In order to reflect the nature of ESN as a network of experts and a platform for the wider social services community, award-winners are selected in a two-step process, combining an expert selection with a community vote.

Entries are submitted electronically based on a template that applicants must complete and could also include:

  • 2-3 photographs
  • supporting material (in line with the criteria for the category; for example, data, press clippings, endorsements from other actors, or materials produced in the project)

Entries are first checked by the ESN Secretariat to confirm that they are complete and fulfil the criteria for the category.

The applications are then passed on to the expert selection panel, who, after first analysing the entries individually, select a shortlist for each category based on the criteria. The winners in each category (except the Excellence in Social Services Award) are chosen from a combination of the judges score for shortlisting with a public online vote.