Judges get ready to preside over Lancashire’s major business awards

Some 70 business people from across Lancashire have undergone online training to prepare them for their upcoming role as judges in the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 4:55 am

The volunteer judges in the BIBAs have begun the process of deciding the winners from among 270 entries following training provided by the competition’s organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Aimed at making sure they’re able to undertake the judging process fairly and in keeping with its protocols, the judges were drilled on the rules of the competition and given detailed instructions on how the scoring system works.

The Chamber’s Mark Whittle, who led the online training, said: “The BIBAs prides itself on the rigour of its judging process, which is unlike that of any other business awards competition in Lancashire.

Mark Whittle from the chamber of commerce

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“Designed to remove bias and ensure that only the most deserving businesses win in their categories, it relies on unique benchmarking criteria developed by Lancaster University Management School following a research project that aligned the BIBAs judging process with America’s top business awards, The Stevies, the European Business Awards, and the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise here in the UK.

“After participating in the training, we’re confident that this year’s judges will be able to score the applications and entrants that come before them in a way that’s thorough but fair, consistent, and that means only the best-of-the-best collect an award.”

Judges must submit their scores individually, without collaborating, and do not see their fellow judges’ scoring. Like everyone else, they only discover who has won on the night of the awards ceremony in September, with details of the winners remaining a closely guarded secret until then, known only to the Chamber’s chief executive, Babs Murphy.

Winners at the BIBAs 2018

Norman Tenray, boss of Longridge-based Obas UK, is a previous BIBAs winner and has been a judge for 10 years and shared some of his experiences with other judges on the training.

He said that being a judge is very rewarding: “You get to meet and learn all about some amazing Lancashire businesses doing amazing things. It’s a real privilege, especially because you know that they’ll come out of the other end of the process much richer for having critically examined what they do and how they do it as they reflect on their achievements.”