Go ahead for 10th annual contest

John Gilbert at the 2017 ceremonyPlans for the 2018 competition for the UK Coach Awards have been given the green light, with a revised set of categories and other detailed changes. The revised approach follows completion of two months of research and consultation, which concluded with the third annual Stakeholders’ Meeting in June. This will be the tenth annual competition.

UK Coach Awards chairman John Gilbert said: "We are pleased to be able to confirm the go-ahead for the 2018 scheme. We’ve been working hard since the beginning of May to get everybody’s views, using surveys, one-to-one discussions and the stakeholders’ meeting. Whilst there clearly ways in which we can improve, the widespread endorsement for the work we’re trying to do was very welcome. Our unique approach, focusing on coach operators and their staff, our independent judging process and the benefits of the scheme to the industry as a whole have all been warmly endorsed.” 

The awards will remain dedicated to coach operators and their staff in 2018, once more emphasising the categories for the industry's people – especially those at the sharp end. The three driving awards that recognise the differing skill sets required for touring, express services and education were widely supported and will be maintained for the second year. The categories which look for the organisations and projects that really deliver for the customer will also be maintained.

Nominations will open during July, and the closing date will be at the end of January. Nominations will be sought from coach industry customers throughout the autumn as well, with a closing date of early December.  Judging will take place during February, and the announcement of the finalists is expected in early March. 

"Our customers demand improved quality both in terms of vehicles and staff," explained John Gilbert. "We also work in a very competitive environment where we have to deliver top level service at competitive prices every time. We cannot meet these demands without good business organisation and excellent staff - and to retain good staff, we need to recognise and reward them. That this is why I believe that the UK Coach Awards have a major part to play - helping to recognise excellence amongst operators, business innovation, managers, staff and operating crews."

"Please start thinking now about who you can put forward for an award in 2018, and encourage your fellow operators to participate.  As a previous award winner myself, I know how proud people feel: to be recognised in this way really is a great motivator."

The Annual Presentation Ceremony will once again be held in the north west of England, taking place on Thursday 10 May 2018. Further details will be announced next month. 


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