Frequently asked questions

Each year we invite our members and other organisations around the world to apply for an International Safety Award for their site/business unit. The award recognises commitment to good workplace health, safety and wellbeing. Over 500 entries are received each year and are adjudicated by an independent panel of health and safety professionals.

Any questions not covered by this document should be sent to [email protected].

Applying for an International Safety Award

What are the benefits of applying for an award?

  1. Demonstrate your commitment to good health and safety management
  2. Gain external recognition from an independent adjudication panel
  3. Promote your achievement with press coverage and winner's logo
  4. Raise the profile of the health, safety and wellbeing function within your organisation.

What are the entry requirements for an International Safety Award?

Applications are by site or business unit. To be eligible a relevant member of senior management at that site must confirm that since 1 January 2018 the site or business unit has NOT:

  • suffered any work-related fatalities
  • been subject to any prohibition notices
  • been the subject of any convictions in relation to health and safety
  • had any ongoing criminal investigations or prosecutions pending in relation to this site/business unit.

Please note that due diligence monitoring will take place and a false declaration will lead to disqualification.

How do I apply for an International Safety Award?

You complete an online application form which comprises 12 questions (two unmarked) about your health, safety and wellbeing management for a particular site/business unit.

Once you have purchased your application(s) you will be sent a link with instructions on how to complete or assign applications for others to complete.

Each application addresses the management of health, safety and wellbeing at a single site or business unit. Applicants wishing to enter several sites or business units must complete a separate application for each one.

  • All applications are completed and submitted via our online system
  • All applications must be submitted in English
  • All application questions must be answered
  • The response to each question must not exceed 700 words. Adjudicators will only read the first 700 words
  • Supporting documents are now permitted for certain questions. This is made clear in the marking scheme.

A detailed marking scheme and guidance notes are available, which indicate what is required to score high marks.

When will the application form, marking scheme and guidance notes be available?

The marking scheme and guidance notes are now available at  You will be sent a link to the application form upon payment.

Application prices and payments

Is there a discount for British Safety Council members?

British Safety Council members are entitled to a £100 discount on their application:

  • Non-member Early Bird price £440
  • Member Early Bird price £335
  • Non-member price: £495
  • Member price £380

Late submission fee is £50 per application.

Please note that these prices are exclusive of VAT.

Price is £300 if an application is purchased with a new membership.

Is there a discount for multiple application purchases?

All prices below are per application:

10-24 sites: £295.00
25-49 sites: £285.00
50-74 sites: £275.00
75+ sites: £265.00

Please note that these prices are exclusive of VAT.

If your site/business unit is a British Safety Council member, please ensure that the named point of contact on your membership purchases your International Safety Award application online, so that you receive your member discount.

When do I have to pay for the application?

You will be asked to pay by credit card when you buy the application form from our online store.

Note: the application fee cannot be refunded once you have purchased your application form, even if you choose not to submit.

Awards categories

What are the Sector Awards?

These awards recognise overall 'best in class' based on the highest scoring International Safety Awards submissions by sector. There is no separate application process. All sites/business units that win an International Safety Award are automatically considered for a Sector Award.

The Sector Award categories are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil, gas, mining and quarrying
  • Power and utilities
  • Construction and property activities
  • Wholesale and retail services
  • Transportation, distribution and storage
  • Leisure, sports clubs, hospitality and catering
  • Education
  • Health and social care
  • Not for profit
  • Financial, IT, legal, scientific, technical services and media
  • Local government, defence and public services
  • Onshore major hazard.

Sector Award winners will be determined by shortlisting those submissions scoring highly within each category, with the highest scoring submission qualifying for the Sector Award. In the event of several equally scored submissions within a category, the Chief Adjudicator will identify the best overall submission.

The Chief Adjudicator's decision is final in respect of all Sector Awards.

What is the Team of the Year Award?

The Team of the Year Award recognises the outstanding achievements resulting in a significant improvement to health, safety or wellbeing, from a collaboration of stakeholders which may include members of their organisation, suppliers, subcontractors and/or the wider community.

How do I apply for the Team of the Year Award?

If you are already applying for an International Safety Award you will have the opportunity to enter this award as part of your application

If you are not applying for an International Safety Award but wish to apply, you can obtain a standalone application form at

When and how will the Team of the Year Award be announced?

Applicants who are successfully shortlisted will be informed prior to the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner.

Winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner and are invited to receive their award from our guest of honour.

In being nominated for an award all employees and employers are agreeing to their name and photograph being used by the British Safety Council in various media channels to recognise their achievement.


How will my International Safety Awards application be marked?

Your application(s) will be marked by one of the independent adjudicators appointed and trained by British Safety Council.

The independent adjudicators are senior health and safety professionals in their respective organisations. The onus is on applicants to convince the adjudicator that their site/business unit deserves an International Safety Award based on its commitment to health and safety management.

A rigorous standardisation process ensures that each adjudicator applies the marking scheme in a consistent manner, so that all applications are marked to the same standard.

What is the pass mark?

The adjudicator will apply the marking scheme and award a score and a Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.

Any application scoring a borderline Fail, will be remarked by the Chief Adjudicator to check the accuracy of the marking. Similar borderline reviews will be conducted at the Merit and Distinction grade boundaries. The Chief Adjudicator's decision is final in respect of all grades awarded.

How do bonus marks work?

Evidence-based bonus marks

Bonus marks will be awarded for (optional) relevant evidence submitted for five out of the 10 marked questions. Marks will only be awarded for evidence that is relevant to the question and meets all the criteria outlined in the marking scheme.

Achievement-based bonus marks

A maximum of three further bonus marks will be awarded to applications relating to sites that have achieved three stars or above in the British Safety Council Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit (valid for at least six months of the eligible year); and those who can provide evidence of a current and valid OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001 certification relating to the applicant site.


When will I receive my results and feedback?

Results will be emailed to applicants on 10 March 2020 and the winners list will be published on our website on the same date.

Results will not be issued by telephone.

Due to the large number of applications we are not able to provide individual feedback. However, the Chief Adjudicator's Report will be available on our website, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of their year's applications.

I am unhappy with my result. What can I do?

Details of how to instigate a result enquiry will be issued with the results. The following services will be available:

  • Breakdown of marks - £30 + VAT
  • Remark - £65 + VAT
  • Feedback - £150 + VAT
  • Remark and feedback - £200 + VAT

VAT is not applicable for overseas applications.

A result enquiry can result in a grade being confirmed, raised or lowered. Where a grade is changed, the new grade will replace the original grade, whether it is higher or lower.

When should I expect to receive the winners pack?

All winners will receive their results email on Tuesday 10 March 2020. The email will be sent to the applicant at the email address provided on the application. This email will also contain links to the following:

  • Winners' logo - for use on your website, letterheads and other marketing material
  • Press release template to communicate your award to the media and stakeholders.

Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner

The 2020 Gala Dinner will be held on Friday 29 May at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London.

Certificate and awards presentations

Will organisations who achieved a Distinction be recognised during the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony?

Sites/business units that have achieved a Distinction grade will be recognised with an announcement, trophy presentation and photo opportunity.

When will we receive photographs from the Gala Dinner?

All winners who attended the Gala Dinner will receive an email during the following week which contains information on how to access your photograph, along with a post-event press release template.

Trophy and plaque orders

What is a commemorative plaque?

This unique wall plaque features the International Safety Award logo and is designed for use indoors or outdoors. The classic design of this 15-inch plaque reflects the impressive achievement of gaining an International Safety Award. All sites/business units can display the name of their winning site on the plaque.

How do I buy a commemorative plaque, and how much does it cost?

You can order your plaque on our website and pay by credit or debit card. The prices for the plaque are £195 (ex VAT) for the UK and £299 (ex VAT) for International. 

Government regulations state that VAT at the standard rate of 20% is not applicable for overseas customers as the plaque is being shipped abroad. Any local duties/taxes payable are the responsibility of the purchaser at the point of entry.

When will I receive my commemorative plaque?

Plaques will be produced when payment is received and will be sent directly to the delivery address stated. You will receive by email a PDF of your plaque for review and confirmation before it is produced. It can take up to six weeks from payment for your plaque to be delivered.

Note: You will not be able to collect your plaque at the Gala Dinner.

What is a Distinction trophy?

All sites/business units that achieve a Distinction and attend the Gala Dinner, will automatically receive a Distinction trophy as part of their Gala Dinner package.

It features the International Safety Awards logo and has been designed to reflect the impressive achievement.

If you achieve a Distinction but are unable to attend the Gala Dinner, you can still order a trophy from our website.

Note: Site names will not be etched onto Distinction trophies.

How much does a Distinction trophy cost?

If you are not attending the Gala Dinner you can buy your Distinction trophy on our website:

  • £125 + VAT including postage and packing for UK customers
  • £175 including packaging and courier charges for overseas customers.

Government regulations state that VAT at the standard rate of 20% is not applicable for overseas customers as the plaque is being shipped abroad. Any local duties/taxes payable are the responsibility of the purchaser at the point of entry.

When should I expect to receive my certificate if I do not attend the Gala Dinner?

The date on which certificates will be posted to UK-based winners and couriered to overseas winners will be announced in due course.