Simply the best…

Incredible as it seems, 2019 is starting to draw to a close. Once again, the people working in our industry have gone above and beyond, often in very difficult circumstances, and we celebrated their achievements at the inaugural IWFM Awards last month.

Yet the world doesn’t stop turning, and people don’t stop doing great work outside of awards season. From January we will be accepting entries and nominations for the 2020 Awards, for which I am very proud to be Chair of Judges.

Like the BIFM Awards before it, the IWFM Awards are your chance to be part of something special. Our awards always have been, and will continue to be, robust. There is a level of governance, transparency and integrity behind them that no other awards in our industry can match.

But that doesn’t mean that as Chair of Judges I just plan to maintain the status quo. I am keen to recruit more judges from across the industry, and from more diverse backgrounds than we have previously seen. For me, that was the main point of an event we held on the 24th of October at Wellcome Trust in Euston Road. 

I want everyone in our industry, and everyone who enters our awards to know that they are going to be judged by their peers, that our judges are chosen with great care and that any conflicts of interest are very carefully managed. 

During the event at Wellcome we heard from Chris Moriarty who told the audience how important the Awards are and how the Categories relate to competencies. We heard from Andrew Hulbert about his experience as a judge and Lead Judge and then from Cathy Hayward of Magenta who told us what it’s like to be an entrant and the process they follow.

Finally, I told my own story. For those of you who don’t know I have been involved with the Awards for many years, as a guest, as an entrant and as Chairman of the Institute, enjoying myself immensely every step of the way. But the unquestionable highlight, not just of my time with the Awards, but perhaps of my entire career, was back in 2010 when I won FM of the Year.

That is why I know just how important our Awards can be. I still remember the moment Myleene Klass opened that gold envelope and announced that I was the winner… indeed I still have that envelope and I took it with me to Wellcome. I also remember how people supporting me on the night of the awards wore badges saying ‘Team Julie’ and how I knew that my team was just as proud as I was that night. 

This is what Awards Judges have the chance to be involved in. It isn’t just a chance to add something to your CV (though it is that as well!) but a chance to really make an impact. We all know that FMs and other workplace professionals are doing their job when no-one notices they are there, so being part of a process that recognises their achievements really can make a difference.

So, if you are interested in being one of our Judges, or know someone who you think would be a good fit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Those of you considering entering in 2020, watch this space….