Frequently Asked Questions
Early registration discount and the closing dates
Online Entry Format and Security
Preparing your submission
After submitting your entry
Feedback and Grade Review Requests
Q: Our organisation has not entered for a RoSPA Award before. What do we do?
A: Read about the awards on the RoSPA website and choose which category you wish to enter.
- Register and pay online
- RoSPA will send you a login for the online entry system, consisting of a username and a password
- Read the entry requirements and guidance and follow the instructions on how to compile your entry
- Complete all sections of the online entry and upload supporting evidence documents as required
- Take a copy of your completed submission, using the integrated print-to-pdf functionality
- Submit your online entry by the closing date indicated.
The instructions are straightforward but if you need any advice, we will be pleased to help.
Q: Does our organisation have to be a RoSPA member to enter the RoSPA Awards?
A: No - entry is open to all and not restricted to RoSPA members. Nevertheless, the award entry fee discount and wide range of other benefits are good reasons to join.
Q: I’m not yet a RoSPA member. When factoring in the cost of a membership, can I still make an overall saving using the RoSPA member discount rates?
A: RoSPA membership starts at just £55 +VAT for affiliate member. The membership discount on an early Achievement Award registration is £60 + VAT, so yes you can still see an overall saving, and have the bonus of gaining access to RoSPA member benefits as part of our membership community.
Q: How do I access RoSPA member rates when purchasing an awards registration?
A: To view your RoSPA member discount rates, please login into your MyRoSPA account before visiting our web shop to purchase your registration.
Q: For what period of performance are the awards made?
A: The 2022 RoSPA Awards are made in recognition of organisations' health and safety management performance in the 2021 calendar year (January 1 to December 31).
Q: Our organisation is a new venture and we do not yet have a full year's RIDDOR data. Can we still enter?
A: To be eligible for a RoSPA Award, an organisation must normally have RIDDOR data for at least the full previous calendar year, i.e. January 1 to December 31. If it does not, it may still qualify for some level of award, providing that it can demonstrate that an effective health and safety management system has been set in place. Include a note of why data is not available in the text box provided in Section 13. If in doubt, please contact us for advice.
Q: What type of award should we apply for?
A: You can apply for an occupational safety Achievement Award, which recognises your organisation's performance against the judging criteria; or enter the competitive Industry Sector Award for your work sector, which involves your entry also being compared with other entries in order to identify the "best in class". A greater level of detail and evidence is expected from an entry to the Industry Sector Awards. The winner of the ultimate award recognising health and safety management performance – the Sir George Earle Trophy – is selected from a short-list of the top Industry Sector Award winners. Finalists are required to undergo an additional assessment stage, involving a site visit from RoSPA consultants, and a presentation to the judging panel.
Some new entrants choose initially to enter in the Achievement Award category in order to become familiar with the entry process and requirements. However, high performing new entrants can win - and have won - in the competitive categories in their first year of entering.
Entrants can now choose to apply for a Fleet Safety Award and/or a Leisure Safety Award. These achievement-style awards recognise your organisation’s performance in fleet and driver safety management and Leisure Services provision respectively. Fleet Safety and Leisure Safety Award entries are assessed for individual certification. In addition, the overall highest performing Fleet Safety entry is honoured with the RoSPA Fleet Safety Trophy, and the Fleet Safety entrant showing the greatest use of technical innovation - the Fleet Safety Technology Trophy (Sponsored by Tesco Dotcom). Fleet Safety Awards and Leisure Safety Awards can be applied for as a single entry for a fee, or can be added as an additional category at no extra cost by any Achievement Award or Sector Award Entrant.
As well as the above health and safety awards there are additional competitive "Specialist Awards" for the best performance in key disciplines.
Q: What are the "Specialist Awards"?
A: Specialist awards are made in the areas of:
- Environmental management (The RoSPA International Dilmun Environmental Award, sponsored by Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company)
- Occupational health management (Health at Work Award)
- Safety outside of the workplace, and in the home ([email protected]@Home Award, sponsored by L’Oréal)
- Achievements of women in health and safety (Inspiring Women in Safety Award, sponsored by L’Oréal)
There is no additional entry fee, but a separate submission is required for these categories. You will need to select any specialist award(s) for which you wish to enter when you register online for either an Achievement Award or an Industry Sector Award entry. Submissions must address the points shown in the respective award's Guidance Notes.
In addition, all eligible Industry Sector Award entries will be considered for:
- The RoSPA Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Trophy, sponsored by Springfields Fuels Ltd, part of Westinghouse
- The RoSPA Scotland Trophy (entries from organisations based in or operating in Scotland)
- The International Sector award - sponsored by EcoOnline.
The Best New Entry Award is made to an organisation or new site of a previous participant (either Achievement Award or Industry Sector Award entrant) that has not entered the Awards programme before. Separate awards may be issued in different geographical regions.
Q: What are the "Inspiration Awards"?
A: The Inspiration Awards recognise individuals, teams and projects that are a source of inspiration and pride. The category incorporates the following award types: Distinguished Service Award; Health and Safety Initiative of the Year; Health and Safety Team of the Year; Influencer; and the Pride Award.
Inspiration Award nominations are additional submissions that can be selected alongside the fee-based award categories.
Q: If our application is successful what will our award be?
A: Achievement, Fleet Safety and Leisure Safety Award winners receive a framed certificate. Industry Sector Award winners receive an engraved trophy with Highly Commended and Commended sector award entries receiving a commemorative Perspex trophy. "Specialist Award" winners receive an engraved trophy. Inspiration Award winners receive a commemorative Perspex plaque, and Highly Commended and Commended Inspiration award recipients receive a commemorative Perspex trophy.
All Award winning organisations are entitled to use the appropriate Award logo on their corporate letterhead and to fly the RoSPA Awards flag.
Q: What happens if we enter the competition for, but don't win, the Industry Sector Award?
A: In each industry sector competition there is one Sector Award winner (or occasionally joint winners) and normally one or more entries are either Highly Commended or Commended if they are close to the standard achieved by the Sector winner. Following initial assessment the appropriate achievement award grade (Merit to Gold) is assigned. The top Gold award entries are further assessed and compared with others in the same industry sector to identify the winner and, in some cases, runners-up of Highly Commended and Commended.
Please note that as the Sector Awards are competitions a previous win does not guarantee the same award in following years, even if your organisation's performance has improved. This is because it is possible for another entry to be judged even better; either from a previous participant whose entry standard has improved more, or from a high performing new entrant.
Q: How would we win a Gold Medal, President's Award, Order of Distinction or the Patron's Award?
A: These awards are made for "sustained achievement" after winning consecutive Gold Awards respectively:
5 to 9 years = Gold Medal
10 to 14 years = President's Award
15 to 24 years = Order of Distinction
25 years onwards = Patron's Award
Q: Our organisation has previously entered the RoSPA Awards, but this year we have merged with other unit(s)/companies. Should we enter as a whole or individually – and what happens about our past record in the Awards scheme?
A: Ideally you should enter as separate units (which must all show local evidence of implementation of the corporate systems). If you choose to submit a combined entry for the merged organisation and some, but not all constituent units, have previously won sustained achievement awards (Gold Medal, President's Award, Order of Distinction or Patron's Award). RoSPA will judge the appropriate level of award for the new body. In the event of the newly-formed entity not achieving the required standard for Gold, the previous awards history for other sites will be lost. For mergers of different companies, the judges will look for the merged organisation's health and safety management system performance to be equal to or better than the standard recognised previously by a RoSPA Award. If in doubt, merged organisations will be treated as new entries.
Q: Why is there a difference in cost between the entry fee for the competitive industry sector awards and the achievement awards?
A: This reflects the fact that the assessment of Industry Sector Award entries takes considerably longer due to assessors providing full written feedback on the submission content. The selection of winners in each industry sector also involves additional stages of review, verification and judging.
Q: We use the RoSPA QSA auditing system. Do we still have to submit a full entry, including all the required supporting evidence documents?
A: It depends what type of award you are entering: For an Achievement Award if your organisation has achieved QSA Level 2 or above, you just need to register for the award online, provide brief answers to the ten KPQs (sections 2-11 of the online RoSPA Award entry), and upload a scan of your QSA certificate as a supporting evidence document, before submitting the entry. A full range of supporting evidence documents is not required.
However, if entering for one of the competitive Industry Sector Awards, a full submission will still be required, including answers to the 10 Key Performance Questions (sections 2-11) with links to supporting evidence documents uploaded to the online entry. This is because all entries in the competitive categories must as far as possible be in the same format to maximise the consistency of assessment. Also, entries for the Industry Sector Awards are judged by independent assessors who may not be familiar with the QSA system.
Q: Our organisation had a fatal accident this year. Can we still apply for an award?
A: Organisations with fatal accidents in the qualifying year (i.e. January 1 to December 31, 2021) SHOULD NOT register without first seeking authorisation from RoSPA to do so as an award will not be possible until all relevant information can be provided.
If an application is made, for any award to be possible full details must be provided of each case, whether RIDDOR reportable or not, including the findings of any subsequent investigation/court case/coroner's hearing to prove to the judging panel's satisfaction that the event concerned was not the result of management failure by the organisation. RoSPA's decision is final.
Early registration discount and the closing dates
Q: How do we qualify for the early registration discount?
A: Register online to enter before 23:59 on October 31, 2021.
Q: What are the scheme's key dates for 2022?
All Industry Sector, Fleet Safety, Leisure Safety, Specialist and Inspiration Award entries (for all presentation venues or postal despatch), and Achievement Award entries:
January 24, 2022 (23:59)
Entry Submission Period:
Opens: January 1, 2022
All online entries must then be submitted by the date advised for the individual entry.
Industry Sector Awards, Specialist Awards, and Achievement Award entries (including Fleet and Leisure Safety):
February 1, 2022 (23:59)
NB: Competitive Award entries not submitted by this deadline will be excluded from consideration for the competitions. Late Industry Sector Award entries submitted after this date will be re-allocated to the Achievement Award category.
Achievement Award entries solely for postal despatch:
June 8, 2022 (23:59)
Entries submitted in line with the June 8 deadline will not be included in official presentation events. Entries submitted after the advised deadline date will incur a late entry fee (£100.00 plus VAT).
Postal despatch (where selected):
Will commence mid-July 2022 for entries submitted by the entry deadline. Awards for entries submitted after this entry deadline will be dispatched by mid-September 2022.
Q: What if we cannot submit our entry by the advised date?
A: The on-line entry system will lock out entries that are not submitted by the advised closing date. In this event, you will need to contact the RoSPA Awards team for the entry to be unlocked.
- Sector Award, Specialist and Inspiration Award entries: These competitions run to strict judging timetables and entries not received by the advised date will normally be excluded from consideration. Sector Award entries submitted after the advised closing date will instead be assessed for the appropriate Achievement Award grade, with feedback provided.
- Achievement Award entries: RoSPA reserves the right to refuse submissions after the above closing dates. If late submission is permitted (which is solely at RoSPA's discretion) a late entry fee (£100.00 plus VAT) will be payable.
Online Entry Format and Security
Q: Why do you use an online entry system?
A: The online entry system brings huge benefits in terms of security and convenience. The online entry site is delivered by health and safety software experts EcoOnline.
Users will find the system simple to operate and will welcome the ease of completing the online sections and providing the required supporting evidence.
Q: Where is my data stored?
A: RoSPA Awards entry data is stored in secure hosting environments from leading cloud hosting vendors AWS and Azure. Details of their compliance programmes and accreditation can be found in the links below.
Rackspace are the architect of the hosting infrastructure, and provide support.
Q: Is the Awards site accessible?
A: EcoOnline provide a web application that is accessible to the widest possible audience. RoSPA actively works with EcoOnline in the ongoing development of the accessibility and usability of the awards entry site.
Q: Can I be confident that my data will not get lost?
A: The awards software is fully encrypted and is also password protected. The software is hosted on a secure site that is certified to the highest level. Your data is safe within the system.
Q: What about the Data Protection Act?
A: Appropriate technical and organisational measures are being continually taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. The application and service has been designed and organised to fit the nature of the data that it holds and the harm that may result from any breach of security. Formal policies and procedures are in place to fulfil our obligations under the Data Protection Act.
Q: What help is available for the online entry system?
A: A comprehensive "Help" section and Guidance Notes are accessible once logged onto the system.
The RoSPA awards team is also on hand to take queries and help you with the online registration and entry process. Simply contact us and we will help.
Q: What type of files can be uploaded to the system?
A: The system supports a wide range of file types, but for maximum compatibility we recommend restricting your evidence files to commonly used formats, including .pdf, .jpg and Microsoft Office file formats.
Q: What platforms does the system run off?
A: All Microsoft Windows systems from XP SP3 up to and including Windows 10. Internet Explorer 7 onwards is fully supported. We also support the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Older browsers will not support the technology required to run the Awards site. Please contact the Awards department if you are using older technology so that other solutions can be explored. If unsure about the IT system in use by your organisation, please contact your system administrator.
Preparing your submission
Q: Can I get a back-up copy of my entry after I’ve submitted it?
A: The online entry system has a built-in "print to pdf" function. Entrants should use this to take a backup of their completed entry submission before they click submit. After your entry is submitted, for the safety and security of your data, RoSPA are unable export a copy of your submission to send back to you.
Q: Does it matter if we don't answer the Key Performance Question (KPQ) sections?
A: Yes – The Key Performance Questions (Screens 2 to 11 of the online entry) are a fundamental part of the entry requirements. Answering the questions is the primary means for explaining your safety management system to the person assessing your submission and provides the correct context for the interpretation of your supporting evidence. Each section of the submission asks a carefully considered question that explores a different aspect of your safety management system. It is therefore essential that each section is answered in full.
It will not normally be possible for missing evidence to be provided separately at a later stage, although at its discretion RoSPA may request additional information.
Q: Why do RoSPA Awards entries require supporting evidence?
A: The requirement for relevant evidence about entrants' health and safety management approach is essential to underpin claims made in submissions. Awards made on the basis of unsubstantiated statements are likely to be seen as of limited credibility and quality. It is for this reason that the RoSPA Awards place a particular focus on "worked" or "documentary" evidence that demonstrates your systems in action.
Q: Why is there a limit on the number of attachments per section?
A: An analysis of past entries reflects the requirement for high quality rather than a large quantity of supporting evidence. Sharp focus on what each KPQ is asking will reduce unnecessary repetition and improve selection of relevant supporting evidence.
Entrants will also benefit from significant time saving in uploading their supporting documents.
Q: Will entries that exceed the permitted limit be penalised?
A: Assessors/judges are only required to examine the first eight hyperlinks/cross references for each section. It is therefore very important to ensure the best supporting evidence is included within these. If key information is not included here it is unlikely to be seen, which may restrict the assessor's rating. As previously, at their discretion assessors/judges may penalise irrelevant evidence.
Q: Will entries that stack/combine documents to comply with the permitted limit be penalised?
A: Entrants that do this are not following the guidelines. Assessors/judges will penalise entries if it is clear that this has been done in order to comply with the limit. The exception is in Section 3, where evidence relating to sources of competent health and safety advice may be combined, e.g. a whole safety team’s qualification certificates/CVs.
Q: What if we cannot provide any corporate KPIs such as audit scores?
A: Section 12 of the Achievement Award and Industry Sector Award entries requests information about any corporate KPIs used by the entrant. None of the indicators listed are compulsory, but this information can help RoSPA's adjudicators to confirm their judgements about the level of award to be made. If a specific indicator is unfamiliar, it is unlikely that your organisation uses it. There is no need to contact the Awards team for clarification.
Q: Why do you ask what industry sector we operate in?
A: In the competitive Industry Sector Awards, this is to ensure that as far as possible entries are compared with other organisations with the same risk profiles as themselves. For participants in the scheme overall, the industry sector is also used by RoSPA when publicising winners.
Q: Individual sites/parts of our organisation would like to receive their own award - what should we do?
A: Separate Achievement Award applications should be made by the respective sites. As well as documents such as the corporate health and safety policy, applications must include information relating to the individual sites, e.g. local policy (if applicable), local risk assessments, local H&S meetings, local inspections, evidence of local monitoring activities, local audit results etc. Failure to provide sufficient evidence of local implementation of corporate procedures etc. is frequently a factor that limits the award achieved.
Q: Should we include contractor/sub-contractor staff in our total number of employees?
A: As part of the organisation where asked in section one - yes. In entry section 13 - no, you should declare the numbers of direct employees only, as numbers of (sub)-contractor employees can vary widely throughout the year. However, you must as far as possible show contractor/sub-contractor numbers separately (at section 14), and declare all significant RIDDOR events (fatalities and major/specified* injuries) during their work for you. This is because these help illustrate your level of success in managing your contractors. You might consider encouraging your contractors to submit an awards entry in their own right as this will in turn demonstrate their commitment to health and safety.
*As defined in RIDDOR 2013
Q: We treat our contractors'/sub contractors' RIDDOR data the same as our own and include them with our direct employees'. What should we do?
A: If your contractor data cannot be separated out from the data for direct employees, please indicate this in the box provided.
Q: What if we do not have full accident data for our contractors/sub-contractors?
A: Supply what information you do have, but this must at least include a brief description of all fatal or major/specified injury* accidents that have occurred during their work on your behalf. Please note that for the competitive Industry Sector Awards, deficiencies in this data could make the difference between success and failure. In addition, failure to declare such events for contractors/sub-contractors that occurred during the awards period will normally result in an award being withdrawn, particularly if the Awards Panel's original decision would have been different had all relevant information been disclosed.
*As defined in RIDDOR 2013
Q: How does the 'electronic signature' work?
A: Under the provisions of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 (section 7) a typed name and the action of submitting the online award entry may be taken as an "electronic signature", where this is the applicant's intention. Entrants are also required to provide the names and job roles of two further witnesses who will, if necessary, confirm the accuracy of the entry contents.
As stated in the RoSPA Awards Terms and Conditions and agreed to when registering to enter, submission of an entry is taken as a declaration attesting to its completeness and accuracy and the entry is submitted to the RoSPA Awards scheme in good faith.
Q: Our award application is actively opposed by one or more interested parties. Can we still apply?
A: RoSPA cannot act as "referee" in what can be complex, longstanding and ongoing disputes. We expect applicants to take all reasonable steps to resolve issues before an entry is submitted. If this isn't possible, please seek advice from RoSPA before applying. RoSPA requests that all such disputes are declared in the reputational risk section of the declaration page.
Q: Is '24/7' safety a required initiative, as we do not currently do much in this area. Will this count against us?
A: Achievement Award entries are judged on their occupational health and safety performance and will not be penalised. A specific 24/7 safety initiative is not a requirement, however safety-leadership initiatives outside of the workplace would be good examples of going above and beyond compliance to be shared in your submission. When competing for the Industry Sector Awards (and the Sir George Earle Trophy), 24/7 initiatives are one of several "bonus" features that can help your submission stand out and help the judges to differentiate between top performers. If you have well-developed 24/7 style initiatives, they are a major component of the specialist [email protected]@Home award submission.
Q: Can you give any advice about how to compile our health and safety award entry?
A: Some examples are suggested of supporting evidence documents the assessors would expect for each of the Key Performance Questions. These are listed on screen following each question and in Guide A. Please note the list of suggestions is not exhaustive and items are not compulsory but are all considered by the assessors to be good examples of topics that a well-developed health and safety management system would be able to evidence for each section response.
For obvious reasons, it is impossible to specify a "model entry" that would apply for all participants, as safety management systems inevitably vary, reflecting organisations' different sizes and the nature, scale and complexity of the risks they must manage.
After submitting your entry
Q: Have you received our entry?
A: On submitting your online entry, you will receive immediate on-screen confirmation that it has been received.
No email confirmation will be sent.
Once submitted, and after the advised deadline, the entry will no longer be visible.
Q: Is the judging of online entries automated, enabling results to be advised sooner after submission?
A: No. The online system facilitates the entry and judging processes, but all assessment of entries continue to be done by independent experts engaged by RoSPA.
Q: When will I know the outcome of the judging, and what level of award we have achieved?
A: Notification of the result of assessment of your entry will indicated on your registration confirmation.
Q: What happens if our RoSPA Award entry is unsuccessful?
A: If your entry does not merit any level of award or must be suspended, we will inform you of the reasons. However, please note that the entry fee will not be refundable because the submission will have undergone the administration and assessment processes that the fee covers.
Feedback and Grade Review Requests
Q: What if we would like feedback on our submission?
A: Provision of brief feedback is included within the Sector Award entry fee. Feedback can also be provided for Achievement Award entries for an extra £210+VAT (RoSPA Members) and £235+VAT (Non-Members).
This should be indicated when you first register to enter. Later requests will incur an additional charge. The feedback reflects the relative strengths and weaknesses in the submission, as observed by RoSPA's expert assessors.
For many entrants, this is helpful in indicating priority areas for performance improvement. However, it is not a specific and detailed action plan. Participation in the awards programme is not intended, and should not be regarded, as a substitute for comprehensive on-site audit of safety management systems.
Q: We think the advised award result is incorrect. What should we do?
A: You will need to submit a formal Grade Review Request. These will be considered after the initial judging phase has been completed in March. Presentation of awards for entries requesting Grade Review will normally be deferred to postal dispatch.
Grade Review Requests must be received in writing within five working days of result notification. A short statement is required of why the grade is considered incorrect, along with additional payment for one of the following review options:
- Re-assessment - Cost £85 +VAT (RoSPA Members), £95 +VAT (Non-Members)
- Feedback/Reassessment - Cost £240 +VAT (RoSPA Members), £264 +VAT (Non-Members)
A Grade Review Request may result in the previously advised award level being promoted, remaining the same or being demoted. As with all entries in the scheme, RoSPA reserves the right to vary the grade awarded if information is later received that would have affected the grade if known at the time of initial assessment.
Q: If our application is successful, when will our award be presented?
A: Details and locations of the 2022 Awards presentation events will be advised in your award result notification email. RoSPA is considering a range of event options to present awards and celebrate award success with entrants, but arrangements will be subject to ongoing public health advice.