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BEST Awards

Recognizing organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development.

About BEST Awards

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development. We are looking for organizations that get it: They use talent development as a strategic business tool to get results.

Established in 2003, the BEST Awards Winners' Circle includes small and large private, public, and not-for-profit organizations from around the world.

Award winners must demonstrate that they are excellent in many aspects of talent development:

  • Talent development has an enterprise-wide role: involved in the executive team, creating solutions to business issues, and setting organizational strategy.
  • Learning has value in the organization's culture: learning opportunities for employees, C-level involvement, learning for growth of the organization, and innovation.
  • Learning links to individual and organizational performance: alignment with the business, efficiency, measurement of the effectiveness of learning, and success with non-training solutions for business needs.
  • Investment is made in talent development and performance initiatives.

Award winners show that they are:
Building talent
Enterprise wide and
Strategically driving a
Talent development culture that delivers results.

The submission window for 2024 recognition is now closed. Winners will be recognized in May.

For 2025 Recognition:
Application Opens: August 15, 2024
Entry Deadline: October 18, 2024

Entries must be submitted online.

Please review the eligibility and application instructions.

Application fee: $300 USD (subject to change)
Payable online as the last step of the application process. If you have questions about the application, contact Erin Strider at [email protected].

Congratulations to the 2024 BEST Award Winners!
Learn More About BEST Awards in Our Recorded Webinar
Watch our recent webinar, The ATD BEST Awards: Why Apply and Tips for Your Application to get answers to your questions about the awards program—learn more about the value of the awards program, recognition that winners get, and get advice for submitting a strong application.
Resources for Applicants
Want to make sure your BEST application is the best it can be? Check out these resources for tips and insights about what reviewers look for, what information to include, and why metrics matter!
Apply for a BEST Award
The BEST entry form has two parts: Organization information and the entry form which will be rated by the reviewers. Download a copy of the application to prepare your entry. The 2024 application is now open. The deadline to apply is October 20, 2023. Entries must be submitted via the online portal.
Student Day Stock


  • Attract and retain talent by demonstrating commitment to professional development.
  • Establish value for the work that you do.
  • Earn recognition for your achievements-Join the ranks of the BEST!

Benefits of Applying

Completing the entry helps an organization to look holistically, critically, and appreciatively at its work. Applicants have commented on how much they learned from participating in the process.

After completing the survey, when the data from the State of the Industry report is published in the fall, you'll be able to compare your organization to the BEST winners and ATD Forum organizations.

You can request to receive feedback from the reviewers about your responses to the application.

business casual - going over notes

Recognition for Winners

  • featured in a special best practices issue of TD magazine (read about 2022 winners)
  • honored at a ceremony during ATD International Conference & Exposition
  • able to connect with peers and learn about their award-winning practices at the awards ceremony
  • able to have the privilege of using the BEST Award Winner logo.
Congratulations to the 2020 BEST Award Winners!
ATD is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of this year's BEST Award winners! Congratulations! (Photos were provided to ATD by the award-winning companies.)

Join us in this virtual celebration of the 2020 ATD BEST Award winners!