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ATD Excellence in Practice Awards

The Excellence in Practice Awards recognize individual practices across the full scope of talent development.
Congratulations to the 2024 Excellence in Practice Award Winners!

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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.

Please read and review the following in detail:

  • Honorable mention citations are no longer given.
  • Practices may only be entered in one category.
  • Please see below for eligibility and the descriptions of all 13 categories.
  • Please review the eligibility, criteria, and instructions tabs in the application portal and noted in the FAQ section below.
  • All entries must be anonymous (see additional details in the instructions).
  • Download and preview the Word version of the application to help you prepare. (All entries must be submitted via the online entry form. Application subject to change each year.)
  • Use this Application Tips resource to ensure you are submitting a strong application.
  • Watch our webcast to get tips for your application and to ask questions.

For 2025 Recognition:
Application Opens: May 24, 2024
Entry Deadline: July 24, 2024

Apply Today



  • Earn recognition from their peers.
  • Have their work benchmarked by peers when they share their company's award-winning best practices. This includes receiving feedback on your entry from the panel of reviewers.
  • Are honored at the awards ceremony during the ATD International Conference & Exposition.
  • Are featured in ATD publications.
Excellence in Practice Award Categories
Choose the category that best fits your practice. Each 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.
Customer Service Training
This category has two focuses: programs designed to improve the skills and competencies of internal customer service teams; or programs designed to help an organization’s customers/clients successfully use or implement a specific product or service.
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, organizational level, or all three.
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.
Leadership/Management Development
Practices focused specifically on developing the competencies of leaders and managers, including a focus on “human” skills associated with EQ, communication, and critical thinking skills.
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.
Practices focused on helping new employees be successful in their roles and understand an organizational culture, process, and procedures.
Performance Improvement/Performance Consulting
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 will have many components. Be sure to delineate them clearly. **Single training programs, workshops, initiatives should not be submitted in this category.**
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.
Applying for Excellence in Practice Awards
Familiarize yourself with this important information before applying for ATD's Excellence in Practice Awards
Practices must be fully implemented
To be considered, a practice must be in place for at least two years (including time in pilot phase). Practices that have previously received an Excellence in Practice Award may apply again five years after their award was bestowed.
Organizations may submit multiple entries
While each practice may only be submitted in one category, there is no limit to the number of practices that can be entered.
Entries must be anonymous
All applications should be anonymous (no mention of company name). Only indicate the company name where asked when you set up your profile. Your company name is viewable only by ATD staff. Reviewers will not know your company name as the review process is blind. More information about this rule is found on the awards portal.
This awards program is for internal talent development practices and initiatives that organizations use to enhance and develop the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of their employees. Therefore, except for the Customer Service Training category, customer-focused practices or other training efforts that are for those outside the organization are not eligible.

Training suppliers/vendors should partner with their clients if they are interested in applying. The client company would be the one recognized should the entry win.

Applicants do not need to be ATD members to apply.

Click here for additional eligibility and criteria.
  • Do NOT include any references to your organization’s name or talent development staff in your application. You will be asked for your company name when you create your account. Please note it where asked but do not include it in any other answers. ATD reserves the right to disqualify any entries that contain company-identifying information in their entry.
    • The review of your entry will be anonymous and judges should not see the name of your organization/company or staff anywhere in the entry. All entries are reviewed by a panel of volunteer subject matter experts with extensive talent development experience.
    • Do not reference previous awards you've won or other information that could be used to identify the organization name.
    • If the practice name includes the company name, rename the practice to something generic. For example “The ATD Learning System” would be called “The COMPANY Learning System” on the application.
    • Applications should be in English. We recommend the application be reviewed by an editor for clarity.
  • There is an application fee for each application submitted.
  • Each entry may be submitted in only one category.Organizations may submit multiple entries. There is no limit. Each entry has a separate entry fee.
  • Please note word limits where indicated. These are coded into the text boxes where you will type your answers and cannot be changed.
  • You may designate parts of your answer NFP (not for publication) if you are including information that should not be shared publicly if your practice is chosen as a winner. To do this put brackets around the information you would not want to share.
  • Make sure any metrics you share are clearly and strongly substantiated in your answer.
  • Some questions will provide you the opportunity to upload supporting graphics. Please ensure your company name is not in any uploaded documents, including the file name.
  • Winner acknowledgments: Should your organization be selected as a winner, you will be required to complete a release form. We require a release form to be signed by all winning organizations in order to recognize the winners across various publications and platforms.

Click here for additional eligibility and criteria noted on the application portal.
Entry Fee Must Be Paid by Credit Card
An entry fee of $225 (USD) per application is charged as the last step in submitting your application via the online portal. (Fee subject to change)
Use the online portal to submit your entry
All entries will be submitted via our online awards portal.
More questions?
If you have additional questions, please email Erin Strider at [email protected].

The application for 2025 recognition will open on May 24, 2024. The deadline to apply is July 24. Entrants will be notified of their submission outcomes by December 31, 2024.

Download and preview the Word version of the application. All entries must be submitted via the online entry form. There is one application for all 13 categories. Access the online portal here.

Watch our Recent Webinar
Have questions on the process? Or are you looking for suggestions to ensure your applications is a strong one? Watch a recording of our recent webinar Tips for Applying for an Excellence in Practice Award.
Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Award Winners!
ATD is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of this year's Excellence in Practice and Advancing Talent Development Award winners! Congratulations! (Photos were provided to ATD by the award-winning companies.)

Join us in this virtual celebration of the ATD Excellence in Practice and Advancing Talent Development Award winners.

See a list of 2019-2020 Excellence in Practice winners.

What do award winning practices look like? Read about them!

Interested in learning about winners previous to 2015? Email [email protected] to obtain a PDF of previous awards booklets. For an archive of ATD BEST Award winners, visit the TD magazine archive.