Award for Innovation in Practice

This award is aimed at recognising a particularly innovative and creative project design and/or delivery in practice.

This award will be open to pilot programmes or projects of any size showing particular innovation.

This award can be made to psychologists at any stage in their career.


The award will confer a commemorative certificate which will be presented to the recipient at an appropriate society conference.

Nomination criteria

Nominees for the Award for Innovation in Practice should be:

  • Current (or recently retired) practitioners in any area of professional applied psychology

  • Members of the BPS

Nominations are not limited to UK residents.

Nominations can be for an individual or team of psychologists.

Self-nominations will be accepted. However, an extra referee will be required.

Submit a nomination

Assessment criteria

Nominees should have:

  • Demonstrated Professional Practice while being instrumental in the development of an innovative project

  • Invested in Psychology by improving psychological knowledge and understanding

  • Impacted on people, organisations or communities

This may include:

  • An innovative contribution to the development of what has proved to be an effective therapeutic technique

  • A major contribution towards developing a new innovative psychological service

  • Developing and implementing an innovative selection system in a major organisation that increased the validity, utility and fairness of selection

  • Leadership of an initiative which has resulted in policy relating to services such as education, employee selection, decisions on parole, or care of the elderly becoming based on sound psychological principles

  • A pioneering contribution to the development of a local psychological service which has for instance saved disadvantaged children from a life of crime in a specific local area or provided a model for best practice in dealing with the victims of violence

Projects referred to should be within the last 5 years.


Nominations will be considered by the Practice Board at the first meeting in each year.

Judging will be made using the following scoring criteria:

Demonstrated Professional Practice
  • Demonstrated best practice including methodological rigour/ethical
  • A pioneer/showed innovation in practice
  • Creative and original achievement
  • Showed personal commitment
Invested in Psychology
  • Improved psychological understanding/knowledge
  • Positive leader of a project, service or organisation
  • Collaborated with other professionals
Impacted on people/organisations/communities
  • Improved public understanding
  • Positive impact on individuals/groups and/or communities
  • National and/or international impact
  • Collaboration with the public/clients/experts by experience
Equality Diversity and Inclusion
  • Challenged social inequalities (in relation to gender, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age)
  • Work has directly had significant and continued impact for people from marginalised and oppressed social groups
  • Impact in the support of EDI in psychology both within own organisation and in the wider psychology community.
  • Has embedded EDI into their own work
  • Evidence of contribution to governance and/or taking leadership in EDI

Each member of the Board will score each criteria between 1 and 7 (where 1 = weak, 4/5 = Good and 7 = exceptional).

The scores will be aggregated and averaged for each nominee.

A score of at least 40, with at least 20 scored in the demonstrating professional practice section, will be required to confer an award.

The Board may award up to 3 innovation in practice awards or equally may decide not to make an award in any given year.


Members are invited to put forward names for the award.

Member networks represented on the Practice Board may each also nominate a candidate.


  • Nominators must complete an application form to evidence how the candidate meets the criteria
  • Nominators must also attach a full curriculum vitae of the candidate
  • Nominators must also provide the names and addresses of two potential referees (three for self-nominees), to include at least one current/former work colleague of the candidate, who may be an employer and not necessarily a psychologist (the nominator should not be a referee) and at least one person with expertise in the field of the innovation
  • Relevant supporting documentary evidence (e.g. an account reported in the media of a professional unit for which the candidate is responsible) may be included
  • Nominators should assume that the judges have no prior knowledge of the person and project and provide clear information and evidence of how they meet the criteria
  • Nominators should use active language, and where the work is carried out as part of a team, make it clear what the individual contributed and how this differed from others

Conflicts of interest

Nominators must declare all personal and professional conflicts of interest – e.g. if nominating a spouse/partner or other relation.

Conflict of interest will not prevent acceptance of the nomination, but will be borne in mind by the awarding panel when considering the award.

If there is found to be a conflict of interest that has not been declared, the nomination will be withdrawn.

Previous recipients

Note that recipients prior to 2017 will have received the 'Practitioner of the Year Award'.


  • Najwan Saaed Al-Roubaiy


  • Lucie Byrne Davies


  • Emma Svanberg Jankelewitz


  • Geraldine O’Hare


  • Anne Cooke


  • Jill Winegardner


  • Emma Donaldson-Feilder

  • Rachel Lewis

  • Hamilton Fairfax


  • Peter Martin


  • Susan van Scoyoc

2011: Barbara Douglas