Scotland Director of the Year Awards

Scotland Director of the Year Awards

Celebrating Scotland’s finest leadership talent

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.

Key Dates

Please note that our 2023 awards are now complete! Congratulations to all of our winners. Unfortunately, we won’t be running the Awards in 2024 but please look out for our announcements in January 2025 or check back here for details.

Nominations and applications

17 November 2022 - 26 March 2023

Select an option below to start your own application or to nominate someone else. The IoD will contact those nominated to inform them and guide them to make an application.


27 March - 23 April 2023

Our external, dedicated panel of volunteer judges will scrupulously review each application multiple times to determine each category’s Director of the Year, along with any highly commended applicants.

Awards ceremony

8 June 2023, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)

The Scotland Director of the Year Awards ceremony was held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) on 8 June 2023.

2023 Categories

Agility and Resilience

This award recognises a director who has demonstrated determination, resilience and good leadership throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on – who went ‘above and beyond’ since 2020. Examples may include transforming your own operation or adapting your offering for new or existing customers, thus allowing your and/ or their business to survive and be ready to face and take advantage of future trends.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion within any business are key factors in determining organisational success. Over the years many organisations have worked hard to embrace diversity within their workplaces and create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or cultural background or disability, can flourish and succeed.

Family Business

This award recognises individuals in a family business who have responded to the specific challenges that face directors in family firms and who have contributed to the success of the diverse, dynamic, and innovative family business sector. Emerging leaders in a family business are eligible providing they demonstrate the right trajectory and ethos of this very important part of the private business community.


This award recognises leaders that have achieved success through bringing an innovative and disruptive approach to their marketplace; a leader that has developed an innovative and transformational idea that displays creative thinking, has beaten the competition and has been developed and applied to improve commercial performance, operational effectiveness or customer engagement.


We are looking for an international business leader with evidence of credible growth and development plans in place to build further on their company success globally. The leader will operate across borders and could be in any industry sector but is likely to be gaining market share due to strong international growth from a great product or service.


This award recognises individuals that have made a significant contribution to the organisation’s strategy, impacted on the financial success of the company, demonstrated high ethical standards and promoted the practice of good corporate governance.

Public Sector

The public relies on good public services, which in turn rely on good leadership. This award is open to leaders of public services, including public agencies, national bodies and governmental departments.


This award is aimed at leaders who can demonstrate how they integrate the success and smooth running of their business with a commitment to innovative initiatives & investments in green decarbonising and is designed to recognise the most ethical, socially responsible green business leader in Scotland.

Third Sector

Leadership in the voluntary sector is critical to good governance, including planning, efficiency, transparency and accountability. This award is open to directors whose organisations are charities, community organisations or social enterprises that do not generate profit for individuals.


This award recognises upcoming leaders who have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial potential, ability, ambition, creativity and vision in new or established businesses who have operated at director level for less than three years.

SME (up to £25 Million)

This award is designed to celebrate those directors working in a business that employs under 250 employees and has an annual turnover of less than £25 million. This award will go to the leader that can show outstanding initiative, boldness and imagination in enterprise, sustainability, as well as sound management practice, good corporate governance and commercial success.

Large Business

This award recognises exceptional talent among leaders of the region’s major organisations. It looks for directors displaying courage and vision in decision-making to keep their business ahead of the competition and whose leadership is based on knowledge, skills and a strong ethical mindset.

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].

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