Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year
Award Partner
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Freedom to Speak Up Guardians support workers to speak up when they feel that they are unable to do so by other routes. They work proactively to support their organisation to tackle barriers to speaking up.

The network has now grown to over 600 guardians in NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, independent sector providers, national bodies and primary care organisations. Over 35,000 cases have been brought to Freedom to Speak Up Guardians since April 2017.

Judges will be interested in how the culture of the organisation supports workers to speak up and how the leadership of the organisation has embraced the opportunity to improve. Entrants will need to detail examples of how their organisation has responded when workers have spoken up, supported the work of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and shared its learning and improvement across the wider health system.


Any organisation in the healthcare sector that can demonstrate improvement in their speaking up culture is welcome to enter this award. This includes providers and trusts, regulators and national bodies, private hospital providers, care homes, CCGs, GP practices, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists and charities.


  • A clear explanation of how the organisation has developed their speaking up culture and embedded speaking up and the role of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
  • Evidence that workers feel confident to speak up and are supported and listened to when they do
  • Demonstrate how leadership supports a speaking up culture and shares lessons learned to generate improvement across the healthcare system


  • Evidence on the improvement in the speaking up culture of the organisation, with examples of innovation and excellence, including any unattributed or confidential testimonials from workers
  • Evidence of change in working practices or structures as a direct result of speaking up and how the leadership can demonstrate they have taken steps to listen well and follow up
  • Evidence which clearly demonstrates that speaking up is becoming business as usual in part, or all, of the organisation


  • Leadership is visibly dedicated to embedding a supportive culture which has demonstrably spread throughout the organisation
  • Demonstrate how people from groups who may feel particularly vulnerable if they speak up have been identified and supported, and how these barriers have been overcome
  • Demonstrate leadership and the sharing of good practice beyond organisational and local boundaries and how this has contributed to the culture of the wider health system


  • Evidence that speaking up has become integral to the culture of the organisation through practice, processes and policies and the work of the Board, Executive team and others
  • Evidence of the improvements in the speaking up culture, the value gained for the organisation, and how this was measured, with details of how it has made a positive impact on the quality of patient care and worker experience


  • Significant engagement from workers and evidence that the workforce has confidence in speaking up achieving outcomes
  • Development of a culture in which all workers know how to speak up and believe that it will be taken seriously, and used to guide improvements
  • Evidence of a culture where managers at all levels can demonstrate that they role model speaking up and listen up and follow up when workers speak up to them.

Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year

start your entry
Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year
Award Partner
  • *

To find out more

Entries, attendance and sponsorship enquiries, contact Ryan Bessent  0207 608 9045;
Media and marketing enquiries, contact Honey de Gracia 0207 608 9002;
Judging and event management, contact Sheena Patel 0207 608 9039