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Young Professional

For the most outstanding young professional working within the UK rail industry.

Eligibility: A professional under the age of 35 as at 31/12/16 (DOB to be stated on entry).

The judges will be looking for a person with a proven ability to achieve at a level beyond that normally expected from professionals of this age and experience.

This award is for excellence in any of the functions relating to the management of a rail business.

Rail Engineer of the Future

Eligibility: Open to newly qualified mechanical engineering apprentices, or those in their first engineering job. Candidates will have been on, or have completed, a recognised engineering apprenticeship scheme within the rail sector or associated industries and/or begun their engineering career within the last three years.

The judges will be looking for:

  • An individual with a strong grasp of rail and related industries and the issues affecting the future of rail
  • A candidate who has excelled during their training, showing real innovation and skill
  • A newly qualified engineer who is excelling in their first engineering job

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the judges. They will be expected to articulate how they want to further their education, training and employment prospects.

Women in Rail

For the most outstanding woman working within the UK rail industry.

Judges will be looking for a woman who displays:

  • Passion and drive for working within the rail industry
  • Leadership and direction at any level within their company
  • Dedication to the development of their company’s business
  • Evidence of initiative and going the extra mile
  • Exceptional progression or potential in their career
  • An outstanding personal contribution to the rail industry
  • Commitment to improving gender balance by actively supporting the employment and career development of women in rail

Industry Leader

For the most outstanding industry leader within the UK rail sector.

Nominations should include a brief explanation which may incorporate some or all of the following:

  • Demonstrating a level of industry statesmanship and guardianship
  • Identifying and addressing key business and industry issues
  • A leader who has contributed to the growth of market share or development of new business for the organisation

Training & Development Excellence

For the company or organisation within the UK rail industry that best puts training and development at the heart of its business.

Judges will be looking for:

  • A positive commitment to the on-going training and education of employees
  • Leadership in providing apprenticeship or graduate schemes
  • Evidence of career development and review plans that support the business objectives
  • Evidence that staff have gained the skills needed to maximise their contribution
  • Demonstration that investment in training & development has improved employee performance and created a committed, motivated and effective workforce
  • Proof of how investment in training has brought business successEvidence of succession planning

Marketing & Communications

For the most successful external or internal communications project or marketing campaign.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • The commercial and/or communications context in which the campaign was developed
  • Programmes that work with one or more audiences, effectively managing the profile and reputation of the organisation and as an employer
  • The quality and use of techniques employed, including the versatility and effective use of various media (both external and internal as appropriate)
  • Communication effectiveness and the originality of the messages and materials
  • The business benefits of the campaign, including enhancement to reputation and awareness, improved organisational behaviour, industrial relations and/or business performance
  • Post-campaign evaluation and measurement against tactical/strategic objectives, including a review of message delivery and key learnings
  • Return on investment, demonstrating value for money

Customer Service Excellence

For excellence in the provision of services to passengers.

Eligibility: This category is open to any organisation involved in the delivery of services to rail users, including train operators, local authorities, developers, infrastructure service suppliers and station owners or operators.
Entries should detail the investment made and the measures implemented to enhance the quality of customer service, and should be supported by examples of excellence and positive customer reaction in some or all of the following areas:
  • Improvement to the overall customer experience during any or all aspects of their journey
  • The provision of real-time information before, during and after the journey, including information during disruption
  • Staff knowledge and behaviour
  • Crisis management, the dissemination of customer-critical information, support and problem resolution
  • Value added services, which offer improved customer experience but are not commonly part of a rail organisation’s business model
  • A positive impact on overall business and financial performance

Rail Freight Excellence

For any business or other organisation operating within the UK’s rail freight sector including operators, logistics companies and supply chain or forwarding agents.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Attraction of new freight business to rail
  • Revenue and business growth; job creation
  • Innovation and flexibility in meeting customer requirements, including the adaptation of services or products
  • Communication with customers and suppliers
  • Targeted, planned investment
  • Performance and safety improvement

Train Operator

For the UK passenger or freight train operator demonstrating overall business excellence and providing the most outstanding customer service.

Judges will look for excellence in the following areas:

  • Service to, communication with customers
  • Market share/revenue growth
  • Development and introduction of new services and products
  • Performance improvements
  • Safety and security achievements
  • Integration with other transport modes

Technical Innovation

For innovative technology, products, systems or services within the rail industry.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • An effective environment to encourage innovation within the company
  • The development process from concept to use
  • How candidates made the economic case for investment in the technology
  • The criteria used to ascertain whether the organisation had the capability to develop and exploit the technology, and what steps were taken to develop that capability
  • How the innovation has made a difference to the business and/or its customers’ businesses

Digital Technology Excellence

For the company making best use of digital technology to help improve the efficiency and service quality of the rail industry.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • A strong business strategy with clear objectives, implementation programme and adherence to budget
  • An ability to identify and deploy the appropriate digital technologies to address specific rail applications, including the use of software as a service where appropriate
  • Involvement of all parts of the business in the digital strategy
  • A positive impact on the business from the use of digital technology or ecommerce, in terms of financial return, improved performance, customer focus or quality of service
  • Proven analysis and evaluation of results

Safety & Security Excellence

For the introduction of the most successful railway safety and/or security improvements.

Judges will be looking for evidence of safety and/or security improvements through:

  • The introduction or deployment of new technology, products or systems, innovative application of existing products and services, or the application to the rail sector of technology, products or systems from other industries
  • Improved systems of work or work environments, including training
  • Improved company safety performance such as falling accident rates.
  • Benefits to staff, passengers, customers or neighbours
  • Business benefits

Rolling Stock Excellence

For the most successful innovation in passenger or freight rolling stock for the UK rail sector, including new build, modernisation or re-engineering.

Judges will be looking for:

Benefits to passengers including:

  • new or improved on-train facilities, including accessibility, safety and security, toilets, seating or passenger entertainment
  • facilitating the operation of new or enhanced passenger services

Benefits to freight customers including:

  • innovative use of technology to provide cost-effective solutions, maximise payload or facilitate new freight traffic by rail

Evidence of business benefits including:

  • improved service levels
  • increases in traffic volumes
  • reduced operating costs or improved performance

Engineering Business Excellence

For any engineering product or service, small or large, that supports the UK rail industry. Entries are encouraged for a specific achievement during the year and/or an overall contribution to the sector.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • The development or application of innovative technology, methods, products or services
  • The benefits to operational performance
  • Commercial advantages and opportunities
  • Direct benefits to the company and wider benefits to the rail sector
  • Adherence to budget and timescales

Supplier & Contractor Excellence

For the company demonstrating excellence within the UK rail supply chain.

The judges will look for evidence of one or more of the following:
  • The provision of quality services and products to the rail industry
  • A positive impact on the industry from the company’s products or services
  • Innovation in the use of technology to improve supply chain efficiency
  • Positive benefits from collaboration with partners
  • A reduction of the impact of operations on the environment
  • Improved business performance and cost management following process improvements

Infrastructure Project Excellence

For the most successful infrastructure project, including maintenance, renewals or enhancements.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Efficient planning of the work to maximise overall benefits and minimise any impact on the operational railway
  • Effective co-operation between all stakeholders
  • Effective delivery of works on time and within budget
  • The introduction of innovative materials, techniques or systems from outside the UK rail sector to enhance project performance and deliverability
  • Evidence of business benefits such as new revenue opportunities, improved capacity, better performance and reduced operating costs

Stations & Integrated Transport Excellence

For the most successful investment project, or business initiative at a UK passenger station, or the best contribution to improving integration between the UK rail network and other modes of transport.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

Overall benefit to passengers including:

  • improved station environment, waiting facilities or retail outlets
  • improved accessibility
  • enhanced customer information
  • safety and security improvements
  • enhanced integration with other modes of transport

Benefits to the train or station operator including:

  • additional revenue streams
  • aesthetic improvements
  • increased customer numbers
  • efficiency improvements

Sustainability & Environmental Excellence

For the development and introduction of the most successful environmental innovation within the UK rail industry.

  • The impact that sustainability is having on operational effectiveness and on your commercial and financial performance
  • Evidence of environmental improvements in specific areas within the company
  • Introduction of environmental, social and financial policies that support sustainability
  • Involvement of both senior management and staff in the introduction and on-going maintenance of sustainable initiatives
  • Evidence that sustainability performance is built in to the whole business planning process