and shines.

ITI Awards success

Read the entry instructions carefully

It may seem obvious, but do make sure you read the general entry requirements and the specifics on the entry form for the class you are entering. It would be a shame to lose marks because the entry does not address one or more criteria.

Keep it simple

Be clear, specific and concise. As far as possible, use concrete rather than abstract words. Give examples: e.g. the specific ways you added value for your client; how you ensured freelancers felt involved in your business. Avoid jargon and highly specialist language – at the most basic level, would someone who has not been involved with this type of project be able to understand it from your description?

A clear format

Follow a clear structure – the order of the criteria to be answered on the entry form should help you with this. Tell a story – a clear narrative engages judges and helps them to understand what you have achieved. Before submitting your entry, perhaps ask someone else to read it as a final check that you are getting across what you want.

Stick to word counts

Keep to the word counts on the entry forms. If you can say what you need to in fewer words, feel free to do so.

Supporting material

Stick to the amount of supporting information stipulated on the entry form – make sure that individual elements are not excessively long. Typical examples of supporting material could include a) List of quotes from client/other interested parties b) Statistics that support the submission c) Brief that you had to meet d) Event programme e) A plan that was actually used f) Product description. The judges will not be in a position to read books, long research reports etc. Please note that we do not require dissertations to be submitted in the Academic Research class.


Give your documents logical titles so judges know what they are opening and get a sense of structure straight away.

Get the detail right

Mistakes, discrepancies, ambiguities and/or a lack of attention to detail do not create confidence in  judges. If the entry as a whole doesn’t ‘add up’, it won’t win. We cannot accept corrections after the entry has been submitted. In the Innovation class, it is possible for an individual, several individuals, a group or an organisation to be named as winner. We must have the correct information at the time of entry submission.

If you are nominating someone else, make sure you have their permission and have all the necessary information on their achievement.

Impact and evidence

It is important that the practical, positive impacts of the activity are clear. In relation to the Academic research class, judges are particularly impressed when the applicability of a piece of research to specific challenges in the sector are evident.

Statistics, testimonials, quotations and other forms of concrete evidence are valuable in confirming claims about the nature, scale and importance of achievements.


Ensure that achievements being described took place within the period stipulated on the entry form.

If an activity is ongoing, be clear on what actually occurred within the period covered by this award. If the activity was completed just within the acceptable time-frame, try and demonstrate some results rather than speculating about what the impact might be in the future.

Start time

Give yourself plenty of time to put together a solid entry. Don’t leave it late and then have to rush – give yourself the best possible chance of doing justice to these achievements.


Download your entry form (s) here.

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