BESA shortlisted in four categories at trade association awards


The Building Engineering Services Association has been recognised for four very different aspects of its work at this year’s prestigious Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards.

The awards, which are supported by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), are now in their 19th year and are designed to recognise and reward the excellence, innovation, and best practice demonstrated by UK trade bodies.

BESA has been shortlisted in the Digital Transformation, Training Initiative, Event of the Year, and Sustainability Initiative categories. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on February 17.

“We are absolutely delighted to have gained such comprehensive recognition at these important awards,” said BESA’s chief executive officer David Frise.

“The fact that these categories reflect so many different aspects of BESA’s work is an amazing testament to the hard work of the staff in all areas. We are very proud of being such a broad-based association and that we provide a wide range of support services to our members right across the spectrum of building engineering.”

The TAF Awards judges have acknowledged the way BESA has gone through a “digital revolution” to transform the way it conducts business, interacts with colleagues, engages with members, and delivers products and services.  This has helped it to improve operating efficiency and meet its sustainability targets, hence its shortlisting in the Digital Transformation category.


One major digital highlight has been the establishment of the online BESA Academy, which now delivers a comprehensive programme of training courses, assessments and CPD for individuals, employers, and training providers – all critical services for a sector with a serious skills shortage.

The digital platform is used to deliver an online learning environment and supports a hybrid option for learners and colleges. As a result, BESA has also been shortlisted for the TAF Training Initiative award.

The 2021 BESA National Conference was a multi-stream, free to attend virtual conference that was attended by almost 500 delegates and featured 67 speakers providing more than 21 hours of specialised content.

It was opened by architect and TV star George Clarke and featured a virtual exhibition, member clinics and networking opportunities. All of this was recognised by the TAF Awards shortlisting panel who put it forward for the Event of the Year award.

And in the Sustainability Initiative category, BESA has been recognised for the achievements of its REFCOM Elite scheme, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

It was set up as a best practice company registration scheme in 1996, to promote environmentally responsible refrigerant management. BESA recognised early on the need for employers to improve control of refrigerant use and prevent release to atmosphere to reduce ozone depletion and global warming.

Although these threats are now a huge focus across the globe, the TAF panel recognised that REFCOM was ahead of the curve in spotting the need to implement best practice to reduce emissions and has made fantastic progress in its 25 years.

Emily Wallace, interim chief executive of the Trade Association Forum, congratulated BESA saying:

“Trade Associations such as BESA have played an absolutely critical role in supporting the UK economy throughout the turbulence of the last two years. As we move forward, it is right to celebrate the achievements of the sector, recognise excellence and collaborate to improve the role that associations can continue to play to support the economy for the future.”

Since its formation in 1997, the Trade Association Forum has been encouraging the development and sharing of best practice among UK trade associations and promoting the role of effective trade associations to government, industry and the wider


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023