We’re excited to share that Don’t Panic’s Awards Trust Mark accreditation has been renewed for 2024. We achieved ‘Outstanding’ across 28 of our digital awards, while our two new awards, the APAC Agency Awards and the US Business Tech Awards, have both been accredited for their first year.

The Awards Trust Mark is awarded by the Independent Awards Standard Council which runs the accreditation programme to enhance trust between award entrants and the organisations running them.

What is the Awards Trust Mark?

The Awards Trust Mark scheme is a not-for-profit accreditation programme run by The Independent Awards Standards Council.

The organisation works to enhance trust between those entering awards schemes and the organisations running them.

It’s based on a voluntary code of conduct that awards organisers commit to. All levels of the Trust Mark require a director to sign up for this code of conduct.

The highest levels (advanced and outstanding) not only have the most extensive list of elements within the code of conduct but are also validated by calling a randomly selected awards judge and awards entrant.

Why do we need the Awards Trust Mark?

The need for the Trust Mark, and the elements within an agreed code of conduct, are based on research by Boost Awards that gained input from both awards entrants and organisers.

This research showed that about 80% of businesses entering awards would be influenced by such a scheme when picking awards to enter. It found that transparency was essential and that most awards organisers were willing to consider such a scheme, for the benefit of all stakeholders within the awards industry. 

The research also showed that perceived trust in the judging process used in an awards scheme is one of the most influential factors for businesses in picking schemes to enter.

Don’t Panic’s Outstanding Accreditation

28 of Don’t Panic’s awards are accredited ‘Outstanding’ by the Independent Awards Standards Council – Awards Trust Mark. Two of our latest awards, the APAC Agency Awards and the US Business Tech Awards, have both been accredited for their first year. Awards need to be running for at least one year before they can gain an Outstanding accreditation.

Our ethical, transparent, and robust judging and confidentiality process means you, your team, and your clients can trust the results of your award entry.

The Don’t Panic Confidentiality Process

At Don’t Panic, we understand that many potential entrants into our 30 awards are worried about sharing sensitive client or business information in their entry forms.

More than often, however, this information is essential for a successful award entry, and not including it runs the risk of an entry not being shortlisted.

We have a number of processes and agreements in place to ensure that all evidence and documentation remain confidential to protect business privacy, protect sensitive business information such as formulae, strategies, and price lists, and preserve their reputation.

We ensure all private and sensitive material submitted as part of or to support award entries remains confidential to the judges.

All judges are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and a judging code of conduct to ensure confidentiality and provide peace of mind to entrants.

Judges are required to ensure that:

  • All judging discussions are confidential and are never shared or discussed with anyone outside of the judging panel or thereafter.
  • Judges never share the confidential material they’re shown, whether that’s judging papers, entries, or supporting information.  
  • All judges securely delete all judging materials immediately after the judging period or give materials to The Awards Team who will manage this.
  • Judges can only access entries that they have been provided to score.
  • Winning case studies may be used in post-event materials to promote best practices. Permission is always sought from entrants before publishing.

We believe that awards are only valuable to the digital industry when they’re trusted by entrants, their employees, and their clients. We strive to provide the best awards experience for all entrants which is why our confidentiality and judging process will remain ethical, transparent, and trustworthy.

« Return to the blog posts listing