Nursery & Garden Awards criteria align to international standards

With the 2015 Nursery & Garden Awards now open for entry, we felt it important to let you know about the improvements in the program.  The Awards Review Committee was tasked with undertaking a review of the program and making recommendations for the NGIA Board to foster their growth and ensure they have a competitive and viable future.  A number of objectives were identified to guide this process through a challenging transition:

Improve benefits to entrants
To continue to be inclusive of all industry sectors and operators.
Increase participation in the awards program overall to foster healthy competition
Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.
Alleviate barriers to participation
Provide a strong foundation for the future of the competition.
Ensure the awards program is financially sustainable.

Here are a few of the introductions for 2015, and how the objectives have guided those changes.

A pinnacle award for the industry – Nursery & Garden Industry Business of the Year This change allows the competition to focus on the solid business practices and will deliver industry an ultimate winner and a significant goal to strive to achieve.

  • Improve benefits to entrants
  • Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.
  • To continue to be inclusive of all industry sectors and operators

We have prizes! This year we have asked our sponsors to support our winners with fantastic prizes and in doing so, give our sponsors the opportunity to demonstrate, share and promote their products.  These fantastic organisations are a primary reason we are able to host an awards program like this and we are incredible grateful.

  • Improve benefits to entrants
  • Provide a strong foundation for the future of the competition.
  • Ensure the awards program is financially sustainable.

Category and eligibility refinement. The committee had discovered that essential sectors of the industry were still unable to enter any category and so the categories that fall under the industry business of the year (Group 1 categories) were refined and eligibility for those categories has been broadened to allow their participation.

  • To continue to be inclusive of all industry sectors and operators.
  • Alleviate barriers to participation.

Criteria with international standing. The criteria for the categories that fall under the industry business of the year (Group 1 categories) have been aligned to international standards.  In aligning the criteria with international standards, we give a global profile to and highlight the professionalism of the Australian greenlife industry.  We also give previous non entrants the opportunity to share the best bits of their business which were previously not assessed in the judging.

  • Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.
  • Alleviate barriers to participation.
  • Provide a strong foundation for the future of the competition.

Incorporating video attachments into the judging process in place of onsite assessments.  This was a difficult but necessary recommendation for the committee.  The committee understands, in some cases first hand, the value of a business analysis by an independent party and particularly, the surety it provides our competition.  Nevertheless, in an age of modern technology and discerning budgets, the financial impact of onsite visits was not sustainable. Instead, the supply of short video footage to support submissions does a few things including: it works to support information provided in the submission; it enhances the social media and marketing skills of our industry; helps business build assets to promote their products.

  • Ensure the awards program is financially sustainable.
  • Provide a strong foundation for the future of the competition.
  • Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.

Risk management demonstrated! As an industry, we believe that our best management practice accreditation and certification programs are second to none.  The risk management these programs employ are essential in any greenlife practice.  BUT we are aware of valid reasons why achieving and maintaining a best management practice standard is challenging.  So, now the judging process will assess individual risk management strategies while still recognising entrants with accredited businesses.  In this process, there is a benefit to being accredited, especially as accredited businesses in our industry receive an annual onsite audit of their business.

  • Improve benefits to entrants
  • Ensure the awards program is financially sustainable.
  • Provide a strong foundation for the future of the competition.
  • Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.

New benchmarking opportunity. We have provided an opportunity in the registration process for the program to provide benchmarking feedback to entrants.  This report will give entrants another layer of information about where they sit with other award entrants.  In providing this option, we also highlight the importance of business data and continue to focus the awards on business practices.

  • Improve benefits to entrants.
  • Refocus the awards on whole of business practices.
  • Entries for the Nursery & Garden Awards are open and close 22 September 2014.

Enter online at www.ngia.com.au as well as find information on eligibility, criteria, the 2015 judging process and support resources.  For more information email awards@ngia.com.au or contact us on 02 8861 5100.