Categories and Criteria 2021

And to give a wider audience to some of the other good work that has been done (no award given):

Build Back Better

This award is designed to recognise and reward initiatives designed to help buses and coaches recover as speedily and effectively as possible. The pandemic has put enormous strain on the industry’s financial position and a natural reaction would be to retrench and hope that markets eventually recover. However, this would be to ignore the fundamental changes which have taken place. The Build Back Better award recognises companies that have taken steps to position themselves to respond to those changes and plan for the future.

Judging criteria

The judges will be looking for entries that demonstrate the maintenance of positive changes made before the pandemic, or as a response to it, which will be kept because they make the business better for customers, employees or organisations with which the company interacts. They will also be looking for initiatives that put the business in a good position to take advantage of the gradual opening up of society and the resumption of travel, or which generally make the experience for bus and coach customers better.

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Build Back Better Champion

The Build Back Better Champion award is aimed at those senior figures who have put themselves out to promote the wider bus or coach sectors, over and above their own business. The award could be given to an individual or team of senior industry people.

Junior managers, supervisors and staff at other levels may be appropriate for nomination as Unsung Heroes, where their contribution is more likely to be for the business they work for, rather than the industry in general.

The consent of the person nominated must be obtained prior to their name being put forward. Self-nomination is not appropriate in this category.

Judging criteria

The judges will be looking for senior figures who have made a difference on behalf of the wider industry, not just their own business. The award may be given to an individual or a team of senior people. It may also be given to an informal group of senior figures who came together for the benefit of the wider industry.

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Communications

The pandemic has shown how important great communications are, whether it’s passing on news, raising the morale of employees, or giving details about facilities and service changes to customers. This award will go to the individual, team or organisation that produced the best communication strategy or individual piece of communication.
Self-nomination is appropriate in this category, though external communications agencies can also be nominated as well as employees.

Judging criteria

The judges will be looking for effective communications that clearly pass on the message to the intended, and possibly a wider, audience. Depending on the number and quality of entries received, the judges may, at their discretion, decide to make two awards in this category for serious and light-hearted messages.

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Outstanding Partnerships

The pandemic has shown more than ever the importance of partnerships built between bus and coach operators and suppliers, local authorities, businesses and other organisations in their area. This category seeks to recognise and reward outstanding examples of how the partnerships created have helped bus and coach operators survive the pandemic, and put in the building blocks for future success.

Judging criteria

The judges will consider facets such as the balance of the partnership between the transport operator and its partner(s), how innovative the partnership is, how effective the arrangements have been shown to be, and the possibilities for continuation and expansion of the partnership in the future. To be eligible for consideration, the partnership must include a bus or coach operator.

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Outstanding Teamwork

The rapid imposition of the various stages of lockdown each required an immediate response. Many coach operators had to put a large proportion of staff on furlough and effectively mothball their entire operation, while a few were able to provide essential services to schools or in place of halted rail services. Bus operators had to completely revise schedules, reduce services, and create bespoke services for essential workers. Entire depots were mothballed and staff had to be flexible about when and where they worked, or were furloughed.

Judging criteria

The judges will consider aspects such as how effectively the team worked together, the effectiveness of the outcome, and any plans for the success of ad hoc teams to continue beyond the immediate need. Other considerations will include the level of difficulty, in terms of the size of the task, as well as the difficulties the team overcame.

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Services to the Bus Industry / Services to the Coach Industry

The awards for Services to the Bus Industry and Coach Industry recognise a significant and sustained contribution to the success of each industry by an individual who has consistently gone beyond the call of normal duty to improve and promote the bus or coach industry for its users or the wider community. Self-nomination is not appropriate for this category.

The criteria

Given the broad spread of individuals that might be nominated for these Awards, the Management Committee will use its discretion in considering nominations and will seek the necessary verification. One or more awards may be made reflecting the period of time elapsed since the previous schemes (two years) and that both the bus and coach sectors will be represented. The following will be considered:

    • The level of service delivered
    • The extent of service to, or involvement with, the wider industry outside the individual’s own immediate employment
    • Any special circumstances
    • Consistent record of achievement
    • Sustainability of the entrant’s contributions.

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Services to the Community

This award is designed to recognise and reward a scheme, project or other activity by a bus or coach operator that has provided benefits to local people. There have been many examples during the pandemic of how bus and coach operators have used their vehicles and expertise to place their businesses at the heart of the community.

Judging criteria

The judges will be looking for projects that have grounded the bus or coach operator in its local community. They will consider to what extent the operator went above and beyond its normal activity, the benefits of the project to the community, the involvement of staff (perhaps on a voluntary basis), and any knock-on benefits to the company such as enhanced teamwork or future collaboration.

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 Technology and Innovation

The pandemic has seen many innovations introduced at pace, and the bus and coach sectors have been no exception. From pieces of protective equipment, technological innovations and the introduction of practices new to the industries, this category rewards excellence in them all.

It also recognises the continued pace of new technology and innovation in the bus and coach industries that has continued despite the pandemic, and is not directly related to it.

Judging criteria

The judges will be looking for ingenious use of new and existing technology and equipment, and the impact that the project has had on the business and customers. They will also consider the extent to which the scheme is innovative, either absolutely, or in its application to the bus and coach sector.

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Top London Bus Driver / Top National Bus Driver

To win the title of Top London or National Bus Driver, entrants need to go that extra mile to provide the customer’s ideal; a driver who is friendly, helpful, conscientious and mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and worthy ambassador for the job. Importantly, the winner of this award will also have gone out of their way to help others cope with the pandemic, either among their colleagues or in the wider community. That might include voluntary work, raising money or generally going above and beyond to help others.

The consent of the person nominated must be obtained prior to their name being put forward. Self-nomination is not appropriate in this category.

Judging criteria

The winners of these two categories will be the drivers who best represents the whole range of professional and customer care skills required for this important and highly demanding job, and has gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.

As there is no mystery travelling this year, the nominator is asked, if appropriate, to include a statement that covers the nominee’s technical and professional skill, accident record, any safe driving awards, internal driver assessment reports, or marks achieved in a company, regional or national competition. As well as exemplary driving and customers service skills, the judges are particularly looking for a driver who has gone out of his way to help others during the pandemic.

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Top UK Coach Driver

The winner of this award will demonstrate the ability to go that bit further to provide the customer’s ideal: a driver who is friendly, helpful, conscientious and mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and worthy ambassador for the coach industry.

Since the start of the pandemic, many coach drivers will have been furloughed or may have been undertaking different driving duties to usual. This award recognises those drivers who not only excel in their driving and customer service skills, but have gone above and beyond to make a significant contribution during the pandemic.

The consent of the person nominated must be obtained prior to their name being put forward. Self-nomination is not appropriate in this category.

Judging criteria

The nominator, if appropriate, is asked to include a statement that covers the nominee’s technical and professional skill, accident record, any safe driving awards, internal driver assessment reports, or marks achieved in a company, regional or national driving competition. As well as exemplary driving and customers service skills, the judges are particularly looking for a driver who has gone out of his way to help others during the pandemic.

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Unsung Heroes

This category will recognise one or more individuals working in the bus and coach industry who perform supervisory or junior management roles, or any individual that has not yet reached these positions. As well as being known for their hard-work, loyalty and devotion to duty, the winner will have made a significant contribution to help the company they work for during the pandemic.

Unsung Heroes are those who keep the wheels turning against all the odds, and no more so than during the pandemic which brought many new challenges and an ever-changing operating environment. No passenger transport operator or organisation can do without such people, even though they often slave away for years with no recognition, save their own satisfaction in a service delivered and a job well done.

Above all, the Unsung Hero will be someone who demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the services are delivered for the customer – internal or external – in difficult operating conditions.

The consent of the person(s) nominated must be obtained prior to their name being put forward. Self-nomination is not appropriate in this category.

Judging criteria

The judges are looking for an individual or team that has a track record of going above and beyond, and has excelled during the pandemic. They will be assessing the contribution that the nominee has made to the business, not necessarily in financial terms, but also considering facets such as keeping things running, maintaining morale and helping colleagues.

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The ‘None of the Above’ category

This year’s awards are a celebration not only of all the great work that’s been done during the pandemic, but also looking forward to recognise what has been put into place to develop the bus and coach industries post pandemic. The preceding categories cover most aspects of bus and coach operations, but if there’s something that you think deserves recognition that doesn’t seem to fit easily into one of the other categories, tell us about it anyway. We may decide that it does fit elsewhere, in which case we’ll move it to the relevant category. If not, we’ll leave it for the judges to consider alongside the other entries received.

Judging criteria

The judges will consider all the entries, and putting one against the other, decide if one or more awards should be given and on what basis.

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Categories ‘for a bit of fun’

To give a wider audience to some of the other great work being done in bus and coach companies across the UK

1) Best special bus or coach livery to celebrate an individual, the NHS, carers or other group or organisation (Best Livery)

Throughout the pandemic there have been some great examples of custom liveries and signage on vehicles designed to recognise an individual local or national ‘covid hero’ or groups and organisations, as well the NHS, carers and other key workers. A livery might also be used in a humorous way to raise spirits among the community. We want to celebrate the designs and bring them to a wider audience.

We’d like to see the liveries and know a little of the story behind them.

2) A Day in the Life of… (Day in the Life)

We invite companies, depots, teams and individuals to send a video, lasting no more than five minutes, showing a day in the life of where they work. We want to see something that captures the essence of what happens – something impressive, educational or moving, and ideally humorous and entertaining, that you think deserves a wider audience. We are not looking for a professional production, just something that captures what you want to show and others to see.

Special entry requirements for both categories

We ask that entrants send any appropriate number of pictures and/or videos by putting them into a folder, zipping it, and sending the zipped folder using a file transfer service such as wetransfer.com, mailbigfile.com, or pcloudtransfer.com to enter@ukbusandcoachawards.org.uk  Alternatively, links can be included in the body of the e-mail.

Please include in your e-mail any relevant details you think we should know about the livery or day in the life of video. Remember, there’s no award – this is just for fun!

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Conditions of Entry

1.     The decision of the judges will be final. No correspondence will be entered into with entrants concerning the decision of the judges on any matter associated with the scheme.

2.     The Management Committee reserves the right to refuse any entry, or to disqualify an entry from consideration for any reason it considers valid, and will not enter into any discussion or correspondence concerning such a decision.

3.     The premature disclosure of an entry’s status as a short-listed or winning nomination will render the entry liable to disqualification.

4.     The Management Committee reserves the right to move or duplicate a nomination from one award category to another if it considers the nomination to be more appropriate for another category.

5.     By submitting an entry in a category for employees, you are confirming that you have obtained your employee’s consent to their name being put forward and have made sure that they understand that this may result in them and their family receiving media coverage and press enquiries.

6.     Material from any entry may subsequently be published by UK Bus Awards, UK Coach Awards and UK Bus and Coach Awards. Submission of material with the entry will be taken as granting copyright for The Bus Industry Awards Ltd and UK Coach Awards Ltd to publish and use in any way it sees fit without reference to the nominee.

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