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Top 5 new entrant mistakes

Top 5 new entrant mistakes


Starting your journey to health and safety excellence through awards recognition is a commendable decision. However, like with any significant process, there are common pitfalls that new entrants often encounter... 


In this article, Matt Cryer, RoSPA's Awards Standards Manager explores the top five mistakes to avoid when entering RoSPA’s Health and Safety Awards, ensuring a smoother and more successful experience.

1. Lack of clarity in objectives

One of the most common mistakes new entrants make is entering our awards scheme without a clear understanding of their reasons for doing so. Whether it's benchmarking against industry standards, gaining CPD hours, boosting team morale, gaining a competitive edge in tenders, or fostering organisational change – having a well-defined purpose is crucial. Take the time to articulate your goals, as this clarity will not only guide your submission but also provide a meaningful context for those in your team and others in your organisation.

2. Going solo: Failure to share the load

Health and safety is a collaborative effort, and the same principle applies when entering the awards. Some entrants make the mistake of shouldering the entire responsibility themselves. It's essential to get others involved, harnessing the collective expertise and experiences within your organisation. Delegate tasks, seek input from different departments, and showcase the collaborative nature of your health and safety initiatives. Sharing the load not only strengthens your submission but also reflects the broader commitment of your entire team.

3. Hesitation to seek help

Don't let pride get in the way of progress. New entrants often shy away from seeking help, whether it's through our webinars, mentors, or reaching out to our awards team. The scheme provides valuable resources and support networks – use them! Participate in webinars, connect with mentors who have navigated similar paths, and don't hesitate to ask questions. The insights gained through collaboration can really enhance the quality of your submission.

4. Overlooking the details in questions

Carefully reading and understanding the questions is paramount. New entrants sometimes miss the mark by either not fully addressing all aspects of a question or redundantly covering information in an earlier response that is detailed in a subsequent question. Pay meticulous attention to each question, ensuring that your responses are comprehensive, focused, and directly address the criteria outlined.

5. Insufficient worked evidence examples

A compelling narrative is only as strong as the evidence supporting it. Many entrants fall short by not providing enough worked evidence examples. While describing your health and safety system is essential, it's equally crucial to back it up with tangible examples of its implementation. Paint a vivid picture for assessors by illustrating how your strategies translate into real-world actions and results.

Bonus mistake: Time management underestimation

Registering early and then starting late is a classic error. Underestimating the time needed to complete the submission can lead to a rushed and suboptimal entry. Avoid this mistake by planning well in advance, understanding the requirements, and allocating sufficient time for thoughtful and thorough responses.

In conclusion, entering our health and safety awards scheme is a journey that demands thoughtful planning, collaboration, and attention to detail. By avoiding these common mistakes, you not only increase your chances of success but also contribute to the overall improvement of health and safety practices within your organisation.

Good luck on your awards journey!

Entry to the 2024 RoSPA Awards is open now. Find out more at:

Matt Cryer

Matt Cryer is Awards Standards Manager at RoSPA.


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