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a blog by Chris Barrow

Applying for a ‘Best Practice’ dental award this year? This may help – A Guest Blog from Mark

Dental awards season will be upon us again in just a few months’ time. With closing dates for entries through the autumn for the majority of the different awards, aspiring practices will soon be turning their attention to putting submissions together.

If you’re a fan of dental awards, you know how great they can be for a practice and a team. The process of working towards them gives the team a focus, and recognition greatly helps with brand building.

As a dental awards judge myself for the past 5 years (FMC Private Dentistry and Dental Industry Awards), I’ve seen a lot of award submissions. Over the years the quality of entries has improved a great deal, and it’s become harder and harder to separate the top contenders.

So for potential award winners I offer some advice on how to get your entry ready, as well as an edge that I think will help you stand out, and could mean the difference between a Highly Commended, and a Win.

Four keys to submitting a great entry

  1. Match the judging criteria – matching the published criteria is absolutely crucial for success. I even structure my entries to follow the flow of what the judges are looking for, and illustrate with examples.

  2. Present it well – I encourage people to use a designer to layout their entries. Although this requires some investment, an attractive, clear and branded entry goes along way to generating interest.

  3. Keep it simple – The aim is to get your points across as clearly and succinctly as possible. So keep the language simple and clear. Avoid long sentences. Use subheadings to break up the text.

  4. Inject your values and your commitments into your entries – tell the judges the ‘why’ behind what you do. Why do you care about nervous patients? Why are you passionate about your practice? Tell stories of people you helped. Don’t talk just about tech, say why makes a difference for people, and tell the individual and personal stories of how it’s worked.

The edge

If you’ve applied before, I expect you’ve worked hard on your entries. You will probably have pored over the criteria to make sure you provide evidence of what the judges are looking for. You may have used a designer to help present your info, or even commissioned video. But when everyone is doing these things, how do you stand out?

There is one often overlooked aspect of ‘Best Practice’ awards, and that’s the level of Corporate Social Responsibility of the entrant. This goes well beyond doing some things for charity, and is now an expected aspect of any top practice – demonstrating social and environmental responsibility. And the best way to demonstrate quickly and clearly that you are a responsible practice is to obtain a certification in Dental CSR.

‘But Mark, do I really need to spend money on certification if I’m already doing the right things!?’


But the problem you face is shrinking attention spans. People just don’t read lots of information before they make a decision about what kind of business you are:

  1. maybe it’s a potential patient looking for reassurance that you’re a caring business

  2. a star recruit looking for a practice to work in where they know they will be developed in a great culture

  3. or someone struggling to separate two outstanding award applicants – you need to stand out clearly.

Dental CSR Certification gives you just that – a way to have your good work instantly recognised. It’s quick, simple and effective, it gets the thinking about CSR off your desk, and gives you a beautiful logo to display with pride wherever it will be seen. If you meet all the criteria in your award submission, it could give you the edge you need to win.

Although new, it’s also endorsed by respected industry leaders, many of them award winners and CSR certificate holders. What’s more, you pay nothing until we confirm your certification, with pricing at £180pa for bronze, £300pa for silver, and £600pa for gold (all inc VAT), you can apply risk-free.

Why get certified?

There are three big reasons why a certification is a good investment.

  1. It makes it very clear to anyone outside the practices that you’re a responsible, well run business

  2. The process makes you better – Dental CSR Certification is backed by experts with decades of experience in dentistry, leadership, environmental and charity work and practice management. Achieving the higher standards is something that will stretch even the best business, but that’s something you want and need to be doing to stand out

  3. The commitment to certification shows depth – proving with a simple certificate that you have worked hard towards a recognised standard shows others in an instant that there is a depth of quality to your business.

So if you want to stand out and potentially give your award submission the edge this year, Dental Practice CSR certification will help. Schedule a complimentary call to discuss how certification can help you stand out AND build your business, or apply online now.

Mark Topley helps people to run responsible businesses, coaching them through the frustration and challenges that come from putting CSR into practice. He works alongside dental practices and businesses to help them create clarity, structure and momentum with responsible business planning, targeting people, planet, and community. He writes at, and provides free articles and advice on his Facebook page –, Twitter @Mark_Topley

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