European Public Affairs Awards (EPA Awards) as they are called are plentiful in Brussels.  It’s almost like Hollywood! These Awards aim to unite the Public Affairs community to celebrate excellence and best practices across the industry. They distinguish 8 categories: 1. Campaign of the Year 2. Consultancy of the Year 3. Digital/social Media Champion 4. Public Affairs professional of the year 5. In-House team of the Year 6. NGO of the Year 7. Rising Star of the Year 8. Trade Association/Professional body of the Year.

These EPAs are sponsored by Brussels PA consultancies e.g. APCO Worldwide, Cambre Associates, Eamonn Bates, Edelman, Fleishman Hillard, FTI Consulting, Kellen and their associations such as EPACA and SEAP. Critics say that such awards are primarily self-congratulatory, 'feel good exercises' which have limited market value and all but zero influence on the top decision-makers.

Our only concern is that none of the current categories of Public Affairs Awards consider what should be the foundation of any profession ‘Education and Training’. Just as professionals in medicine, architecture, and law, it is AALEP's strong belief that appropriately educated, adequately trained, continually learning professionals are (should be) a requirement for the effective and efficient practice of Government Relations.

The AALEP Continuing Professional Education Provider of the Year Award is to recognize and honour exceptional skills in the delivery and implementation of a professional development programme in Government Relations, delivered for the first time within the previous calendar year and worldwide in scope. This Award may be given to a corporate/government/ association, individual/business, and/or an academic institution that is responsible for delivery of the programme.

3 Categories

  1. Corporate/Government/Association Provider: In-house training departments that deliver appropriate professional development programmes focused on Government Relations to their own employees/members.
  2. Individual/Business Provider: Sole proprietors and organizations that are recognized as legal entities that charge a fee for the delivery of Government Relations professional development programme. This includes for-profit training and development consultants and businesses.
  3. Academic Professional Development Provider: Academic providers that charge a fee for Government Relations professional development training that is separate from their formal degree-granting education curriculum.

Number of Awards

Only one AALEP Continuing Professional Education Provider of the Year Award may be given annually in each of the award categories defined above.

• AALEP reserves the right not to select a recipient for a particular year for any category or all categories if the evaluations performed indicate that nominations do not meet the stated criteria.

5 Criteria

The nominated Continuing Professional Education Provider shall have demonstrated a significant positive impact on its trainees/students and shall have met the following criteria:

Criterion 1: The nominee(s) selected and implemented instruction and related professional development materials that reflect the current state of professional practice as the learning relates to real life learning experience.

Criterion 2: The nominee(s) used a professional development framework consisting of a structured programme development and delivery process that encourages student learning.

Criterion 3: The nominee(s) used post-activity evaluation to improve programme content consistent with defined learning outcomes.

Criterion 4: The nominee(s) conducted a structured needs assessment to determine specific learning requirements.

Criterion 5: The nominee(s) displayed a commitment to quality delivery of professional development for Government Relations.

Nomination Package Content

The nomination package must contain the following:

• A document of no more than five pages, that must include the following:

• Category for which the nomination is being considered including the date the nominated GR training/instruction program was delivered.

• Statement of how each of the criteria were clearly met or exceeded

• Description of how the continuing professional education provider has demonstrated a significant positive impact on its trainees/students

• The supporting document(s) of no more than ten pages must include the following:

• Documentation providing evidence of the results of the structured needs assessment

• Documentation supporting summary information from post-activity evaluations

• Documentation summarizing the quality performance of the provider (e.g., letter(s) of recommendation, testimonial(s))

Presentation of the Award

• The AALEP Continuing Professional Education Provider Award will be presented at a specified AALEP event.

• The award recipient will be publicized through AALEP communication channels and external media after the presentation of the award. A recipient may also coordinate additional publicity with AALEP after the presentation of the award.

Who selects winners?

AALEP will establish Panels of global volunteer evaluators who are experienced GR practitioners that have successfully demonstrated expertise in the field of GR.

Entry Processing Fees

An Entry Processing Fee of € € 250 is levied on each submission. Where an identical entry is submitted to two separate categories, the second and subsequent entries are reduced to € 150. Late entries are permitted but will incur an additional late entry fee of € 200 providing they reach AALEP no later than seven days after the close of nominations.

The "Call for Nominations" begins 1 November and the submission deadline for all nominations is 1 April each year. 

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