Institution of the Year Award

Submissions for the 2021 TEFMA Institution of the Year Award will open again in early 2021.

Beginning in 2017, the TEFMA Institution of the Year Award, recognises the outstanding professional practice by a member institution in any aspect of higher education property and/or facilities management.

The Institution of the Year Award recognises a member institution that has displayed excellence and outstanding practice in a significant aspect of the management of its property and facilities.  Applications for this award are expected to demonstrate the essential role played by exemplary property and facilities management in relation to an institution’s vision, strategic and operational plans, and to demonstrably contribute to the wider tertiary FM sector.

As well as sector recognition, the award winner will receive a uniquely designed, handcrafted trophy.  The Award will be presented at the TEFMA Awards Dinner.

Assessment of applications and presentation of awards

Selection of the successful applicant will be approved by the TEFMA Board following receipt of a recommendation from a judging panel established to review the applications.

A panel of appropriately qualified judges, including representatives from TEFMA, the award SPONSOR and the professional sector, will be nominated to judge applications. 

Applications will be judged against the published criteria.  Panel deliberations will be confidential, and the judges’ decisions are final.  No correspondence or appeal process will be entered into.

The judging panel may decide not to award if it deems that no suitable applications have been received.

Nominated institutions or individuals may be asked to host a site review by an evaluation panel (or representative) responsible for assessing the applications.

Evaluation of applications for the award will be completed by mid to late August, to enable shortlisted applicants to be notified so that they can plan travel to attend at the announcement and presentation for the winning application.   Awards will be presented at the TEFMA Awards Dinner at the TEM conference of the year of the applications.

Representatives from the award winning institution will be asked to make a brief presentation, including a 2 minute video, on receiving the award at the TEFMA Awards Dinner.  Runners up will have the opportunity to have their 2 minute electronic presentations on display at the Awards Dinner venue.    

Non award winning entries are able to be upgraded and resubmitted in a subsequent year.


The Institution of the Year Award is open for applications from any TEFMA Member Institution.  

Institutions with outstanding achievements in relevant areas during the past year are encouraged to apply. 

Institutions with multiple campuses may submit applications pertaining to the whole institution or for an individual campus. 

There is no limit on the number of applications from one institution.  

Institution of the Year Award criteria

Applications should clearly reference the criteria provided.  Words provided are a prompt only, to assist those completing an application, but are not intended to be exhaustive.  You can also view the Info Pack here>>

A.    General

A thoughtful and creative approach to dealing with a property and / or facilities management situation in a member institution should be demonstrated, with outstanding work resulting in significant learnings and a contribution of great value both to the institution and the wider tertiary sector.  

The work should be considered best practice, exhibiting professionalism and demonstrating quality outcomes for the benefit of staff, students and visitors.

B.     Organisational impact

Applications should reference some or all of the following: 

  • Impact:  The work has created a lasting positive impact on the organisation, in line with organisational objectives. 
  • Customer relationships:  Excellence in customer relationship management has been displayed, with customer needs and expectations met and / or exceeded. 
  • Organisational relationships:  Excellence in organisational relationship management has been showcased through outstanding leadership and / or teamwork, with creation of an environment fostering a high level of professionalism, resulting in excellent performance outcomes.

C.    Management practice

Applications should reference some or all of the following: 

Strategic and operational planning:  Quality planning, where alignment with organisational objectives, clarity of purpose and goal setting, measurement and reporting, have resulted in outstanding results for the benefits of the students, staff and visitors of the organisation.    

  • Process improvement:  Business effectiveness has measurably increased as a result of a new or improved robust and sustainable process; technical, administrative or other process types may be addressed. 
  • Research:  Accurate and objective information gathering and well planned analysis have resulted in increased knowledge and quality new information being identified, with direct application to its purpose.
  • Innovation:  A creative approach to problem solving to achieve resolution of a significant issue has led to greatly improved results for the benefit of customers and the organisation.
  • Delivery:   Excellence in management of service or project delivery has resulted in outstanding outcomes for the benefit of students, staff and visitors to the organisation. 
  • Partnership:  Opportunities for partnership and different business models have been explored, resulting in measurable business improvements. 
Application Process


1.     To be considered for this award you must provide the following:

  • Completed application form - DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM
  • Supporting materials (if any).
  • Details of any additional material to be made available should the judging panel choose to make a site visit.

2.     All sections of the application form must be completed for an application to be considered. 

3.     Applications must be endorsed and signed by the relevant Institutional Member. 

4.     Information on how to apply will be available in March each year.

5.    Institutions with applications that are shortlisted will be asked to submit a 2 minute video presenting a snapshot of the nominated institution, the team and the work proposed for the award.

6.     All enquiries should be directed to the TEFMA Secretariat on +61 3 6234 7844 or

Hints for application preparation

Be factual and positive. 

It is important to provide evidence to back up your claims.  As well as describing the situation you are presenting, you should cite actual examples relating to the work done, how well it was carried out, what was achieved, and how it has benefited your institution. 

Responses need not be lengthy, but they should be relevant, include meaningful supporting descriptions, and should demonstrate particular characteristics, qualities or approaches that have resulted in the work making a significant contribution to your organisation.

A submission should anticipate the key points a panel member will be looking for in the responses to the award criteria.  


Congratulations to:

2019 Institution of the Year:

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology


Pictured: Lizzie Reineke, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology & Russell Caird, SPM Assets

Thank you to SPM Assets for sponsoring the 2019 TEFMA Institution of the Year Award.