How can you stand out from the crowd and take on new opportunities?

One of the best ways is to win or be shortlisted for a major award. So, when it comes to the AAT Professional Member Awards 2019, what are the judges looking for, and what difference can it make to you and your career? We asked Hayley Lavens FMAAT, Professional Member of the Year 2018 (FMAAT).

What has winning the award led to?

It has been really beneficial in raising my profile and I have had a few people asking me to mentor them which has been really rewarding. I have been able to deliver my message about not going to university and the opportunities that the AAT qualification has given to me. Recently speaking at a local school, it really helped that I had won an award to show I am good at what I do, but also was nice to show that us accountants can be glamorous too! I hope to continue to inspire others and assist where I can with the AAT and with young people looking to start their journey.

For me personally, winning the award has given me a confidence boost. The recognition at being chosen as the winner was a real honour and on days where I may feel lost, I look at the award and feel on top of the world again.

What do you think the judges were looking for/what do you think was special about your entry?

I think the judges wanted an entry that stood out and was a bit different. I don’t really feel that mine was special but I was honest with the ups and downs of my career journey so far.

Possibly the judges were looking for a journey that had started from the beginning and progressed to Finance Director level to inspire others. If this is the case I hope that people have read about my achievements and think – I can do that too!

Do you have any advice for would-be entrants?

Just go for it and enter! I nearly didn’t, it was my colleagues who persuaded me and I am so glad I did, I never expected to even be shortlisted. Write your entry with honesty and think about how someone else could read about you and feel inspired and motivated. If you don’t give it a try you may never discover that you are an Award-Winning AAT Member!

Winning an award is a massive achievement. It not only sounds and looks good, but it also creates real business benefits such as attracting new clients, media attention and broader industry recognition.

Thinking of entering the awards? Here are our top tips on how to write a winning award entry


Keep it simple

Judges know nothing about your role or achievements, so be as clear and descriptive as possible, using plain English. It’s best to avoid jargon or acronyms that our judges may not be familiar with.


Allow plenty of time

Many of us tend to wait until a deadline is imminent before completing a task, but rushing could affect the quality of your entry. Try to put an hour aside at least two weeks before the deadline, so you can write a great entry.


Check and double check

Make sure you have answered all of the questions properly, uploaded any necessary documents, and checked your spelling before hitting ‘Submit’.


Use a great reference*

Your reference is an important part of your entry. Give your referee plenty of time to write a clear reference on why you should win the award and make sure they include their name, job title and the nature of your relationship.


Show your enthusiasm

We want to see your passion for the industry you work in. Write clearly and enthusiastically to make your application stand out from the crowd.

The AAT Professional Member Awards 2019 are free to enter and winners will be announced at the AAT Annual Conference 2019.


Awards categories

Professional Member of the Year – AATQBProfessional Member of the Year – MAATProfessional Member of the Year – FMAATLicensed Member of the YearRising Star of the YearBranch of the Year

Posted by: FlorenceComasky
Posted on: 01.03.2019
Posted in: Advice
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