Top tips for writing your award application


  • Give yourself plenty of time. We can all leave things to the last minute, but if you get your application written early, you’ll have plenty of time to re-edit if necessary before the closing date.
  • Make sure you enter the most appropriate category. If in doubt, please ask for guidance.
  • Be passionate, punchy, and positive – remember you’re not writing a report!
  • Demonstrate achievements and keep your application evidence-based – in other words, don’t just give an opinion, back it up with examples and, where appropriate, outcomes.
  • Ask someone else to read your application, preferably someone who doesn’t have much knowledge about what it is, or who it is, you are writing about. Ask them if they understand what you have written and if they feel it demonstrates achievements well.
  • Remember the judges will not have any background information on your project/team/initiative/individual and may not be familiar with clinical terminology.


  • Use lots of jargon or abbreviations – it won’t help the judges understand what you’re trying to say.
  • Use over-complicated language, stick to plain English.
    Ignore the word count limit. The limit is there to help you fill in the application, as well as to help the judges carry out their task efficiently and methodically. If you go over the work count in your draft, it won’t be accepted by the online form.
  • Pretend a piece of work is something it’s not. If you have only thought about starting an initiative, it’s not the same thing as actually starting it. You won’t be awarded for just a good idea – wait until next year!
  • Be shy. It can sometimes be hard to ‘blow your own trumpet’, but be proud of your achievements and aim to get recognition for them. It’s also why we have awards for individuals this year – so people can get
    well-deserved recognition.
  • Submit separate supporting evidence for the awards, it is not required.
  • Miss the deadline!

Thanks to NHS Employers and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust for these top tips.