ADSO Awards 2022


Sponsored by CIVICA LOGO

Introduction from the Vice-Chair of ADSO: Peter Sass

I am delighted to launch the ADSO awards for 2022. All four main award categories are up for grabs this year, including the prestigious ‘team of the year’ award. In addition, for the first time since 2019, the awards will be presented at our in-person conference in North Lincolnshire in November and the Board has agreed a special, reduced conference rate for all those shortlisted for the awards this year – just £50 per person. I look forward to receiving a good number of nominations in all four categories and I have no doubt that the shortlisting and decision-making process will be as hard as ever, such is the quality of the democratic services professionals in our sector. Good luck to all of you with this year’s awards.

Application process and deadlines

Entries need to be submitted by e-mail by the close of business on Friday 29th July 2022. Shortlisting will take place by 19th August followed by Teams or Zoom interviews with the three top submissions in each category.  The winners will be announced as part of the 2022 conference. All entries for the four awards will be entered into a draw and the winner of the draw will be able to choose a local or national charity to receive a donation of £100 from ADSO.

ADSO AWARDS application form 2022

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The submissions will be judged by a panel chaired by the ADSO vice-chair, Peter Sass, one of our non-executive directors, Colin Copus, our company secretary, Priya Patel and a representative of our main sponsor, Civica. For the Rookie award, the panel will also be joined by the 2021 winner, Marianne Unwin from Wyre Council.

The winners of each category will receive a trophy and a cash award.  The winning Learner, ‘Rookie’ Democratic Services Officer and Distinguished service award winners will each receive a £150 cash award to celebrate their achievements. The winner of the ‘Team of the Year’ will receive £300.

All entrants for the awards must confirm in writing at the time of their submission that they have the approval of their line manager/Director to receive the cash prize if they are the eventual winners.

Learner of the Year

This is open to Learners who have completed either the ADSO Certificate or Diploma since the previous awards ceremony for learners in November 2021. The learner should be nominated by their Regional or Specialist Adviser and the nomination should cover the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated significant progress, innovation or resilience during the course of their studies
  • Applied their learning in the workplace for the benefit of their organisation
  • Demonstrated new skills or personal development as a result of their studies
  • Shown that their qualification and learning experience has directly influenced their progression in the workplace
  • Their nomination is supported by their employer.

Rookie of the Year

This award is to recognise an individual who is new to the sector but has had a strong and positive impact within their team. Individuals must be members of ADSO; have had no more than 12 months’ experience in Democratic Services by the deadline for nominations; and should be nominated by line managers (supported by the service head and/or director). The submission should show that the individual has met one or more of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated real commitment to their Authority
  • As a new entrant to the sector, has demonstrated an ability to learn at pace, develop working relationships quickly and able to work successfully with minimum supervision
  • Developed innovation or best practice in the area of Democratic Services or Governance
  • ‘Gone the extra mile’ to provide an excellent service to customers.

Distinguished service award

This award seeks to recognise the dedication and achievements of an individual who has made a significant and distinguished contribution to the democratic services sector, not necessarily in terms of length of service, but more about the quality of their contribution. Nominees need to be an ADSO Member and will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Worked as part of a team or led a team that provides a first-class service
  • Successfully implemented new legislation, new systems, new governance structures or new ways of working and/or efficiencies
  • Has developed positive and constructive working relationships with elected Members and senior officers over an extended period and can demonstrate where these positive working relationships have been needed to navigate difficulties.
  • Led or demonstrated innovative and leading-edge service delivery
  • Is an excellent role model for Democratic Services.

Team of the Year

Entrants for the ‘Team of the Year’ award need to demonstrate that they have met one or more of the following criteria:

  • Worked as a team to provide a first-class service
  • Implemented new systems, practices or procedures to improve the work of the team and its service to customers
  • Worked to improve the effectiveness of Members as elected representatives, supporting their work both centrally and within localities
  • Working collaboratively across the business with Members, colleagues and customers
  • Demonstrated innovation in the above.


For further information, please contact Peter Sass:

Good luck and get those nominations in as soon as possible – don’t leave it to the last minute!