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International Quality Awards 2024: How to apply and why


The International Quality Awards return for the seventh time in June 2024 and applications are now open. Have you always wanted to apply but never known how? Have you applied in the past but not quite made the shortlist? Find out about why you should enter the next IQA and how to make your application stand out.  

Why apply?   

The International Quality Awards (IQA) is one of the most prestigious events in the quality calendar. The awards celebrate excellence and recognise the extraordinary achievements of the quality profession. They also have a proven track record of boosting the reputation of organisations, teams and individuals, as well as opening doors and creating opportunities for those who are finalists and winners.   


Charlie Versi, Group Operational Excellence Director at ISG, was named Quality Professional of the Year in 2018. Reflecting on his win, he said, “Taking part in the IQA gave me the opportunity to reflect on the work I had undertaken over the years and the impact I had had on the business and people within it. It can be easy to miss the opportunity to take a step back and look at how far you have come and what you have achieved. That process in itself was incredibly rewarding.   


”To then be shortlisted as a finalist and named as the winner of the Quality Professional of the Year award was something I could have never expected, nor could I have expected just how much it has changed my life. Shortly after, I was given an opportunity to move my family to the UK from Australia and join an industry-leading firm, working on some of the most iconic projects in the world.”  


Each category has a specially selected panel of expert judges who shortlist and interview finalists. The judges have experience from a wide range of sectors and are based – or have worked – across the world.  


Four tips on making your application stand out  

  1. Make the most of each section. Each category has its own set of criteria and the marking is split equally between them. One of the biggest mistakes that applicants make is adding too much detail to one section and not enough to another. To maximise your score, you should make sure that each question is given the same level of detail, and that you split your answers so that they include your approach and your results.   


  1. Read the criteria carefully. Remember, if you are entering an individual award, the judges want to hear about the impact you personally have made and how it has benefited your organisation. The individual awards – Emerging Talent and Quality Professional of the Year – also have specific eligibility criteria, for example, the Quality Professional of the Year is only open to chartered members and fellows. If you are not eligible, your application will not be considered.    


  1. The judges are looking for you to tell a coherent story. Make sure your answers link to each other and are supported by evidence which backs up your approach and demonstrates impact. Sometimes applicants focus too much on the approach and not enough on the results. The judges need to see both in order to understand how you have met the criteria.    


  1. Use your supporting slides wisely. They are an opportunity to bring your written work to life. Not all judges will have experience in your sector, so supporting slides are a good place to add context. Do use them to add images, graphs, organisation charts or anything else that makes your application easier to understand. Don’t use them to add in lots more text, or information that does not directly answer the questions you are answering. For example, we do not need to see training certificates or other awards you have won – they will not get you extra marks.   

Need inspiration? Take a look at the case studies of 2023's winners. 


Preparing for success  

By taking on board these tips, you are already giving yourself a great head start with your application. But don’t just take our word for it. Shauna Davis, Management System Project Engineer at Jacobs, won the Emerging Talent award in 2022.    


Speaking after her win, she said, “If I was going to give any advice to anyone entering the awards, I’d just say – go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose. You learn a lot from it because it gives you the opportunity to write down what you do and what you’ve got to improve on as well. Once you understand [all that] you can make those improvements and it will help you progress.”  


After continuing his IQA journey by joining the judging panel in 2020, Charlie Versi adds, “Just taking part in the experience, let alone winning the award, put me in contact with some incredible quality professionals who continue to broaden my perspective and fuel my passion for the field. It was a truly rewarding experience and I would encourage anyone to apply.”  


Applications to the IQA 2024 close on Wednesday 24 January 2024. For details on how to apply, visit: