The entry period has now closed

Shortlist to be announced: Wednesday 15 June

The CIPD People Management Awards are the benchmark of excellence for the HR and People Development profession. We believe that people professionals can be a force for change and each year we see exceptional entries that reflect the influence and reach of the people profession within their organisations. So now is the time to showcase your best work and get the recognition you and your team deserve.

Thank you to everyone who entered, we have had excellent entries this year from organisations of all sectors and sizes, including international organisations.

Judges 2022


Sponsorship opportunities


Interested in sponsoring The CIPD People Management Awards 2022? 

Becoming a sponsor offers you the chance to align your business with the people, teams and companies that are leading the way in the people profession.

As a marketing and business development opportunity, the CIPD People Management Awards offers you the chance to promote your products and services to our audience. Build your brand at our premier events, whether in person or digitally, in our marketing campaigns as well as the awards website.

Key information


Shortlist announcement: Wednesday 15 June 2022 

Awards ceremony: 22 September 2022

2022 categories

23 categories to choose from

Best apprenticeship scheme

In this category, we will be looking to recognise high-quality apprenticeship programmes that demonstrate clear alignment with the organisation’s business and people strategies. Successful programmes will be at level 3 and above, that provide great opportunities for learners to progress, support efforts to increase inclusion and diversity and are integrated into the organisations' wider workforce planning. 

Examples of higher-level apprenticeships that provide viable alternatives to university for young people and partnerships between employers and education institutions will be welcomed.

Best change management initiative

As people professionals, we drive change for the good of the organisation and its people. This award recognises employers that have successfully led a major organisational change programme. As well as making demonstrable contributions to organisational performance, effective change programmes bring positive impacts to employees and/or clearly minimise potential negative impacts.

Best digital/technology initiative in HR/L&D

Technology has become a huge driving force and enabler of successful HR and L&D practice. In this category, we’re looking for submissions from organisations that have understood their end users and their needs to build solutions that have delivered business benefits, met user needs and achieved strategic objectives through the innovative use of technology or digital solutions.

Best employee experience initiative

Employee experience is about creating a holistic approach around employee engagement and well-being that enables workers to have a voice and be their best. It involves understanding the role that trust plays in the employment relationship and making sure people are listened to. 

This category looks for entries where initiatives are having a clear and positive impact on employee experience and organisational performance.

Best flexible working initiative

Flexible working is increasingly key to attracting and recruiting a broad pool of talent, which is ever more important in a tight labour market. CIPD research shows that organisations are increasingly investing in home and hybrid working but that more could be done to promote other types of flexible working that provide flexibility over hours/ work pattern. 

This award recognises employers who have innovated in their flexible working approach and created solutions that meet the needs of their organisation, employees and customers/ clients.

Best health and wellbeing initiative – private sector

This award recognises employers which place employee wellbeing centre stage within the organisation and have embedded a strong culture of workplace wellbeing. Investing in people’s health and wellbeing is good for business but it’s also the right thing to do. Successful programmes will help to prevent ill health and actively promote people’s wellbeing, as well as demonstrating effective rehabilitation and return to work.

Best health and wellbeing initiative – public/third sector

This award recognises employers which place employee wellbeing centre stage within the organisation and have embedded a strong culture of workplace wellbeing. Investing in people’s health and wellbeing is good for business but it’s also the right thing to do. Successful programmes will help to prevent ill health and actively promote people’s wellbeing, as well as demonstrating effective rehabilitation and return to work.

Best HR/L&D consultancy

In this category we’ll be looking for entries from an individual consultant/consultancy who has worked with a client on a specific people-related project to address a strategic issue. The entry will demonstrate how they’ve worked collaboratively with the HR/L&D team and that both consultants and employees of the organisation were involved and engaged.  

The consultancy must include written permission from the client on the entry form and we strongly recommend the client attends the presentation to the panel of judges if you get through to the second stage.

Best HR/L&D supplier

Working effectively with suppliers can unlock great potential for people professionals. In this category we’ll be looking for entries from a supplier who has worked with a client on a specific people-related project to address a strategic issue. 

The entry will demonstrate how they’ve worked collaboratively with the HR/L&D team and that both the supplier and employees of the organisation were involved and engaged. The supplier must include written permission from the client on the entry form and we strongly recommend the client attends the presentation to the panel of judges if you get through to the second stage.

Best inclusion and diversity initiative

Employers that are serious about inclusion and diversity ensure that all policies, practices and procedures are based on the principles of fairness and inclusion and are regularly checked to identify and remove unfair bias. 

This award recognises employers who are genuinely dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. Becoming a truly inclusive workplace requires openness, transparency and authentic behaviour, driven by a core belief in equality of opportunity.

Best L&D initiative – private sector

While face-to-face learning is most useful in some contexts, effective organisational learning now embraces a range of approaches such as mobile, socially collaborative, in-the-flow of work, and through communities of practice and peer support.

This award recognises how a creative and effective L&D initiative has contributed to the success of the organisation and its people. We therefore welcome entries that embrace creative approaches to staff development and learning.

Best L&D initiative – public/third sector

While face-to-face learning is most useful in some contexts, effective organisational learning now embraces a range of approaches such as mobile, socially collaborative, in-the-flow of work, and through communities of practice and peer support. 

This award recognises how a creative and effective L&D initiative has contributed to the success of the organisation and its people. We therefore welcome entries that embrace creative approaches to staff development and learning.

Best organisational development or organisational design initiative

Organisational development and organisational design allow for both a systems and behavioural science-based approach to improving an organisation's performance. This award recognises employers that have successfully delivered major programmes of work to make a demonstrable contribution to an organisation’s performance and people whether that be through design or development. Effective OD&D programmes will enable strategy by bringing together multiple elements which typically include culture, capability, organisation design or architecture, processes and systems.

Best people analytics initiative

Deriving insights from employee data has never been more important and the people profession has a huge role to play in shaping better working lives through analytics. We are looking for organisations that have raised their people analytics capability to support the needs of their organisation and in doing so have demonstrated exemplary good practice. 

This award recognises the use of employee data as part of an evidence-based approach to overcome an organisational challenge.

Best resourcing initiative

In a tight labour market in uncertain times, organisations face challenges to fill roles as well as skills shortages. Having an effective recruitment strategy, that promotes a strong employer brand, a positive candidate experience and that reaches a wide pool of talent, is crucial. 

This award recognises employers who have designed and implemented a creative and effective external resourcing strategy to address the current and future needs of the organisation.

Best responsible business initiative

Responsible business has been steadily climbing up the agenda, driven by growing investor and regulatory interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, and an organisational focus on values and purpose.  

We are looking for entries which illustrate how the people profession played a central role in delivering or embedding responsible, ethical and sustainable approaches to business.  This could be wide ranging strategy or a single ESG initiative.  The initiative does not need to be completed for you to be eligible to apply for this category.

Best reward or recognition initiative

Reward and recognition strategies are central to good people management. They can act as a major lever in supporting business objectives, improving employee performance, attracting talent, supporting constructive employment relations, and being part of what it means to be a responsible business. Examples of initiatives could include: the creation of an employee financial well-being strategy; a new pay structure; or a plan to reduce the gender pay gap.

Best SME people management initiative

This award recognises small or medium-sized businesses (fewer than 250 employees) that have transformed the way they manage and develop their people in support of the workforce and wider business objectives. 

The judges will be looking for evidence of the impact of the new approach on business success, such as the benefits for employees, customers, suppliers and overall organisation performance and how your new people management initiative fits with your wider people management approach and the way the organisation operates.

Best talent management initiative

In the current tight labour market, with increasing skills shortages, it is more important than ever that organisations have robust talent management strategies in place to attract and retain a diverse pool of employees. 

This award recognises employers who have designed and implemented a forward-thinking talent management/workforce planning strategy to address the current and future needs of the organisation.

Michael Kelly outstanding student award - foundation/intermediate level

Studying is not just about acquiring relevant knowledge: successful students apply what they have learned to bring about real benefits to the organisation and its people. We’re looking for an exceptional individual who is currently studying or has successfully completed a recognised CIPD qualification (since January 2021) Successful applications will demonstrate a clear demonstration of the application of CIPD studies, and the student’s individual contribution, to the initiation, implementation and evaluation of a bounded HRM/D related business improvement initiative/ project which is significantly important to the organisation concerned 

Michael Kelly outstanding student award - advanced level

Studying is not just about acquiring relevant knowledge: successful students apply what they have learned to bring about real benefits to the organisation and its people. We’re looking for an exceptional individual who is currently studying or has successfully completed a recognised CIPD qualification (since January 2021) Successful applications will demonstrate a clear demonstration of the application of CIPD studies, and the student’s individual contribution, to the initiation, implementation and evaluation of a bounded HRM/D related business improvement initiative/ project which is significantly important to the organisation concerned 

Best HR/ L&D team of the year – public/ third sector

This award recognises HR/L&D teams that have demonstrated excellence across the organisation to achieve business success. Judges will be looking for a team which can demonstrate exceptional teamwork and innovative and unique approaches to addressing either one key business issue across the year or multiple projects.

Best HR/ L&D team of the year – private sector

This award recognises HR/L&D teams that have demonstrated excellence across the organisation to achieve business success. Judges will be looking for a team which can demonstrate exceptional teamwork and innovative and unique approaches to addressing either one key business issue across the year or multiple projects.