Frequently Asked Questions

We have answered some common questions you may have about the awards below. If you have any further questions, please contact us at and we will get back to you.

Applying for an award

Who can enter for an award?

The awards are open to any specialist FE provider that is currently a full member of Natspec. You can learn more about membership of Natspec on our website. The awards are not open to Natspec Transform members or General FE Colleges.

Do I have to ask permission before applying for an award?

All applications will require confirmation that your Principal or Chief Executive Officer is supporting the application.

How do I apply?

Application is via an online application form on the Natspec Awards website. No paper applications will be accepted.

Can I submit extra evidence?

You may upload up to three additional pieces of supporting evidence, but they should not total more than 750 words. Videos must be a maximum of 3 minutes in length.

The submission of material already uploaded to the web (i.e. hosted on YouTube etc.) is allowed. You will be asked to upload either the file or provide a URL to where the evidence is already uploaded. Please ensure if you are supplying a URL that the evidence can be accessed to anyone using the link.

How much work is involved in applying for an award?

You will need to look carefully at the project eligibility and specific category criteria for the award(s) in which you are interested. This will help you describe your project in a way that demonstrates why you think it is deserving of an award. The maximum number of words for doing this is around 750, so it should not be too time-consuming.

Then all you need to do is complete the online application form and upload any additional evidence you want to provide.

Natspec will be running a webinar in the autumn term offering advice and tips on making an application. We will alert members through the CEO fortnightly briefing when the date is confirmed.

How many awards can I apply for?

Each college is eligible to apply for all eight awards. There is a maximum of one application per category. You cannot enter the same project into more than one category. For example, you cannot enter a project involving work with employers into both the ‘Effective Partnerships’ and ‘Successful Pathways to Employment’ categories. You will need to choose the category which you think best fits your project.

What makes a good application?

We have prepared some guidance for applicants based on the strongest applications for the 2020 awards. This includes some technical advice on preparing your application, as well as observations about what made a good entry, and some tips on what to avoid.

When is the closing date for applications?

The closing date for applications is 10 February 2021 at 1 pm.

Shortlisting and Awards recipients

What happens after I have submitted the application?

Once an application is submitted you will receive an e-mail confirming receipt.

After applications have closed, all entries will be assessed against the relevant category criteria and a shortlist for each category will be produced. Shortlisted applicants will be informed individually and announced publicly by 24 March 2021.

A panel of independent judges will select the winner of each category.

What will 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.