Microsoft at the Learning Awards

Conceived by the Learning & Performance Institute (LPI) and hosted at the prestigious 5-star Dorchester hotel in London’s Park Lane, the Learning Awards began in 1996 as the IT Training Awards.

Now celebrating its 20th year, the annual event is firmly established as the high point in the Learning & Development calendar.

The event, which takes place on 4th February 2016, will host 430 guests comprised of finalists, judges, journalists and sponsors – all waiting to see who has won the coveted awards, including the Learning Technologies Award, sponsored by Microsoft.

Learning Awards Success

Colin Steed, CEO of LPI, explains why the Learning Awards has been so successful:

“We saw training departments and individuals doing fantastic work that simply wasn’t being recognised externally. At the time, there were no channels for promotion at all – so we created a platform to highlight and publicize the achievements of those departments and individuals, as well as training vendors.

“It was an immediate success, attracting entries from some of the biggest names in the training industry. What has been most satisfying is to see the effect the Awards has had on continually raising the standard and profiles of those working in L&D. Each year, as the quality of entries increase, so the finalists and winners demonstrate higher and higher standards.

“We are now seeing over 350 submissions for only 14 categories so it’s a huge task to separate out the finalists. But very rewarding!”

A key part of the Learning Awards is the judging presentations, in which finalists present their cases in front of an independent panel of industry leaders and a representative from the award sponsor. Often a nerve-wracking time for finalists, the judging sessions are also hard work for the panel – and many cups of coffee are consumed throughout the four busy days.

Increasingly, finalist presentations are being conducted via internet conference facilities such as Skype®. “In the past few years, the number of international submissions has sky-rocketed”, says Steed. “Last year, we had finalists from Brazil, South Africa, Romania and the USA, all presenting via Skype.”

When asked about a favourite memory from the past 20 years, Steed remarked, “There have been many great stories but one I fondly recall was Belfast City Council. They were a tiny team of 3 or 4 people in a huge local-government campus who were doing the most amazing work. They won the Gold award and, a few days after they picked up their award at the ceremony, news came through that the City of Belfast had put on a civic reception for them! They would turn up at the Dorchester in the coming years with the Mayor of Belfast in full regalia accompanying the team.”

Many other Award winners have similar stories – with both teams and individuals experiencing greater levels of recognition and career success than ever before.

“Some previous award winners are now internationally recognised figures in the L&D industry”, remarks Steed, “The Awards is all about recognising outstanding examples of best practice, innovation and excellence – so if you are breaking new ground in L&D, then you should enter for the Awards. You never know – it could change your life.”

As well as sponsoring the Awards, many Microsoft Partners have been category winners. Click here to see the full list of previous winners.

“The Learning Awards is the perfect vehicle for all Microsoft partners to gain recognition for the great work they are doing”, said Greg Pearson, Microsoft Area Lead for Microsoft Learning Experiences.

“As well as the traditional learning-centric categories, others covering People Development, Onboarding, Apprenticeships, Social Media and Start-ups ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enter and win a 2016 Learning Award.”

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Winning the 2015 Learning Technologies Award sponsored by Microsoft.
L-R Claudia Winkleman (host), J.P. Morgan (winners), Linda Rendleman (Microsoft Director for Partner Business & Development )

Watch the full video to get a flavour of the Learning Awards (4:29)

How to Enter

1. Choose your categories. You can choose as many categories as you wish to enter although you may only submit one entry per award category. Click here for the full list of categories.

2. Complete the Learning Awards 2016 Registration Form and provide the name, job title and contact details of the person who will be the main contact for your entry.

3. Return the registration form. You may post or email the form back to the LPI. Once they have received your form, they will register your entry.

4. Await notification. Once your entry has been approved, you will be notified at the email address you supplied on the form. Please do not send any other files until you have been notified of your successful registration.

5. Send your complete submission. Once you have been notified that your entry has been registered, send in your full submission together with any supporting media files/documents. You may post or email your submission.

Take note of the submission deadline – entries received after the deadline will be automatically disqualified.

Submission Deadline: 30th September 2015

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