Annual Excellence Awards

ACE21 website landing page main header-01.jpg

The CIPPs Annual Excellence Awards are the longest-running, independent awards in the industry. They were established to recognise the important role that payroll and pensions play in the UK economy; especially when you consider the £249 billion* paid to the government through income tax and national insurance contributions.

Congratulations to all of our 2021 award winners

NEW: Best coronavirus (Covid 19) crisis response award

The coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic has changed the way many people work and live and has had a significant impact on how payroll professionals work and keep the UK paid. From moving to working from home, implementing the ever-changing guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and losing colleagues and staff to illness, quarantine and home-schooling, the challenges faced have been unprecedented. This award recognises an individual or organisation who has successfully responded to the challenges.

SSCL (Shared Services Connected Ltd)

- Highly Commended -
SUEZ recycling and recovery UK

NEW: The CIPP bright beginnings award

The CIPP bright beginnings award is aimed at those new to the payroll, pensions and reward industry, within the last two years, or who are currently completing an apprenticeship. This award recognises an individual who has made a significant impact and contribution to their organisation within that time.

Emma Saggers, Bishopsgatepay

NEW: The CIPP spotlight award

The CIPP spotlight award is open to anyone working in payroll, pensions and/or reward. This award will be presented to an individual who has shown themselves to be an outstanding professional and could be working at any level within the industry.

Mandy Haslam, Zellis

NEW: The luminary award

The CIPP luminary award will celebrate and recognise an individual who has demonstrated leadership within their organisation or across the wider industry and has had a positive, inspirational impact on the career of others.

Karen Thomson MSc ChFCIPPdip FHEA, Armstrong Watson LLP

Wellbeing and employee engagement award

With an increasing focus on employee health and wellbeing, this award will recognise organisations that have introduced initiatives to improve the general health, wellbeing and/or financial awareness of their employees.&

Phase 3

Project of the year

Implementation of projects in payroll and pensions is commonplace, and this award recognises the work involved in implementing a successful project. 

The Co-operative Bank and Access People

In-house payroll team of the year

This award recognises the in-house payroll team that has compelled their employer to recognise the important role that the department can play in improving the overall company performance, and not just perceive the department as a cost centre.

Kingdom Housing Association Ltd

- Highly commended -
OCS Group UK Ltd

International payroll service provider of the year

Organisations turn to service providers to deliver compliant and efficient payroll services within their organisation. This award will be presented to the provider proven to demonstrate a commitment to customer service and an effective and compliant international payroll service. 


Software product of the year

This award is aimed at software products that are sold and supplied for companies to run their own payroll in-house. It will recognise an organisation that is innovative and committed to ensuring that its software is compliant, user friendly, enables the best practice and is well supported.


Payroll service provider of the year

This award is open to service providers regardless of size and will be presented to the provider proven to demonstrate a commitment to customer service and an effective and compliant payroll function.

Phase 3​​​​​

Lifetime achievement in payroll awards

This award is gifted by the CIPP's board of directors to individuals who have made a significant contribution to furthering, and raising the profile of, the profession. In 2021 the Institute has gifted this to two individuals. 

Alison Sellar OBE

Mike Nicholas MCIPP

* based on income tax and national insurance contributions as shown on Labour market overview, UK - Office for National Statistics ( The data suggests this has fallen by £730,000.

Thank you to our awards sponsors
Cintra HR and Payroll Logo_Oct2011 Intelligo logo.png Portfolio Payroll_360x180px.png
the payroll centre logo_394px(w)_web.png March 2016 logo_wday (002) Large_trans web.png