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Award Categories

Please find below a summary of the categories, and the key considerations for each:


Excellence in occupational health and wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of our people is essential to create a productive working environment that supports Highways England staff, contractors and supply chain. This Award seeks to celebrate the ideas, actions and outcomes that have contributed to significantly improving standards in health and wellbeing. We are looking for initiatives that have used evidence-based methods, innovative improvements, or strategic, targeted activity to integrate health and wellbeing into the culture of an organisation.

Key considerations:
  • Evidence of tangible benefits and outcomes
  • Use of innovation to improve and incorporate support
  • Demonstration of a proactive, strategic approach that goes beyond regulatory standards and requirements
  • Positive impact on employee engagement
Excellence in safety for road users
Keeping our customers safe on our strategic road network is one of the most important responsibilities we have. This category commends extraordinary contribution to delivering our road safety ambition. We welcome submissions from organisations, teams, or individuals who have achieved above and beyond what is expected in support of our road safety strategic pillars of safer roads, safer vehicles and safer people.

Key considerations:
  • Evidence of safety in design, communications and behavioural change demonstrating an innovative approach
  • The impact and outcome of the contribution in reducing causalities and collisions 
  • Demonstration of wider tangible benefits including cost and risk reduction
Championing safety
Achieving the best safety standards is only possible when individuals and teams work together to constantly evolve and improve. This Award recognises the team or individual that has had an exceptional influence on health and safety in their daily role.

Key considerations include:
  • How the team/individual has influenced or changed health and safety culture
  • How the team/individual has gone above and beyond to improve health, safety and wellbeing
  • Diversity of approach with evidence of reaching different audiences
  • How outcomes have been shared across the wider business
  • Evidence of increased employee engagement and wellbeing
Leading behaviour change for safety
Creating a safe environment for our people must include the behaviour of those we are trying to keep safe. This Award celebrates the team or individual who has exceeded expectations to improve safety through behaviour change and effectively recognised and challenged unsafe behaviour.
Key considerations:
  • Effective outcome resulting in change of behaviour – e.g. compliance or enforcement
  • Effective and targeted means of communication
  • Diversity of the approach, with evidence of reaching different audiences through the lens of equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Outcome of educational or awareness campaigns
  • Collaboration with other industry bodies
Excellence in customer service 
What we do makes a big difference to our customers and we want customers to trust us. Our customer experience award category seeks to celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements to improving experiences of our diverse customers and communities. The Award will be given to an individual, team or organisation.

Key considerations include:
  • Demonstrating we are listening and responding to our customers and communities through effective and accessible engagement and contact
  • Evidence that we provide the people who use or are impacted by our services and our network an improved service
  • Evidence of working collaboratively with others to enable our customers to have better journeys as a result of great customer service
Improving customers’ journeys
Managing both planned and unexpected events and incidents is a crucial activity that can have major impacts on our customers and communities to show that we care. Our effective network management category provides an opportunity to commend those who have demonstrated a caring and inclusive customer focused approach to the effective management of our network. The Award will go to an individual, team or organisation.

Key considerations:
  • Taking ownership for effective customer service provision demonstrated by effective network management
  • Seeing network activity through the eyes of our diverse customers and making changes to improve their needs and experiences
  • Helping our customers to feel in control of their journeys
  • Improvements to roadworks and signage to enable customers to make safer and more efficient journeys
  • Showing our customers that we care
Improving employee engagement and behavioural change
Customer service is everyone’s responsibility and we want everyone to realise they have a contribution to make. It’s vital to the success of everything we do. An inclusive working environment where we all help each other results in better relationships, better communication and better customer experiences. This Award provides the opportunity to celebrate the delivery of effective employee engagement and/or behavioural change. The Award can be for an individual, team or organisation.

Key considerations:
  • Generating pride and passion amongst our staff and/or supply chain in the crucial roles they play in connecting diverse customers, communities and businesses
  • Evidence of developing a customer-focused culture that supports this, with a clear link to Highways England values
  • Demonstrating how customer focused change is driven internally and externally through working relationships
Excellence in environment and sustainability
Developing initiatives or schemes that deliver an improved environment that works harmoniously with its surroundings is of great importance to us. This Award celebrates those who have delivered effective environment and sustainability outcomes. This could have been achieved through the development of an innovative procedure, a new policy implementation or through a cultural or behavioural change programme.

Key considerations:
  • Minimising the environmental impacts of operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network, and seeking to protect and enhance the quality of the surrounding environment.
  • Responsible sourcing and production processes that support workers, communities and the best practicable environmental outcomes
  • Conforming to the principles of sustainable development by encouraging economic growth while protecting the environment
  • Delivering long term benefits to the natural and built environment that improve safety and create a sustainable future for all
Leading in efficiencies and continuous improvement
A continuous drive for better and more efficient ways of working is one way in which Highways England is recognised as an industry leader.  This Award recognises an individual, team or organisation that has delivered significant efficiency savings through an innovative new product or system, or by applying continuous improvement principles to existing policies, procedures or ways of working.

Key considerations:
  • Identification of validated efficiencies as defined within the Highways England Efficiencies Manual
  • Knowledge sharing and evidence of application of these efficiencies across Highways England contracts or processes
  • Delivery of innovative products or services that improve the customer/stakeholder experience
  • Commercial opportunities evidenced as a result of the introduction of more efficient or new products or services
Project of the year
Delivery of projects is a key focus for people who work with and for Highways England. This Award recognises an individual, team or organisation that has delivered a project which focuses on the effectiveness of all stages of delivery, including design, operation and maintenance.  Having the right capacity and capability in place to deliver safely, productively and with great customer focus needs to be clearly evidenced.

Key considerations:
  • Evidence of high performing safety initiatives
  • Investing in people to enhance capacity and capability through skills development and inclusive recruitment
  • Delivery on time and to budget
  • Innovation and improvements that result in efficiencies and positive outcomes for customers and communities
  • Evidence of collaborative behaviours that support and align with Highways England’s imperatives and values
Chairman’s Award – Excellence in safety
Improving health and safety requires collaboration, communication and commitment to create significant change. This special Award recognises the company, project, team or individual that has shown substantial improvement in health and safety through proactive, focussed efforts.
Key considerations:
  • Performance outcomes that go beyond accident frequency rates
  • Improvements that have been industry-leading, with clear benefits and evidence of how the improvements have been implemented
  • Targeted interventions to demonstrate continuous improvement delivering performance improvements
  • Learning outcomes and the potential to share that learning
  • Demonstrable improvements made to safety culture and performance
  • Delivery of innovative products, methods or services that improve workplace health and safety
  • Demonstrating how health and safety improvements are driven through effective collaborative relationships