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The Judging Process

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The Achievement Awards program is a peer review process, based on information supplied in the written entry. The Judges' decision is final. TheMHS Learning Network reserves the right to make changes to the number of awards in each category and/or the amount of money awarded. Prize money is contingent on funding.

For a TheMHS Award to be granted an entry will have demonstrated that each of the stated criteria has been satisfied at an appropriate level. Because each entry is judged on it's merits from the material submitted, the awards decisions made for each category will vary. The means that there is a possibility that no award is given for a category.

Non Award level recognition.

In addition to the Award winners, Letters of Commendation can be requested by a judging panel wishing to recognise quality aspects of an entry and encourage further growth.


The Panels

A panel of 5 judges reviews each category with representatives from across Australia and New Zealand. 

Each member of the panel reviews all applications in their category.

Each of the assessment panels has judges with a range of experience and backgrounds. The aim is to create panels whose members combine to give an overview of excellence in specific areas of mental health practice and lived experience.

To read the Conflict of Interest statement click here.


The Process

Analysis of scores. For each category, scores from each of the judges are collated and a spreadsheet created. To help control for inter-rater variability, those entries receiving first and second places for each judge are compared as are written comments accompanying the score sheets.

Teleconferences.  A teleconference is held for each category between available judges, the awards coordinator and events coordinator. Judges’ scores for each of the criteria and related comments (written and verbal) are compared and considered during the teleconference and provisional decisions are made regarding those to be awarded or sent letters of commendation. If judges have specific questions to put to the referees before or after the teleconference, these questions are followed up by the Coordinator.

Email confirmation process. For each category, the provisional decisions are circulated by email to the judging panel for confirmation or further discussion.  This is particularly important where all judges have not been available for the teleconference.



Each entry is asked to nominate 2 referees. Referees are not routinely contacted regarding award decisions made by the panel of judges. If judges specifically request clarification about the content of an entry, referees are contacted by the Awards Coordinator.



Judges score each entry according to the criteria as stated on the website and brochure. These criteria need to be addressed in the full description section of an entry.

In general, award winners will demonstrate in the application that their service is consistent with the national policies and plans of Australia or New Zealand, within the constraints of resources available.

VIew the 2016 Categories and Criteria.