Open to all civil servants, we are looking for examples of outstanding teams or individuals who have innovated, impressed and made a difference in their area over the past 12 months.

Nominations will be considered against award-specific criteria as well as the following elements:

  • Promotion or demonstration of the core values and behaviours set out in the Civil Service Code: has the nominee acted (where relevant) with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality?
  • Measurable benefits: does the nomination provide evidence that the project or programme is having a tangible effect?
  • Working in partnership: has the nominee introduced effective joint-working arrangements that bring together colleagues from multiple teams, departments or other internal or external organisations
  • Sustainability: will the initiative/practice described leave a lasting legacy and can it be replicated across government?
  • Inclusion: has the nominee been inclusive, engaging the individual strengths, talents and experiences of teams and considered all groups of customers, service users, audiences or stakeholders in developing solutions?
  • Innovative: has the nominee used innovative approaches and made the best use of the technology available, resulting in a step up from business as usual and real benefits to end users?
  • Impact: has the nominee made an impact beyond their immediate team/business area/department

The Chris Martin Policy Award

Recognising excellent domestic or international policy-making in action, for example by:
●    developing or using a sound evidence base, capturing knowledge from a variety of disciplines and sources, and applying robust analysis to understand the data and inform decision-making;
●    incorporating a diverse range of inputs, showcasing open policy-making, engaging effectively with stakeholders, while managing the wider political context;
●    developing and designing policy with implementation, delivery and user need as priorities from the outset, using new and innovative approaches, as appropriate.


The Collaboration Award

Sponsored By

Recognising excellence in co-operative and joint working across departments, local government, UK Government or Devolved Administrations.  This could include examples of:
●    work that exemplifies the principles of mutual respect, cooperation and collaboration and improves the knowledge and skills of others.
●    joint working across and between the UK Government, departments, Devolved Administrations or Local Authorities that is empowering communities and boosting growth;
●    successful project, policy or public service delivery achieved through effective leadership, negotiation and collaboration with others;


The Commercial Award

Sponsored By

Recognising an individual or team’s exemplary commercial skill and sound business judgement in delivering an exceptional outcome and value for money for government. This includes using robust commercial know-how, a willingness to challenge the status quo, and innovative approaches:
●      to maintain effective delivery of a service while reducing its cost and consumption of resources; eliminating waste; managing suppliers to secure improved commercial terms for government, and procuring goods and services at favourable/economical rates;
●      as part of a project that has transformed a service, increasing its effectiveness for the user and reducing its cost to the taxpayer;
●      to provide high-quality management information, analysis or guidance that has led to more effective commercial decision-making and optimised service delivery at greater value for money.


The Communication Award

This category recognises exceptional performance by a communications team to deliver a highly effective national or international communications campaign. The campaign should be consistent with the Government Communication Service ‘four I’s’ model of Insight, Ideas, Implementation and Impact, and provide evidence of the significant positive outcomes achieved as a direct result of the campaign, through:

  • Defined campaign objectives, in terms of setting specific and measurable changes in audience awareness, understanding and behaviour;
  • Clarity of strategy and implementation plan including innovation, and use of channel including no-cost and low-cost media as well as demonstrating evidence of research, data and audience insight that underpin the campaign;
  • Entries for external campaigns should highlight the impact on effectiveness and efficiency of delivery, and the reputation of public services. For internal campaigns they should demonstrate the business benefit to the department or agency.


The Customer Service Award

An award recognising an individual or team who consistently go the extra mile to deliver exceptional public services to citizens, customers or service users in the UK and abroad. The winner will:
●     demonstrate outstanding service and behaviours to deliver the right outcomes for customers;
●     have taken ownership and shown perseverance to understand and positively respond to complex customer needs, challenging circumstances and/or difficult situations;
●     demonstrate strong professionalism, a commitment to continuous improvement and share good practice and learning.


The Dame Lesley Strathie Operational Excellence Award

Sponsored By

In memory of Dame Lesley Strathie, this award recognises excellence in the delivery of public services.  This could include examples of:
●    placing customer needs and feedback at the heart of the design and/or implementation of a policy/project and being open to new ways of working and new delivery models;
●    establishing effective partnerships between centrally based civil servants and front-line delivery staff and making best use of Civil Service expertise and best practice;
●    significantly improving the quality, value for money or productivity of services to the public. 


The Digital Award

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Recognising excellence in the application of digital technology to solve a problem or make things better, for example when digital has been used as part of:
●    innovating policy-making and delivery;
●    changing working processes to bring about real benefits to users or increase efficiency of services;
●    a campaign for clear communications that engages users. 


The Diversity and Inclusion Award

Sponsored By

A winner of winners from the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards; an award that recognises real achievement and success at all levels of the Civil Service.

The Diversity and Inclusion Awards are available to view here:

The Health and Well Being Award

Recognising a team or individual that has made a highly effective contribution to, promoting or improving health and well-being within the Civil Service. This could be through:
●    a programme of successful interventions led by an organisation’s well being team with a positive and quantifiable outcome;
●    innovative approaches to promoting or measuring positive mental or physical well-being in a team or department;
●    an individual or group leading an engaging programme of health or well being activities in a particular work area;
●    an individual supporting others outside their day job, helping to create a great place to work.


The Innovation Award

Recognising a team or individual that has sought new and better ways of doing things and taken sensible risks to improve outcomes and successfully address an issue or challenge.  This could be through:
●    using innovative approaches to policy-making and delivery, such as open policy-making, behavioural insight or alternatives to regulation;
●    challenging the status quo, trying something new, adapting and refining when things have not worked well, and learning in the development of policy or services;
●    taking an approach that has resulted in a step-up from business as usual and delivered real benefits to customers. 


The Inspirational Leadership Award

Recognising an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in delivering results.  This award is open to all, regardless of grade or role.  Exemplifying the behaviours set out in the Civil Service Leadership Statement, nominees should be:
●    inspiring about our work and future through setting direction, valuing professionalism and embracing innovation;
●    inclusive and confident in engaging others, communicating clearly and collaborating successfully;
●    empowering through openness and a commitment to diversity, recognising and helping others fulfil their potential


The Project Delivery Excellence Award

Celebrating outstanding contributions to the successful delivery of government projects. This award recognises projects, teams or individuals whose efforts shape lasting and valuable outcomes for society. Entrants may have shown examples of one or more of the following:
●    Effective project initiation -­ working collaboratively to create a seamless transition from policy making to execution; thereby setting up projects to successfully deliver, measure performance and realise intended benefits.
●    Transforming organisations or services - ­to improve the way government operates or delivers services to the citizen and/or to deliver significant savings and infrastructure improvements.
●    Visible project leadership - building high performing, diverse teams;  increasing project capability; and leading activity to drive innovation and share knowledge across the wider professional community to effectively learn lessons from other projects.


The Skills Award

Sponsored By

Recognising a team or collective leadership group that has displayed excellence in promoting skills development across teams or operational units and can show evidence of a significant and sustainable contribution in increasing skills and the positive business outcomes achieved as a result.  This could include:
●    embedding good practices in determining evolving development needs and real innovation in addressing them;
●    ensuring that learning is captured and can be disseminated to others to help spread good practice;
●    investing in our people to build the right balance of capability, talent and experience to be effective now and in the future. 


The Use of Evidence Award

Recognising excellence by a team or individual in the way knowledge, evidence, research, or data is gathered, evaluated and disseminated to improve decision-making, policy-making or learning. This could include examples of:

●    applying systems thinking, problem solving and analysis to improve results by placing robust evidence, research and data at the heart of the decision–making process;
●    undertaking high quality evidence based research in for example science, engineering and technology and providing a robust evaluation of the outputs;
●    capturing knowledge, research and data from a variety of disciplines and sources, collaborating with partners inside and outside government where appropriate, and using this information to influence policy development and deliver better outcomes;
●    ensuring that best-practice is captured and disseminated to others, including those in non-analytical professions to help spread good practice and understanding.

The Volunteering Award

Sponsored By

Recognising an individual who volunteers outside of their civil service career and makes an outstanding contribution to their local community, civil society or their country, be it through charity work, volunteering in local communities or as a reservist, through:
●    passion and enthusiasm to making a difference whilst maintaining a strong work ethic and high standards in their civil service career;
●    a substantial, demonstrable and positive impact that has occurred as a direct result of the individual’s engagement and commitment;
●    going above and beyond the call of duty, taking a hands-on, proactive approach to their involvement with their chosen cause.