About the Awards


Welcome to the third year of the Natspec Awards.

The Natspec Awards recognise and celebrate innovative practice in the specialist further education sector. They shine a light on initiatives that have clearly resulted in improved outcomes for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Sharing the work of the award winners is part of Natspec’s commitment to supporting continuous improvement and raising standards in our sector.

The Natspec Awards do not seek to identify which college is ‘the best’ in a certain area, unlike some other education awards. Our focus is on unearthing exciting new practice which is enabling young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities to achieve their goals.

Whatever the size of your setting, and however long your organisation has been a Natspec member, this is your chance to showcase innovative, effective practice and share your work with the sector.

Who can apply?

The awards are open to any specialist FE provider that is currently a full member of Natspec. Applicants must be willing to support Natspec to disseminate the learning from their projects. The awards are not open to Natspec Transform members or to general FE colleges.

What does award-winning practice look like?

The practice can be small-scale and carefully targeted at a particular student group or a whole college initiative. It must

  • be innovative and exciting
  • be relatively recently implemented rather than something that has become business as usual
  • have generated evidence that it has made a positive difference for students
  • provide useful learning for others in the sector.

Key dates

Applications open

27 January 2022

Closing date for applications

30 March 2022 – at 1pm

Shortlist announced

by 27 May 2022

Winners announced

22 June 2022 at the Natspec National Conference

The Natspec Awards categories 2022

The eight awards categories are:

  1. Innovative use of technology
  2. Pathways into employment
  3. Student voice
  4. Wellbeing and mental health
  5. Inter-disciplinary working
  6. Partnership working
  7. Curriculum innovation
  8. Equality, diversity and inclusion (new for 2022)

Please note that the criteria used to select award winners for each category has been refreshed for 2022.


PBS Cloud logo

The 2022 Natspec Awards are sponsored by PBS Cloud.

PBS Cloud, a product of NAPPI uk, is an online behaviour monitoring portal that allows users to record incidents of behaviours of concern as well as progress that an individual is making. The system enables the analysis of data at the click of a button, producing statistics to help providers recognise patterns in a student’s behaviour and monitor the effectiveness of proactive strategies that have been put in place to reduce incidents over time.

The judges

An independent panel of judges will choose the winners of the Natspec Awards 2022. They are as follows:

How to apply

Applications must be made via the online form on the Natspec Awards website. A limited amount of additional supporting evidence can also be uploaded electronically.

Natspec members can apply for any number of the awards categories. There is a maximum of one application per category. The same project cannot be entered for more than one category.

More details about how to apply will be available when the awards open for applications.

What the winners receive

Award winners will receive:

  • £250 CPD bursary
  • use of the Natspec Award winners’ logo on their college headed paper, websites and other promotional materials

Award winners will also be presented with a certificate and a trophy to keep.