Preparing a Successful Application

Preparing a Successful Application

General Information

Congratulations! You have made the first step in entering the awards. Take the time to read the guidelines and you will know what you need to be considering as you prepare your entry.

Closing Date for Entries

Please take note of the closing date for entries. Last date for receipt of entries is:

5pm on 07 May 2021

To allow time for the judges to complete their deliberations, any extension will be granted in exceptional circumstances only. Be prepared by starting to put your entry together as early as possible and ensure you have any supporting documents ready.

Word Limits

You must keep to the word limits within the on-line entry. If you have supporting materials, these can be supplied by uploading or providing a link to the file. Supporting files may be examples of work like session plans, budgets, ROI calculations, extra context, testimonials, etc. and may be in the form of documents, PowerPoint slides, Prezi presentations, videos etc. Please note you will be limited to three supporting documents/files so please select the most relevant ones to enhance what you have provided within the main entry.

All files must be easily accessible to the judges. If your files are password protected, you must supply the password. The judges will not mark anything that cannot be opened.


Entries should have been implemented within New Zealand or, if implemented overseas, must have been implemented by a New Zealand resident company or New Zealand division of an international company.

Membership of NZATD is not required to place an entry in the awards. Anyone can apply for an award (except for NZATD National Executive Members).

Joint Entries

It is acceptable to submit joint entries. For example, if you used a consultant to assist you with an initiative you might like to submit a joint entry. Or if you did a project with a partner, then feel free to submit together. Please ensure than you identify in your entry where the different responsibilities lay and comment on the working relationship.


For all entries the 150-word summary you provide as part of your entry submission will be available for NZATD to use publicly. All other details supplies will be kept confidential to the judges. All judges have signed a confidentiality agreement and undertake that they will not use any information gained in their capacity as judges for any other purpose than to complete the judging.

Should you win, NZATD will contact you about other publicity opportunities where you will be able to control any information you want to release into the public domain.

What Winning Will Mean

If you should win you will receive a trophy and certificate and, of course, bragging rights. You will be announced as winners at our Gala Dinner, on our website and in social media and will be given the opportunity to present at events in our branches and at our next conference. You will also feature in an article in Training and Development magazine which is distributed in both NZ and Australia. And you can cite this award on your CV and social media profiles so other opportunities will no doubt arise. So, what are you waiting for?


If you are unsure which category to enter or have other specific questions, please email If you want to speak to someone, then include a contact phone number.

Answering the Application Questions

NZATD Competency Framework Related Questions

This year, the awards focus on demonstrating best practice against the NZATD Competency Framework. These questions help the judges understand your comprehension and application of learning and development principles and practice and enable you to demonstrate best practise against specific standards. It’s the best way for you to show us how great you are!

When answering these questions:

  1. Read the question to confirm which competency within the framework applies.
  2. Access the NZATD Competency Framework and locate the relevant competency section.
  3. Review the competencies and their criteria and answer the question using the criteria provided in the framework.

In some instances you will be able to choose which competencies you want to demonstrate. Where it does not specify the number of competencies to include, you will be expected to address all competencies within that area e.g. Core Competencies.

You do not need to cover each and every criteria listed but we would recommend you include as many as you can.

While there are some criteria you are required to meet, we encourage you to tell your story and let the judges get to know you and your work.

All awards require demonstration of application and skills of core and/or specialist competencies.

When preparing your submission documents, think ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’. Provide details of:

  • what the project was, including the business need and desired outcomes
  • the planning, design and implementation stages
  • how the competency framework criteria apply
  • evaluation and the success of the project.

Supplying Supporting Documents

You may upload up to 3 supporting documents or else provide links to a maximum of 3 supporting documents. Attachments might include training materials, feedback reports, design or solution examples or other documents. You can also add videos, links to websites or other resources.

Supplying Referees

You will be asked to provide the details of three (3) referees who can vouch for your entry. Include names, contact details, and how they have been involved and/or why they are qualified to comment.

Referees may be approached to help verify the information supplied with in the entry. They should be willing and able to confirm assertions and achievement within the entry by:

  • having and appropriate level of knowledge about you / the initiative
  • understanding the organisational requirements and outcomes
  • having a general knowledge of best practice within the learning and development area relevant to the initiative, and/or
  • witnessing real change as a result of the initiative.

Judges will look for the value the referee places on the initiative/ work of the practitioner, e.g.

  • Their opinion on the quality of your work/ the initiative
  • Examples of how you / the initiative has helped them
  • Willingness to keep employing/working with/re-engage the services of the practitioners responsible for the initiative.

Please Note: It is the intention of judges to contact referees of short-listed entrants. Provision of referee contact details will be considered agreement for the panel to contact them. Entrants are strongly advised to gain permission from their referees and notify them that they may be contacted prior to submitting their entry.

Referees who are unavailable to be contacted should not be included.  Consideration of a referee will be discounted if, after reasonable attempts have been made, he/she cannot be reached.


Answering the Initiative Specific Application Questions

Initiative description and business needs

This question asks you to describe the initiative and the business need or situation that led to the development of the initiative. This information provides the judges context. Judges are looking for a succinct, clear description of why the initiative was developed.

Success measures and outcomes

Describe how you measured the success of the initiative and the impact resulting from the learning initiative for both the learners and the organisation. This could include the evaluation method used as well as the metrics that were chosen and why. Don’t forget to also include any unexpected finding.

The judges are looking for thoughtful consideration of how the impact of the initiative has been measured and how it links back to individual and business results.