All systems go for UK Coach Awards 2018!

UKCA chairman John GilbertNew award for digital communication as UK Coach Awards mark tenth year

A new award recognising the importance of the internet, social media and other electronic communication has been announced as part of the UK Coach Awards competition for 2018. Entries opened this week for what is the tenth annual contest, and a new video was launched to help promote the scheme.

UKCA Chairman John Gilbert commented, "Digital communication is a vital tool in the battle to win business, by helping to promote companies, brands and people. We'll be looking for projects which used the best mix of online information and marketing tools to meet companies' business objectives."

Meanwhile, the search is also on to find the UK's top Express Driver, Education Services Driver and Coach Touring Driver, as the split in the top driver category introduced last year has been retained by the awards organisers.

John Gilbert said: "We introduced the change to recognise the varying skills required by the widely differing types of work done by our coach operators. Driving express services and trying to keep time on congested motorways in Britain and Europe is a very different task from taking pupils and students to and from school or college; whilst looking after tour and charter customers on an expensive holiday is different again."

"We believe that it's important to recognise and reward excellence in all three disciplines, " he added.

There will be minor changes to other categories following another round of extensive consultations with stakeholders by survey, e-mail and meetings since the 2017 ceremony in May. "The UK Coach Awards is the only national awards scheme dedicated solely to coach operators and their staff in all types of work. Our categories reflect the diverse skills required to deliver high quality coach operations, not only through digital communication and good marketing, but also excellent customer service." explained John. "We cannot meet our customer expectations for quality and service without good staff: recognising and rewarding our people is a vital part of what we do."

"Our awards have a major part to play in recognising leading operators, business innovation, excellent managers, staff and operating crews, so we hope even more people will get on board with us in 2018," John concluded.

The 2018 categories are:

Awards for Coach Operation

  • Top Small Fleet Operator (up to 20 vehicles)
  • Top Medium Fleet Operator (21-100 vehicles)
  • Top Large Fleet Operator (101 vehicles or more)
  • UK Coach Operator of the Year (chosen from one of the winners above)
  • Top Express Coach Operation

Technical & Professional Awards

  • Coach Marketing Award
  • Coach Travel Programme
  • Digital Communication Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Making Coaches a Better Choice
  • ROSCO Award for Innovation in Road Safety

Awards for Industry People

  • Top UK Express Driver
  • Top UK Education Services Driver
  • Top UK Coach Touring Driver
  • Young Coach Industry Professional
  • Engineer of the Year
  • Customer Service Award (team or individual)
  • Support Staff Award (team or individual)
  • Unsung Heroes Award
  • Award for Services to the Coach Industry

Full details of all categories and entry criteria, along with entry forms, can be found on this website.

The closing date for entries will be Friday 26 January 2018, though public nominations for the driver and operator awards close on Friday 15 December 2017.  Judging and mystery shopping will take place soon after, with a shortlist announcement in early March. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 10 May.


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