Adhering to transparent processes policy
The Awards for Regulatory Excellence were established in 2010 to recognise excellence, wherever it may occur in regulatory affairs and highlight the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations in the regulatory affairs community. Over the years, the categories and criteria have developed – and the processes have been refined to ensure independence and fair play during the judging process. This policy has been drawn up to ensure that the processes related to the Awards Programme are transparent.
Who is eligible to enter?
Any individual, team or organisation involved in healthcare regulatory affairs may nominate or be nominated in any category that is appropriate. The only exceptions are:
- Employees of TOPRA and their relatives;
- Current members of the TOPRA Board, ie serving on the Board during the Awards year (January to December), may not be nominated as individuals, although they may nominate or contribute to nominations of eligible candidates;
- Category sponsors may not make nominations in their category.
Members of the Awards Working Party may be nominated and nominate or contribute to nominations of eligible candidates.
The independent judging panel is drawn from leading figures in the regulatory sector from academics, patients’ representatives, industry leaders to regulators. The categories are assigned to the judges to ensure that each one is judged from a range of perspectives – and to avoid possible conflicts of interest, eg being given a category which includes a nominee from their organisation.
The judges reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are deemed purely promotional, ie without any substantial independent supporting evidence such as user research or client testimonials.
Each judge evaluates the nominations in their category independently and submits their scores on a scoring frame directly to TOPRA Awards Administration. This information is confidential until the winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony.
The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the final result. Should there be a dead heat in a category, the matter will be referred to the chair of the judges and/or blind referral to another judge on the panel to evaluate the nominations.
All judges sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the Awards, nominations and scoring systems.
Any information regarding potential categories, nominees, sponsorship and financial information discussed during the organisation of the Awards by the Awards Working Party is strictly confidential.
Any information provided in nominations including support material, with the exception of the summary section is confidential.
The summary information may be used as part of the Awards event or post-event publicity. It is the responsibility of the person making the nomination to ensure that no material is included that is commercially confidential.
Conflicts of interest
Judges are not assigned any categories in which any of the entries might be affected by a conflict of interest. Judges are also asked to recuse themselves from judging a category which they have been assigned if they feel there may be a conflict.
The Awards WP adheres to TOPRA’s conflicts of interest policy. At the outset of meetings, they are obliged to say if there is a potential conflict of interest – and should declare this should an issue arise during the discussion. In such circumstances, they would withdraw from the meeting.
The TOPRA Board adheres to TOPRA’s conflict of interest policy and at every meeting, Board members must declare any potential conflict of interest on any agenda item for the minutes. If matters related to the Awards are discussed at the Board meeting (eg their opinion is sought on matters of policy), then those with a conflict will be asked to withdraw from the discussion.
The Awards WP
The Awards WP is comprised of TOPRA members who serve as individuals not as representatives of their companies. Their role is advisory and they are not involved in financial decision-making. They play no part in the judging process.
TOPRA members are invited to volunteer for the WP or act as ambassadors for the Awards (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sponsors and regulatory professionals with business development and commercial roles are not eligible to join the WP due to potential conflicts of interest.
Previous winners are eligible to join the Awards WP.
The Awards for Regulatory Excellence would not be able to take place without the support from a wide range of sponsors. There are two main types of support available:
- Category sponsorship – exclusive to a particular category
- General Championship – non-exclusive.
Sponsors play no role in the judging process, in organising the Awards programme or the Ceremony itself. They sign up to the ethos of the Awards without expectation of financial gain to their organisations.
Financial arrangements concerning the Awards are discussed by nominated TOPRA staff and the authorised representatives of sponsors. The content of agreements with sponsors is confidential.
No financial arrangements with sponsors, venues or other third party agreements will be undertaken unless they are with designated TOPRA staff members.