2017 Award Categories

Each of the ten categories recognises outstanding achievement.  In all the award categories the judges are looking for evidence that a particular people management and development initiative or project contributed to organisational sustainability and success. They want to see real results as well as innovation and creativity that set standards of best practice.

Sponsored by

HR Director of the Year

Recognising the ultimate distinction within HR, this award acknowledges the achievement of delivering a people strategy that has demonstrated the greatest level of proficiency and clear results. This is the award that only a HR Director demonstrating distinction at all levels will be recognised for. Entrants can enter themselves or be entered by nomination.

Sponsored by

Health and Wellbeing

We will recognise organisations that have demonstrated a clear link between initiatives to support employee health and wellbeing and business objectives. Successful entries will demonstrate an understanding of the holistic nature of employee health and wellbeing, for example, ensuring that leadership and management capability, wider workforce skills development or job design compliment initiatives such as the introduction of new programmes and benefits. Entrants will need to provide evidence of impact, such as a reduction in absence levels, accident levels and or improvements in staff engagement/performance.

Sponsored by

HR Team of the Year

This award recognises HR teams for their work within the function and their business partnering with other functions. Entrants should give evidence of clear links between operational and financial performance, metrics and evidence of satisfaction. The entry can include specific projects and also demonstrate the function’s collaborative approach and ability to attract and develop excellent HR in people.

Sponsored by

Best Change Management Initiative 

This award recognises an initiative that has improved business performance by implementing a programme of major change. Winning entries show that plans aligned with operational strategy and the desired organisational culture, and that they have been executed with HR considerations in mind. Entries will demonstrate HR’s contribution through all stages of the programme, from making the business case through to measuring the overall impact of the change programme.
Sponsored by

Consultant or Consultancy Team of the Year

We recognise that consultants play an increasingly important role in helping organisations deliver impact through people. In this category we will be looking for entries from consultants (individuals or teams) who have worked with a client on a specific project to address a strategic issue. The entry will demonstrate how they have worked collaboratively with the HR Team (if appropriate) and wider organisation to undertake a specific people related project. They also need to demonstrate that both consultants and employees of the organisation were involved and engaged. The entry needs to show how the project has delivered tangible business benefits to the organisation. This category is open to both individual and companies of any size.

Sponsored by

Best Employee Engagement Strategy

There is a growing body of evidence to prove that engaged employees deliver better performance and organisational effectiveness. This award is seeking to attract entries from organisations who are operating at high performance levels and whose performance emanates directly from high impact employee engagement initiatives. The award will be seeking evidence of leadership buy in, strong communication channels and an alignment with organisational mission and values. Entries should focus on how employee engagement was developed and tangible results to prove levels of engagement and the outputs achieved.

Sponsored by

Most Effective Organisational Learning and Development Strategy

The judges will be looking for entries that demonstrate a strong link between learning and development initiatives and positive organisational performance. Successful submissions should demonstrate a culture that promotes learning, focusing on talent and performance, as well as encouraging openness among employees about their development needs. You should give a clear description of the objectives that promoted your learning culture, drove your approach and explain how you measured their effectiveness. You should also indicate the context for your activities, such as a change management programme for example.

Sponsored by

Outstanding HR Student of the Year

Studying is not just about acquiring relevant knowledge – successful students apply what they have learnt to bring about real business benefits. We’re looking for an exceptional individual who is currently studying or has recently completed a recognised CIPD qualification at Postgraduate, Intermediate or Foundation-level. Successful applications will demonstrate how their studies have enabled them to initiate and implement business improvements, either within their own organisation or the organisation they work for.

Only students that are currently studying or successfully completed (since January 2015) a recognised CIPD qualification at Postgraduate, Intermediate or Foundation-level can apply.

We will accept nominations from employing organisations or qualification providers with the consent of the individual concerned.

Talent Management Programme of the Year

Talent management is an essential management practice covering a multitude of areas. This award recognises innovative talent management and the delivery of development opportunities that have an impact on and strengthen the organisation. Entrants should clearly demonstrate an innovative talent strategy that addresses an important business issue with a clear narrative that demonstrates how the strategy is having an impact on the organisation. Judges will look for return on investment and the impact the strategy has made since implementation.

CIPD Chair’s Special Achievement Award

The Chair’s Special Achievement Award is presented annually to an HR professional who has exemplified the strategic role of HR and who serves as a role model for their peers and within profession in Northern Ireland.

We aim to recognise an individual who has a passion for excellence; whose work demonstrates impact and serves as a model for others; and who is an ambassador for the HR profession in the wider business community.

This category is not open for entries and will be awarded by the Executive Committee of the CIPD Northern Ireland branch.


2017 Sponsorship Opportunities 

There are a limited number of sponsorship opportunities remaining for the 2017 CIPD NI Awards.

To become a sponsor, please contact Avril Anderson 07736 132 375 or email


Book CIPD NI Awards Gala Tickets

Join us at the Titanic Belfast for this celebration of HR, L&D and People Management in Northern Ireland. With over 330 attendees last year the evening provides the perfect backdrop to network, engage and celebrate the wonderful successes of organisations.

BOOKING.png   book online.jpg