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A mark of trust and integrity

by Gillian Ashworth
The Building Innovation Awards have become the first such event for the construction sector to earn an independent trustmark accrediting the integrity of its operation

The Building Innovation Awards have become the first such event for the construction sector to earn an independent trustmark accrediting the integrity of its operation. Gillian Ashworth explains why that matters

In the bustling world of construction, where groundbreaking projects and innovative solutions shape the landscape, industry awards stand as beacons of recognition.

However, scepticism can often mutter a sour note over these accolades. Whispers of favouritism, and innuendoes of pay-to-win dynamics sometimes serve to taint their credibility. That’s a reality for any sector’s awards events, though, not just construction, but it can be no less frustrating for all concerned.

For those that win an award, it risks taking the shine off their achievement; raining doubt over their hard work. Much the same can be said for the teams that put in all the effort – and bear the behind the scenes headaches – required to organise the events and make them a success on the night.

We might be tempted to dismiss such things as ‘sour grapes’, or else the cynicism of casual observers removed from the day-to-day realities of the industry’s activities; at least the inner workings of its awards ceremonies.

Either we accept such mutterings as an unfortunate fact of life – shrug and move on – or we challenge the sceptics. Mud can stick, as it were, so it’s really best to rise above the criticism.

The best way to do that, of course, is to operate with integrity, and to take every opportunity to demonstrate a fair approach.

Show don’t tell

That’s where the Awards Trust Mark comes into play; an initiative intended to foster transparency, fairness, and trust by encouraging and promoting best practice.

In short, awards events organisers – by qualifying to display the trust mark – demonstrate their commitment to uphold these principles.

Conceived by the Independent Awards Standards Council (IASC), the Awards Trust Mark scheme is a not-for-profit accreditation programme designed to enhance trust between awards entrants and organisers.

At its core lies a voluntary code of conduct. This represents a pledge undertaken by awards organisers to uphold ethical standards, abide by the code, and ensure fairness in the judging process. Levels range from basic to outstanding, but they all stand for fair play.

These principles and values that the Awards Trust Mark scheme seeks to encourage and uphold are very much part of the Building Innovations Awards‘ DNA; ever since they were launched five years ago, the organisers have worked hard to ensure the competition is open and fair.

So, it was an obvious decision to step up, and put the awards forward. Following an assessment by the IASC, the event was awarded the advanced level trust mark. There’s no resting on the laurels, of course; the accreditation must be renewed every year.

As a result of the accreditation process, the Building Innovation Awards earned praise for their transparency, their well-organised judging process, and the comprehensive feedback mechanisms it has in place.

By earning the Trustmark, the awards are deemed to have set a benchmark of excellence in the industry.

As one council member attested: “These are very well-run awards with clear transparency on judging process, fees, and a well-organised feedback process for both winners and those that just missed out.”

Entrants also attest to the integrity of these awards, with one stating: “It’s the best awards we’ve not only entered for, but the event itself was a blast.”

The accolades extend to the judges as well, who recognise the significance of celebrating construction’s achievements.

“The Building Innovation Awards celebrate ground-breaking innovations and advancements in construction, design, and sustainability,” one judge remarked.

The involvement of the judges – independent industry experts and leaders – underscore the importance of impartial evaluation, and the celebration of genuine achievements within the industry.

Moreover, the Awards Trust Mark scheme is not intended just as a symbol of integrity – important though that is – but as a catalyst for positive change.

By encouraging organisers to commit to the code of conduct, the scheme is raising standards across the industry, fostering an environment where excellence is truly celebrated on its merits.

As an entrant aptly stated, “I found the Building Innovation Awards were clear and transparent, and an easy process to follow.”

The Building Innovation Awards are the first UK construction awards to put itself to the test, and earn the Advanced Trustmark; leading the way forward, as befits awards that celebrate innovation.

Gillian Ashworth is head of events at UK Business Events

If you’re interested in entering the Building Innovation Awards, taking place on 17 October 2024, or just curious about the event, then find out more.

Read next: Building Innovation Awards: Salute the shapers of the future

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