It’s an honour to be appointed Chair of Judges. I’ve been involved as a judge for seven of the last eight years and I know how much work goes into the Awards management process. Sitting in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House last week among the hundreds of guests present really brought home to me the magnitude of the occasion. It’s a privilege to be entrusted by your peers to take on this responsibility.

The Awards attract a high number of entrants from within the UK and internationally.  We’re seeking excellence, and from my experience as a lead judge in recent years, the standard our winners are setting is very high. The judging process is rigorous – carefully managed to avoid any conflict of personal or commercial interest. I believe it’s this level of integrity that sets these Awards apart as the gold standard in the sector.

There are three good reasons to enter the IWFM Impact Awards.

First, they give entrants an opportunity to benchmark their performance against the best in the market.

Second, being shortlisted for one of these highly prized awards affords recognition for your achievement as an individual or an organisation in the workplace and facilities management sector.

Third, Awards success is a great reward in its own right for the people who made it all possible.

The IWFM Impact Awards truly do measure impact. Facilities management doesn’t just touch workplaces, such as offices and manufacturing plants. It also impacts on places like shopping centres, airport terminals and rail services used by the public, campuses used by students, and so on. As a discipline it’s played a tremendously important role in supporting our businesses and our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an industry, its suppliers create a tremendous amount of social value from the work they do.

For all these reasons I regard workplace and facilities management as something very special, that deserves to be recognised for the contribution it makes to our day-to-day lives.

With a new year ahead of us, I want to start by gathering as many views as possible from people in the workplace and facilities management sector about what they would like to see from the Awards in 2022. We’re building from a very strong base, but we should be ambitious about what we can achieve. I believe there is a strong appetite for engagement, and I really want to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions about what the IWFM Impact Awards means to them.

Before we do that, I do want to pay tribute to the outgoing Chair of Judges, Julie Kortens.

Julie has been absolutely amazing in the CoJ role, as a recognised leader in the sector for much of the last 20 years, as most of you will know. She’s been a strong advocate for workplace and facilities management, and she has been incredibly supportive of me personally and professionally.

In looking ahead at how I’d like to see the Awards develop, two initiatives I would like to promote are a continuation of Julie’s work. I think we need to improve the diversity of the judging panel, something I know she would like to have achieved before the difficulties of the pandemic intervened.

And I’d like to bring in more outside expertise to the judging process. I’d like to build on our excellent panel of judges to bring in one or two experts from outside of the sector, to make sure we’re not too inward-looking. This can only enhance the efficacy of the judging process.

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