Director of the Year Awards

Director of the Year Awards

Recognising the UK’s best Directors

The IoD Director of the Year Awards celebrates the achievements of outstanding business leaders in our society. Hosted once a year, awards are given to those who excel in areas such as innovation, sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion, and more.

Open to all – whether you’re an executive, non-executive, partner or even a chief constable – we want to hear about the work you’re doing as a senior decision-maker to help build a better world through business.

You can apply yourself or recognise someone else’s achievements by nominating them. Our online application process has been refined to make the question-and-answer format simpler while at the same time retaining the robust qualifying criteria by which entrants will be judged and scored.

Recognising our core principles


An ethical mindset and professional attitude shapes a leader’s behaviour and responses. An outstanding leader is aware of themselves and of others and performance oriented, providing the independent rigour required to help their board understand the business’s needs.


An effective leader has a thorough understanding of corporate governance, strategy and finance. They know how to apply their knowledge to build strong stakeholder relationships and achieve good organisational performance.


Outstanding leaders excel in a diverse range of skills to drive business success. As well as thinking strategically, they analyse information and make sound decisions. Their excellent communication skills underpin strong and influential leadership.

2024 Award regions

This year’s awards are held across six locations. Choose your region to find out more about how to nominate, apply or attend each event.

England Director of the Year Awards


4 October 2024, Birmingham

Wales Director of the Year Awards


17 May 2024, ICC Wales, Newport

Northern Ireland Director of the Year Awards

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Awards will be run in 2025.

Scotland Director of the Year Awards


Scotland’s Awards will be run in 2025.

Islands Director of the Year Awards

Isle of Man

18 October 2024, Comis Hotel and Golf Resort

Islands Director of the Year Awards


8 November 2024, Royal Jersey Agricultural & Horticultural Society

For all IoD Director of the Year sponsorship opportunities, please contact our dedicated team.


Here you’ll find many common questions about the Director of the Year Awards.

Do I have to be an IoD member to apply to the awards?

No, our awards are open to entry to both IoD members and non-members. The only exception is where a region awards a Chartered Director of the Year Award – only IoD members can be awarded this award.

I’m not a director, am I still able to apply?

Yes, so long as your role is one that makes decisions for a business at a senior level, then generally you can apply for our awards – please make sure to read the eligibility criteria for the category you’d like to apply for. Some categories are naturally aimed at non-directors i.e. Public and Third Sector, or Start-up & Young. Download eligibility criteria here.

Is there an entry fee?

No, our awards are completely free to enter, whether you apply to one category or to multiple categories.

Can I apply to multiple categories?

Yes you can, we encourage you to apply to all categories where you have exemplary achievements. However, you must only apply to one region i.e. if you work in both England and Wales, if you apply to IoD England then you are unable to apply to IoD Wales.

Can someone else fill in an application for me on my behalf?

Yes, it’s fine for someone else i.e. an assistant, to fill in an application on your behalf, but we would ask that they use first person to respond to questions and be clear who the nominee for the award is.

How are the awards judged?

Each region employs an impartial panel of judges – made up of previous awards winners, IoD Fellows and exceptional members of the business community – to judge all applications multiple times, once the application period has closed. Our judges follow a clear set of criteria to complete judging and finalists for each category are chosen based on the highest percentage of scorers.

Do I apply on behalf of my company?

Our Director of the Year Awards look to celebrate your personal achievements – while we recognise that many achievements are made through teamwork and the support of your colleagues and employees, we want to hear about your efforts in making it happen.

In your application you will be asked to list your company name and this information will be used in press releases; where you have ties to multiple companies, we recommend listing the name of the company which supports the evidence you give in your application best.

Why can't I apply for the 'Chair's Award for Excellence' category?

This award is the highest accolade in the Director of the Year Awards, recognising the personal imprint of the UK’s most high-profile leaders on the culture and success of their organisations through outstanding professionalism and the implementation of best practice in governance and leadership. Winners will be selected by our national or regional IoD Chair.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on [email protected].

Join us

Connect with other directors, develop yourself and influence the people that matter.

Free registration with IoD

Stay up-to-date on issues that affect directors and get access to free resources.

Internet Explorer
Your web browser is out of date and is not supported by the IoD website. It is important to update your browser for increased security and a better web experience.