About the awards


What are the Autism Professionals Awards?

The Autism Professionals Awards, supported by our headline sponsor, Axcis Education Recruitment, have been created to recognise and reward services and professionals who are leading the way in innovative autism practice and making a real difference to the lives of autistic people in the UK. 

The Awards seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, teams and organisations who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of autistic people.

How many awards are there?

There are 14 awards, 12 of which are open for nomination. Awards are divided into 3 categories:

1) Individual professional

2) Team of professionals

3) Autism Accreditation

The lifetime Achievement award and the Autism Accreditation Award are not open for nomination this year.

Awards for an individual professional

1 - The Axcis Award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional

2 - Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual on the Autism Spectrum sponsored by Network Autism

3 - Award for Most Inspirational Volunteer

4 - The Lifetime Achievement Award - not open for nomination

5 - The Award for Outstanding Healthcare Professional - NEW

Team awards - open for nomination

6 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – Primary Schools

7 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – Secondary Schools and post 16 provision

8 - Award for Inspirational Education Provision – Other education provider

9 - Award for Outstanding Adult Services

10 - Award for Outstanding Health Services

11 - Award for Innovative Family Support

12 - Award for Most Supportive Employer

13 - Award for Most Creative Community Project

14 - Autism Accreditation Excellence Award - not open for nomination



How do I enter?

Online nominations are now open. Click here to find out all about the entry process, the entry regulations as well as tips to make your entry as persuasive as possible. Alternatively, you can download these entry guidelines.

How does my entry get judged?

After the entry deadline of Friday 28th October, the judges will be able to access your entry and read your submission.  The submission deadline has been extended till November 11th.

From November to December, the judging panel will look through all the entries and will consider which nominations best fit the award categories and criteria below. with strong, clear reasons and evidence that supports the nomination. The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


What are the criteria the judges will look at to evaluate my nomination?

Criteria are:
  1. Innovation: use of innovative approaches, working practices or technologies to improve the service they provide for autistic people. In this section, the judges are looking for something over and above general good practice – make sure you explain exactly what is pioneering or innovative about the work the nominee has been doing. Weighting given to this criterion 30%
  2. Creativity: high levels of creativity in use of funds, space, staff or other resources to enhance the services delivered. Weighting given to this criterion 20%
  3. Impact: delivery of quantifiable benefits to the people supported through the implementation of creative or innovative practices within their organisation. The number of people impacted by the nominee should be included in this part. Weighting given to this criterion 30%
  4. Sustainability: evidence that the practice has been / will be sustainable in providing long-term benefits for autistic people. Weighting given to this criterion 20%

Can I nominate myself?

Individuals cannot nominate themselves for either of the four awards for an individual professional. However, teams or organisations are welcome to submit a nomination about themselves for any of the 8 team awards.


When is the entry deadline?

Friday 28th October 2016. The submission deadline has been extended till November 11th.


When will the finalists be announced?

Friday 20th January 2017


When will the winner be announced?

At the awards ceremony on Tuesday 7th March 2017 in Harrogate.

What do I get if I win?

If you win you will receive a trophy at the awards ceremony on 7th March in Harrogate together with a winner’s logo to add to your email and website to let everyone know you won!


Rules for entering

  1. Nominations must be submitted through our online system.  No hard copy entries accepted.
  2. Only fully completed entry forms are accepted. Word limits are to be strictly observed. Judges will only receive the exact number of words requested.
  3. All nominations must relate to accomplishments occurring during the calendar years 2016 - 2017
  4. All nominee(s) must be UK-based.
  5. Members of the judging panel may not be put up for nominations.
  6. The entry form represents the full and entire official entry. Attempts to further influence the judges by any means outside of, or in addition to, the official entry may result in disqualification.
  7. If you nominate someone for more than one award, each nomination must be submitted as a separate entry.
  8. Completed nominations must be submitted no later than 5.00 pm on Friday 28th October 2016.
  9. On receipt of your entry, the awards administrators will confirm its arrival via email. If you do not obtain a receipt within three days, it is your responsibility to contact us to confirm its arrival. Unless you have this written or verbal confirmation from us, we cannot guarantee the arrival of your entry.
  10. It is essential that we can contact the nominee easily with questions regarding the submission, or for judging enquiries and requests for further information. Therefore, please provide us with full contact details for the nominee on the entry form.
  11. Shortlisted organisations and individuals will be published on Frisay 20th January 2017. The winners will be announced at the Professionals Awards Dinner on Tuesday 7th March 2017 in Harrogate.
  12. All shortlisted nominees must have at least one representative at the awards ceremony to potentially collect their award. Therefore, all shortlisted entrants are entitled to one free seat at the Awards Dinner. All entrants reaching the provisional shortlist will be contacted upon announcement of the provisional shortlist to discuss their attendance. Entrants unable to commit to attendance at the Awards Dinner will not be included in the final shortlist.
  13. The National Autistic Society will publish details of the shortlisted entrants and category winners, including profiles of their projects / services using the information taken from the entry form. We will not reveal the names of those organisations/individuals who are not shortlisted