Not picking someone from a hat

Have you entered Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence yet? 
To find out a bit more about how each entry is assessed we talk to one of the judging panel, Les Nicol, managing director of N K Construction… 
Les Nicol says he sometimes finds people are surprised when they discover that he is one of the judges for the Awards for Excellence: in some people’s minds the judges for such a prestigious event must surely be a bit of an ‘old boys’ network’. 
‘I think they find it quite refreshing when they realise it’s not just people from the finance sector,’ says Les. In fact, the 16 judges who make up the panel come from a diverse range of backgrounds: law, engineering, egaming, the charitable sector and government. The one common factor is that all of them are highly regarded in their fields. Les, who runs family business N K Construction, certainly knows a thing or two about excellence. 
The company was twice a finalist in the award for Company of the Year. Following that, Les was asked to join the judging panel because the construction industry was not represented at the time. This will be his third year as a judge and he says of the judging process: ‘It’s a lot more involved than I expected it to be but in a nice way because it’s very enjoyable. 
‘I didn’t realise until I did it how much went into the judging – it isn’t just picking someone out of a hat.’ The 16 judges work in pairs and each pair is given two award categories to assess. This means marking each entry against a list of set criteria. When each judge has marked both categories, the pair then meet to compare marks and decide who the winner and finalists in each category should be. Then all the judges get together. Les said: ‘When you go for the final judging day and you have to present the results for your categories there is much discussion and you have to give your reasons for choosing your winners and finalists – that is an eye-opener.’ 
There are 16 award categories in the awards, for companies, individuals, public sector teams, charities and community organisations. You can find details of all the categories, and download entry forms, at Entries close on September 26.

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