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Enter the ACE Awards
To successfully enter the ACE Awards, you need to:
- Complete an expression of interest (EOI) by 2 March
- Make your official award submission by 6 April
Expression of interest
The EOI helps to ensure we have a good understanding of your project or initiative and the consulting service you provided. We’ll ask you questions about:
- You and your firm
- A description of your project – focus on consulting services
- Discipline areas – select up to five disciplines of significant input
- Business consulting focus
Submission and judging criteria
The rigorous judging criteria is what makes the ACE Awards the most prestigious consulting awards in Aotearoa.
Our judges are handpicked each year from the consulting industry and are consultants at the top of their game. As well as looking for exceptional consulting services, judges focus on technical expertise, sustainable value and client satisfaction in your submission.
Who can enter:
- Only members of ACE New Zealand (collaboration work is considered if an ACE member contributed to at least 30% of the work)
- Project or initiative completed in the last three years
Our judges do not seek further clarification from you once you’ve made your submission. They'll make decisions on your project based on the information within your submission, as well as any site visits and feedback from the client. They may also speak with contractors, peer reviewers and other parties affected by or involved in the work.
The main areas the judges will be looking at are:
The consulting experience of your project or initiative must demonstrate:
- Excellence in the business of consulting
- Adding value to the client’s business or reputation
- Enhancing the reputational perception of consultants
- Excellence in the delivery of consulting services
- Excellence in engagement with stakeholders and community
Depth and extent of technical expertise
Your submission must clearly demonstrate the depth and technical expertise to address complex technical, environmental, stakeholder and community issues such as:
- Application of new or innovative processes, technology or methodologies
- Originality in approach and analysis
- Involved the use of diverse and competing resources
- Is outside the problems encompassed by standards and codes of practice
- The elegance of the solution
Creation of sustainable value
In your submission show how your work has addressed issues around risk, resilience, social, community and sustainability including:
- How has the consultant’s work delivered enhanced resilience and reduced risk?
- How has the consultant adopted sustainability principles and delivered solutions or outcomes that are sustainable and enduring?
- How has the consultant taken account of social and community outcomes in a manner beneficial to both the client and the wider community in a positive manner?
- How has the consultant taken account of and provided for the needs of stakeholders?
Client and stakeholder satisfaction
The client/stakeholder’s feedback is paramount to the judging process particularly around:
- The quality of the client and consultant relationship
- Meeting client requirements including time, cost and quality
Your submission should provide clear, verifiable evidence of how the consulting service demonstrates excellence in consulting. The key things to take into consideration are:
- Take time to read and understand what we are looking for and how your entry will be judged
- Be concise
- Avoid unsubstantiated, marketing hype and hyperbole
- Include technical detail and verifiable evidence that validates your claim of consulting excellence for the consulting services you are seeking recognition for. Remember the judges are your peers with expertise in the same field as the consulting services you’re seeking recognition for
- Your submissions can include photographs, video, drawings and diagrams, so files may be large
- Make sure you include all relevant files and reference material
All submissions are judged against the General entry category. This covers all consulting services and categories of engagement including traditional client engagements, sub-consultant engagements, collaborative working arrangements, alliances, and public private partnerships.
Additionally, we also seek to celebrate the diversity of consulting. On the entry form, you’ll will be asked to confirm whether the consulting services provided fall into:
- Overseas consulting services - if your project or initiative was delivered outside of Aotearoa and predominantly managed (at least 50%) by a New Zealand-based office
- Small consulting service engagements - if the project or initiative cost less than $50,000 or has a capital value of $250,000 (whichever is the largest).
What to include in your submission
Your submission must follow the following layout:
- Cover page
- Title of your entry
- Consulting services short description
Contact details - every contact must include:
- Physical address
- Entrant (the main point of contact for the entry)
- Clients - you can provide more than one client contact, but we will send all client contacts the client feedback form to complete
- Asset owner (if different to the client)
- Contractors (if any)
- Marketing contact (from the entrant company)
- Marketing contact (from the client organisation)
- Peer reviewer (if any)
- Sub consultants/partners
- This person should have intimate knowledge of the consulting services that the consultant(s) delivered. This person doesn't need to be the most senior client contact
- If this person has since left the client organisation and you have their contact details, please include them
- You can include more than one client contact
- Please notify your client that ACE New Zealand and the judges will be contacting them to gather their feedback
- Client and/or ultimate client feedback is critical to the judge's evaluation of your submission
- Feedback is confidential to ACE New Zealand and judges
- Feedback form (which ACE New Zealand will provide to the client) is an important part of the judging process
- Note that the judges will interview the client. This interview is of particular importance to our judging process
- In order for the judges to understand the working relationships between the various parties, include an organisational chart showing the relationship between all parties including sub-consultants, contractors and client groups. Also, show reporting and accountability lines for the consultant.
For each entrant, we need to understand:
- What they contributed (including contractors, designers, specialist consultants, auditors and peer reviewers for example)
- The percentage contribution to the overall consulting services provided
- Describe the consulting services and summarise why these services demonstrate excellence in consulting. Maximum of 200 words.
The core technical content should be limited to no more than 20 pages and should address:
- Consulting experience
- Depth and extent of technical expertise
- Creation of sustainable value
- Client satisfaction
- The core technical content should be limited to no more than 20 pages and should address:
- Applicants selected up to five project disciplines and one business consulting focus in the EOI. For each selected, include technical and detailed information
- If you’d like to reference any photos, sketches, diagrams, reports or other multimedia to support your submission, please include the photo/media in the appendices section and include references in this section. Example reference, Image 1: Breakwater structure physical modelling, Water Research Laboratory.
- Include EOI information as an appendix for ease of judging
- Client permission – this can be a formal letter, email or other written permission from the client(s) and asset owner to enter the awards
- Multiple consultant entry permissions – this can be a formal letter, email or other written permission from the consultants confirming that the submission is a joint entry and confirming the percentage contribution to the consulting services provided
- Reports, videos or published papers should be included as a hyperlink to a source the judges can access until the awards ceremony. If a link cannot be provided for that duration, please email [email protected] to arrange an alternative
- You may include up to 15 pages of supporting photos, sketches, diagrams, drawings and other multimedia links
- We recommend a mixture of marketing (overview) photos and detailed photos – both will be of interest to judges
- Please include a minimum of six high-resolution JPEG images we can use for public promotion of your entry – all other photos/media provided in this submission will be confidential to judges and ACE New Zealand for internal use only
Your submission is the primary tool the judges use to evaluate your entry. Before submitting your entry, review it and answer the following:
- Have you told the judges/your peers the story of the work you provided and how it has impacted the client, the industry, stakeholders, the community and Aotearoa?
- Your audience will be a panel of expert judges – have you written for your peers?
- Does your submission provide an overview of the consulting work provided?
- Does your submission clearly define the elements of recognition being sought?
- How have the consulting services you have entered contributed to the outcomes?
- Have you provided verifiable evidence as to why the consulting solution is better than business as usual?
- Your submission is the primary tool the judges use to evaluate your entry. Before submitting your entry, review it and answer the following:
FAQs and other information
I didn’t submit an EOI – can I still enter the awards?
Yes. If you missed the EOI deadline but still want to submit an entry before Thursday 6 April, you can still submit an EOI and also upload your submission. We need to have both by the final deadline of Thursday 6 April when the entry process closes for 2023.
What’s the difference between Gold, Silver and Merit?
A Gold award acknowledges exceptional consultancy service on a project that goes above and beyond normal expectations and sets a new industry standard.
A Silver award acknowledges great consulting service on the project that clearly demonstrates great achievement and service to the client.
A Merit award acknowledges consulting service on the project of a standard that exceeds normal expectations.
How do judges avoid conflict of interest?
The judging process is rigorous and confidential to ACE staff and the judging panel. Processes are in place to prevent conflicts of interest and moderation is robust and diverse across the entire judges panel of up to 30 experts.
Can I expect feedback?
Feedback (even for improvement) and comments on individual entries will not be provided. All outcomes of the awards are moderated and agreed to by the entire panel, approved by the convenor, and are final.
Judges may also nominate your entry for a special award where there is a unique contribution to the industry or community that does not fall within the normal award categories.
In the past ACE New Zealand has awarded:
- Community Awards – recognising a community or has that has made a noteworthy contribution to the outcome
- Client Awards – recognising a client that has made a noteworthy contribution to the outcome
- Sustainability Awards – recognising consulting services with outstanding sustainability elements
These elements do not need to be specifically addressed in your entry.
To be considered for an award, the consulting business needs to demonstrate that it has delivered the services with no potential problems, as expected of a competent, professional member of ACE New Zealand, taking account of factors including:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
- Regulatory and Statutory compliance
- RMA obligations
- Environmental compliance
- Sustainability principles
- Contractual disputes
- Engineering New Zealand Code of Ethical Conduct
- Negative publicity
Other terms and conditions
- Your entry must be fully completed and have proven its operation, meaning:
- Full completion of the works or a component of a project where manufacture or construction is involved
Completion of the brief of instruction where physical works are not directly involved, i.e., research studies, surveys, reports, models, etc
- Commissioning of a process system or mechanical system must have proved itself over 12 months. Relevant to projects involving a process such as mechanical and building, industrial systems, water treatment, power or plant systems, some geotechnical (including slip remediation) and food processes. Records must be available (and available to judges on request) for a full 12 months where claims are made of improved operating efficiency or effectiveness
The Convenor of judges may decline to accept an entry on the basis of:
- The entry does not meet the criteria relating to eligibility (above
- The entry is a continuation of a project that has previously been entered for an award, whether or not that project won an award, and does not demonstrate significant differences
- The entry is similar to another project, by the same firm, that has previously been entered for an award, whether or not that project has won an award, and does not demonstrate significant differences
- In the opinion of the Convenor, the entry is not of a sufficiently high standard to be accepted as an entry for an award
- Information requested by the ACE Awards staff has not been provided and the judges will be unable to proceed with a reasonable assessment
- If you wish to contest any reason for a declined entry then the entrant will provide written evidence, through the ACE New Zealand awards staff, that the project is significantly different to other projects that the project is of a high standard, by reference to other opinions (not the client or consultant); or by promptly providing additional material within one week of being advised of the rejection