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Organisations that want to grow and improve their business are being urged to enter for the 2015 North of England Excellence Awards.

Now in their 21st year, the awards not only offer public recognition for winners, but also provide a score for businesses to benchmark themselves against others and expert advice on how they can improve their performance. They are open to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

“The awards are unique in the North in that they are of benefit to all entrants and not just the winners,” explained David Teale of organisers North of England Excellence. “Each business receives feedback from a team of trained assessors, recognising the progress they have made so far and detailing ways for them to move forward.

“The awards are ideal for ambitious businesses looking to improve and grow. They also demonstrate to stakeholders your commitment to high standards and continuous improvement, and recognise the work of your teams.”

Applicants can either enter the North of England Excellence Award, in which they are assessed on all areas of the business, or the Special Category Awards which recognise achievement in a particular area including Customer Service, High Growth, Innovation, Lean/Six Sigma, Leadership, Learning & Development, Sustainability and International Trade.

North of England Excellence is also seeking volunteer award assessors – usually managers or consultants who committed to promoting business improvement. They undergo training and are expected to commit up to four days of their time to conduct site visits.

The awards will be presented on 12 November at a prestigious ceremony to be attended by over 400 business leaders from across the North.

To enter the main awards, you will need to register by Friday 27 February 2015, and submit your application by Friday 25 April. Entries for the Special Category Awards close on Friday 26 June 2015.