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ATD Excellence in Practice Awards

The Excellence in Practice Awards program recognizes results achieved through the use of practices and solutions from the entire scope of talent development.

The 2017 application is now open. 

**ENTRY DEADLINE EXTENSION: Monday, October 2 (midnight, ET)**

View the application page to download a form that will help you prepare your entry.

** New for 2017 **

  1. Honorable mention citations will no longer be awarded.
  2. Practices may only be entered in one category, but organizations may enter multiple practices.
  3. There are five (5) new categories to apply to (see below for descriptions).

Why Should You Apply?

  • Earn recognition from your peers.
  • Have your work benchmarked by your peers when you share your award-winning best practices.
  • Be honored at the awards ceremony during the ATD 2018 International Conference & Exposition in San Diego, CA.
  • Be featured in ATD's publications.


A practice may be entered in only one category.

Career Development
Practices designed to align career plans and tracks for optimal organization performances

Coaching and Mentoring

Using interactive process to help individuals and teams develop rapidly and produce results. Improving others' ability to set goals, take action, make better decisions, and make full use of their natural strengths.

Change Management

Applying structured approaches to shift individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired state.

Diversity and Inclusion (including Cultural Competence)

Practices designed to address challenges and opportunities related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence. These interventions may be at the individual behavior level, team level, or organizational level, or all three.

NEW: Improving Soft Skills
Practices focused on improving communication, interpersonal, and teamwork competencies and result in positive business outcomes.

Integrated Talent Management
Practices that span the enterprise and result in building culture, engagement, capacity, and capability. A practice which strategically unites multiple human capital functions to maximize organizational effectiveness.

NEW: Knowledge Management
Practices that capture, distribute, and archive intellectual capital to encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

NEW: Leadership/Management Development
Practices that increase the managerial or leadership ability of an individual, or the managerial/leadership capacity of the organization.

Learning and Development
Practices that focus on learning and development in the organization; the design and delivery of training.

Learning Technologies
Practices that use technology and learning to develop, connect, and engage the workforce.

Managing the Learning Function
Practices that provide strategic leadership and organizational support in developing talent to execute the organization's strategy; planning, organizing, monitoring, and adjusting activities associated with the administration of learning and talent development solutions. (Formerly called Training Management).

NEW: Onboarding

Practices focused on helping new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective, contributing members in their organizations.

Performance Consulting/Performance Improvement

Applying a systematic process of discovering and analyzing performance gaps; planning for future improvement in human performance; designing and developing solutions to close performance gaps. 

Practices submitted in this category may have many components. Applications are expected to show clear business goals, quantified performance gaps, and a root cause analysis that identifies the cause of the performance gap. Solutions are not limited to learning and development programs. 

Any submission that focuses solely on learning and development should be able to demonstrate that the business goal and performance gap are primarily a function of knowledge-skills deficiencies rather than some other factor. There should be a clear line showing the connection and fit from the front-end analysis to the solution and implementation. 

**Single training programs, workshops, initiatives should not be submitted in this category.** 

Practice examples: - Organizational shift from training to performance improvement - Assessment and development of several interventions to correct a continuing performance deficit - Continuous process improvement partnerships.

Sales Enablement

Practices that foster and enable world-class sales competencies and standards that guide and empower sales leaders and sales training professionals to develop the next generation of sales people. 

NEW: Succession Planning
Practices focused on identifying key positions, candidates, and employees to meet the challenges that an organization faces in the short and long term.

Practices must be implemented at least two years to be considered.

To be considered, a practice must be in place for at least two years (including time in pilot phase).

Awards are presented to practices that have demonstrated clear and measurable results of achieving organizational goals, meet a demonstrated need, have appropriate design values, and are clearly aligned with other performance improvement initiatives. These practices have long-term, sustained results.


Shared Learning

ATD is committed to shared learning and recognition of excellence. Read about our 2016 winners efforts.

Read about Past Excellence in Practice Winners by visiting the Winners Archive

Winners of the 2017 Excellence in Practice Awards will be honored at a ceremony during ATD 2018, in San Diego, CA.



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