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2018 Awards
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2018 Awards

The IRMS is pleased to announce the nominees and winners of our prestigious industry awards in 2018!

Each year the IRMS recognises excellence in the field of information management with our prestigious Industry Awards. These highly sought-after awards are presented at a glittering ceremony following our Gala Dinner, the centrepiece of our annual Conference.

The award categories are:

  • Professional of the Year 
  • New Professional of the Year
  • Team of the Year 
  • Supplier of the Year 
  • Innovation of the Year 
  • Bulletin Author of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

It's not only the winners who are rewarded, though - we highlight and celebrate all the nominees.


The winners for 2018 are below including a summary of their nomination statement. 

Professional of the Year - Sarah Graham, NHS Improvement 

Sarah has worked in the records management field since 2005, starting out in the private sector;  she then moved on to a local authority in 2007 for five years before working in the health care sector for the last six years.  Whilst at the council, her achievements included:

  • undertaking an information review for the whole organisation
  • developing, creating and publishing the retention schedule for the council
  • implemented and chairing a regional forum for Records Managers in the North East in order to share best practice in the field. 

Sarah joined NHS England in 2014 and she has continued in her enthusiastic and passionate approach to Records Management. Whilst at NHS England, she has been a key member of staff in development of the corporate wide EDRMS as part of the wider Knowledge Management programme. She was involved in a significant project in relation to archive holdings as well as further developing policies and guidance around records management. In her new role at NHS Improvement, she is involved in a major project with regards to the development of a new document management system. Continuing her interest and expertise in the field of retention, she is currently developing a ‘big bucket’ approach to their retention schedule. Since 2005, she has been a member of the IRMS, both as an individual or as part of her organisation’s membership and she has presented at events whilst acting as the Secretary of the Public Sector Group since 2015.


New Professional of the Year - Penny Wright and Ruth Azzam, Historic Environment Scotland and Audit Scotland


In their first information management roles, Penny and Ruth spent a year working with the National Records of Scotland (NRS) to develop new tools to help public bodies in Scotland to understand and implement digital preservation. On this project, part of the Scottish Council on Archives’ Skills for the Future traineeship programme, Penny and Ruth carried out extensive research across all 32 Scottish local authorities, assessing their readiness and capacity for preserving digital records, and produced brand new guidance and an innovative Capacity Planning Toolkit – both aimed at councils but applicable across the public sector, north and south of the border.


In developing and presenting these excellent tools which have been extremely well-received by councils and the NRS, Penny and Ruth also demonstrated impressive perceptiveness in understanding the sector, its challenges and opportunities, within such a short space of time. Having transferred from other industries, both are now embarking on information management careers, and the IRMS New Professionals Award is the perfect way to recognise the contribution they have already made to the profession.


Team of the Year - Leicester City Council Information Governance & Risk Team 


Despite staff cuts of 25% two years ago, they have achieved the following over the last two years:

  • 97-98% of Freedom of Information requests answered on time, and all published on the FOI disclosure log
  • Embedded Privacy Impact Assessments into business as usual with over 90 logged this year alone
  • Introduced a centralised robust data breach investigation process, recently audited by the ICO and found to be good practice
  • New open data platform about to be launched to publish all council transparency code requirements and datasets
  • Facility to submit all requests for information or personal data online, including payment and submitting ID
  • Regular data protection training for council staff, and free training for schools, local voluntary sector organisations and businesses to help them prepare for GDPR
  • Speaking regularly at national/international events on FOI, data protection, GDPR and information sharing
  • Chairing the county-wide Strategic Information Management Group to share best practice and prepare for GDPR

Supplier of the Year - Egress Secure Email 


Egress offers a cheap, secure method for organisations and the public to communicate securely with each other. Because organisations have the power to grant and revoke access to emails sent via Egress should an email be sent to the wrong email address it does not disclose anything as the sender has complete control and can recall the email. This system dramatically reduces the risk of personal data disclosure via email and helps ensure email communication is secure. The sales team right the way through to the end user support team are fantastic at guiding users through the system and resolving any issues. In both cases where I have seen Egress installed feedback on both the support for the organisation and support for members of the public that may struggle with it has been positive. Egress is quickly growing to be a positive tool for organisations and is widely used in the public sector. 


Innovation of the Year - Information Governance Support DPO Service for Schools, Essex County Council 


The Information Governance Support service from Essex County Council is the currently one of leading LA run Data Protection Officer support services offered to LA and non-LA maintained schools. The package of templates, training, guidance and ongoing DPO performance has been very well received by schools in Essex with schools from other areas asking to be part of the service. Both the ICO and the Department of Education see the service as leading and useful for schools struggling with GDPR implementation. ECC have even offered to licence out the template framework to other authorities to help them support their schools as demand on this service is high and IGS cannot support Essex schools plus non-Essex schools. 


Bulletin Author of the Year - Andrew Harvey 


Bulletin edition 198, July 2017: 'Data Protection by Design under the General Data Protection Regulation has become a trope for change – but is it?'


Lifetime Achievement Award - Denise Lynd 


In 1978, Denise started working as a nurse in Intensive Care in Belfast. Denise’s career path changed in 1996 when she was appointed as Information Manager developing resource management information to support the business, using decision support systems. As Medical Records Manager in 2004, her skill base expanded to include management of Records Libraries, Outpatient and Waiting List Offices, and the Patient Administration System. 


As General Manager for Health & Social Care Records in 2004, Denise strategically and operationally transformed records management.  She is an expert in her field advising Management and Clinical staff on legal and statutory requirements and led Regional and Trust wide projects. Denise is a driving force in one of the largest Health & Social Care Trusts in the UK and is a champion for Records and Information Management. The Lifetime Achievement award is a great honour and recognition at this stage of her career.



We also awarded another set of Fellowships to experienced information professionals who have achieved and demonstrated eminence, authority and seniority over the course of their career. Those who gained the status of a Fellow of the IRMS in 2018 are:


Robert Corbett

Sarah Graham

Sarah Hayes

Michele Noad

Dorothy Quinn

David Smith



The nominees for 2018 are below. Their nomination statements are available via this link: IRMS Awards 2018.

Professional of the Year

Barry Moult, previously of Colchester Hospital

Joan Farley, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council

Lauri Almond, Essex County Council 

Rowenna Fielding, Protecture Ltd

Sarah Graham, NHS Improvement

Suzy Lorton, London Borough of Barnet


New Professional of the Year


Penny Wright and Ruth Azzam, Historic Environment Scotland and Audit Scotland 

Ricci Wilding, Essex County Council


Team of the Year


Essex County Council Information Governance Team 

Glasgow City Council Data Protection Ready Team 

Leicester City Council Information Governance & Risk Team


Supplier of the Year


Egress Secure Email

Mitie Document Management team


Innovation of the Year


Business File Plan Automation Project, Welsh Government

Information Governance Support DPO Service for Schools, Essex County Council 

Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Programme, Glasgow City Council


Bulletin Author of the Year


Winner announced on the night


Lifetime Achievement Award


Denise Lynd 

Jo Moorshead


Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for 2018! 


Find out who has been awarded in previous years by viewing our list of past winners.

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