Award categories and criteria: 2016

Each of the 18 Building Public Trust in Corporate Reporting Awards is judged using a set of criteria designed to reflect the measures that Chief Financial Officers and the investment community say they apply to assess organisations’ reporting. 

 

Click on each of the five categories shown below for more information on each of the awards given for 'excellence in reporting' and the criteria used to judge them:

'Excellence in reporting' in the FTSE 100

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will review the annual report, sustainability report and supporting year end reporting documents such as preliminary results and accompanying investor presentations on the company's website. Our shortlist will be drawn from those companies that have performed well across the range of BPTA categories, showing excellence in all areas of corporate reporting and an ability to build real trust with their investors and customers.

This year’s award looks beyond regulatory compliance for companies “telling it how it is” and presenting a compelling and integrated narrative across the key pillars of strategic, governance, remuneration, sustainability, people and tax reporting.

Corporate reporting excellence is demonstrated when engaging, relevant, reliable and timely information is provided without unnecessary clutter; when a balance is achieved between the three pillars of reporting - content, quality and integration. Within content we look at the information the company has chosen to report – does it include all the critical, and relevant, elements our research with preparers and users globally tells us they need to understand the quality and sustainability of performance? Quality refers to the depth and materiality of the information – does the company use only qualitative information or is narrative supported with quantitative data, when relevant, benchmarks and targets? Does the reporting cover the past, present and future? Finally, for integration, we consider how well a company demonstrates a clear, consistent and balanced message across its communication channels and the linkage and inter-dependencies between the different elements reported, as well as relating them back to the strategic themes set out as key to company success in the short, medium and longer-term.

Underpinning our assessment of excellence in reporting are the concepts of innovation and trust. We will be looking for companies who lead the way with a fresh approach to meeting the needs of investors and other key stakeholders.

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 12 September 2016.

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'Excellence in reporting' in the FTSE 250

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will review the annual report, sustainability report and supporting year end reporting documents such as preliminary results and accompanying investor presentations on the company's website. Our shortlist will be drawn from those companies that have performed well across the range of BPTA categories, showing excellence in all areas of corporate reporting and an ability to build real trust with their investors and customers.

This year’s award looks beyond regulatory compliance for companies “telling it how it is” and presenting a compelling and integrated narrative across the key pillars of strategic, governance, remuneration, sustainability, people and tax reporting.

Corporate reporting excellence is demonstrated when engaging, relevant, reliable and timely information is provided without unnecessary clutter; when a balance is achieved between the three pillars of reporting - content, quality and integration. Within content we look at the information the company has chosen to report – does it include all the critical, and relevant, elements our research with preparers and users globally tells us they need to understand the quality and sustainability of performance? Quality refers to the depth and materiality of the information – does the company use only qualitative information or is narrative supported with quantitative data, when relevant, benchmarks and targets? Does the reporting cover the past, present and future? Finally, for integration, we consider how well a company demonstrates a clear, consistent and balanced message across its communication channels and the linkage and inter-dependencies between the different elements reported, as well as relating them back to the strategic themes set out as key to company success in the short, medium and longer-term.

Underpinning our assessment of excellence in reporting are the concepts of innovation and trust. We will be looking for companies who lead the way with a fresh approach to meeting the needs of investors and other key stakeholders. 

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 14 September 2016.

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'Excellence in reporting' in Private Business

The assessment will review the latest publicly available annual report and accounts, and associated year end reporting documents, for privately owned companies, including co-operatives, up to the reporting period ended 31 March 2016.

This award celebrates excellence in reporting and looks beyond regulatory compliance for companies “telling it how it is” and presenting a compelling and integrated narrative across the key pillars of strategic, governance, remuneration, sustainability, people and tax reporting

Corporate reporting excellence is demonstrated when engaging, relevant, reliable and timely information is provided without unnecessary clutter; when a balance is achieved between the three pillars of reporting - content, quality and integration. Within content we look at the information the company has chosen to report – does it include all the critical, and relevant, elements our research with preparers and users globally tells us they need to understand the quality and sustainability of performance? Quality refers to the depth and materiality of the information – does the company use only qualitative information or is narrative supported with quantitative data, when relevant, benchmarks and targets? Does the reporting cover the past, present and future? Finally, for integration, we consider how well a company demonstrates a clear, consistent and balanced message across its communication channels and the linkage and inter-dependencies between the different elements reported, as well as relating them back to the strategic themes set out as key to company success in the short, medium and longer-term.

Underpinning our assessment of excellence in reporting are the concepts of innovation and trust. We will be looking for companies who lead the way with a fresh approach to meeting the needs of investors and other key stakeholders.

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 12 September 2016.

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'Excellence in reporting' in the Public Sector (in association with the National Audit Office)

This award will be presented jointly with the National Audit Office.

We will review the annual report and supporting year end reporting documents such as business plans.

The ‘Excellence in Reporting’ in the Public Sector award this year will again focus on the bodies at the heart of government and hence of public reporting: All Ministerial departments and the largest Agencies and Arms Length Bodies.

Corporate reporting excellence is demonstrated when engaging, relevant, reliable and timely information is provided without unnecessary clutter; when a balance is achieved between the three pillars of reporting - content, quality and integration. Within content we look at the information the organisation has chosen to report – does it include all the critical, and relevant? Quality refers to the depth and materiality of the information – does the organisation use only qualitative information or is narrative supported with quantitative data, when relevant, benchmarks and targets? Does the reporting cover the past, present and future? Finally, for integration, we consider how well an organisation demonstrates a clear, consistent and balanced message across its communication channels and the linkage and inter-dependencies between the different elements reported, as well as relating them back to the strategic themes set out as key to success in the short, medium and longer-term.

Underpinning our assessment of excellence in reporting is the concept of innovation – organisations who lead the way with a fresh approach to meeting the needs of Parliament, the public and other key stakeholders. We are also mindful of the FRC’s focus on “Clear and Concise” reporting and will look to organisations trying to provide transparency and clarity to their reporting.   Our award continues to give credit to those making real inroads in adopting these concepts and leading the way in driving fresh thinking and innovation. Transparent and insightful reporting is not necessarily about more information but about de-cluttering existing structures, taking a fresh approach to traditional disclosures.

Specific areas we focus on include:

  • A clear and balanced explanation of the impact (both positive and negative) of trends and factors shaping the organisation’s current and future operating environment.
  • A description of the long-term direction of the organisation, supported by the short-term strategic priorities, actions and resources needed to pursue this, with clear use of specific targets.
  • A consistent strategic narrative.
  • An insight into the organisation’s business model and the key resources and relationships managed by organisation in order to fulfil its strategic objectives.
  • A clear analysis of the profile and dynamics of the principal risks the organisation faces, including how they are managed and mitigated
  • An explanation of how strategic performance is measured over time, accompanied by supporting trend data and future targets.
  • Clear and accessible disclosures of key financial measures that drive underlying performance.
  • Governance reporting that focuses on substance over form – balancing compliance with insight into the culture and values of the entity and how they drive its governance and "tone from the top"
  • How the Accounting Officer has evaluated what is to be included/excluded from its reporting (materiality process, stakeholder responsiveness etc).
  • That the reporting is understandable and accessible to stakeholders, including Parliament and the general public.

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 14 September 2016.

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'Excellence in reporting' in Charities

'Excellence in Reporting' in Charities

The assessment will review the latest publicly available trustees’ annual report and accounts, and associated year end reporting documents, for registered Charities in the Charity Finance ‘Charity 100 Index’, up to the reporting period ended 31 March 2016.

This award celebrates excellence in reporting by registered Charities and recognises the increasing need for the sector to work hard to maintain its trusted status with the public.

The principles of high quality reporting should result in better - not necessarily more - information, and tell the reader a compelling story about what the Charity does and why its activities are important.

Key principles

  • The Charity's annual report and accounts are easy to read and engage the reader to find out more about its purpose, current activities and future plans. The Charity's annual report and accounts are fair, balanced and understandable.
  • The Charity clearly communicates its objectives, strategic priorities and values in the context of the sphere in which it operates. The Charity clearly explains how it is governed, what its risks are and how it manages them in relation to its current activities, the environment in which it operates and its future plans.
  • The Charity clearly articulates the drivers behind its financial performance and position, including any ethical, value for money and sustainability considerations. The Charity is transparent in its considerations of its reserves and ongoing viability.
  • The Charity clearly explains and demonstrates how its activities benefit the public, and what its responsibility is to the public.
  • The Charity is open and honest about its ethical considerations, including, where relevant, its approach to fundraising, corporate partnerships and investments. The Charity is transparent in its disclosure of and rationale for senior management remuneration.

High quality charities' reporting should make an impact on readers of its annual report and accounts. To determine which charities make the biggest impact in their reporting, our PwC subject matter experts screen the reporting of the 100 registered Charities using a tailored bench-marking tool that reflects these key principles and has a focus beyond mere compliance with the Charities SORP. This screening generates a short list that is subsequently evaluated by an independent judging panel.

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 12 September 2016.

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Click on the award categories below to see the criteria used to judge the awards for the reporting of corporate governance, executive remuneration, people, strategy, sustainability and tax:

Corporate Governance reporting (FTSE 100 and FTSE 250)

Two awards to be presented: one for Corporate Governance reporting in the FTSE 100 and one for Corporate Governance reporting in the FTSE 250.

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will read the corporate governance report, other relevant parts of annual reports (including separate committee reports), and any linked website content.

These awards, like the others, set a high bar and takes compliance as a given. A major focus for us this year will be the changes introduced by the 2014 version of the UK Corporate Governance Code, including the new statements by the directors on viability and their assessment of the principal risks. We will also continue to place a high value on meaningful disclosure around the board’s responsibility for establishing the appropriate culture and behaviours within companies, which is also an area of emphasis in the Financial Reporting Council’s Guidance issued alongside the 2014 Code.

Ongoing key criteria for the award will include:

  • The extent to which the report deals with the activities of the board and its committees, as opposed to their responsibilities
  • Whether the report explains how governance was applied to the key developments or issues for the business in the year, as opposed to focusing exclusively on process
  • The effectiveness of the chairman’s personal reporting on governance
  • Transparent reporting of the outcomes of the board effectiveness review, and follow up on prior year recommendations
  • The quality of audit committee reporting, including the degree of insight in the significant issues reporting
  • How the board supported the statement that the annual report, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable
  • How the board has reported on its engagement with shareholders
  • The quality of any explanations given under the comply-or-explain reporting mechanism

These awards are judged by the BPTA independent judging panel for the FTSE 100 on 12 September 2016 and for the FTSE 250 on 14 September 2016.

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Executive Remuneration reporting (FTSE 100 and FTSE 250)

Two awards to be presented: one for Executive Remuneration reporting in the FTSE 100 and one for Executive Remuneration in the FTSE 250.

These awards will be given for remuneration reports published for financial years ended in the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. We shall review the remuneration report and other parts of the annual report as relevant.

Specific areas we shall look for include:

  • Evidence, through the messages delivered in the Annual Statement, of the Remuneration Committee Chair's accountability for the decisions of the committee;
  • Clear description of the way in which the executive directors are incentivised to drive business strategy; and
  • Robust justification for the decisions on payments to executive directors, both in absolute terms but also in the context of broader employee pay.

As well as the content of the report, we consider the accessibility of the information disclosed including the layout of the report, use of graphics and minimal use of footnotes.

These awards are judged by the BPTA independent judging panel for the FTSE 100 on 12 September 2016 and for the FTSE 250 on 14 September 2016.

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People reporting (FTSE 100)

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will review the annual report and supporting corporate reporting such as corporate responsibility reports.

When considering this award the judges will assess the extent to which publicly available information enables stakeholders to make a balanced evaluation of the strength of human capital management and employment practice. Both the breadth and quality of reporting will be taken into account, and judges will review descriptions of the people strategy and how it relates to overall business performance. Successful organisations will provide relevant and robust human capital data with targets and/or external benchmarks where appropriate.

The criteria are based upon our "Corporate Reporting" framework and can be split into the following four areas:

Market overview

  • Disclosure of the impact of the external market environment, including social and economic trends, on the workforce and overall people strategy.
  • Description of the employment market and its links with resourcing and talent strategy.

Human capital strategy

  • Disclosure of the organisations’ overall human capital strategy.
  • Disclosure of the links between human capital strategy and overall business strategy.

People processes

  • Description of the people policies and processes in place to implement human capital strategy.
  • Disclosure of the people management priorities that drive human capital strategy.

Human capital impact

  • Disclosure of relevant and robust human capital data.
  • Descriptions of the impact of people on business performance.

This award is judged by the BPTA judging panel sitting on 12 September 2016.

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Strategic reporting (FTSE 100 and FTSE 250)

Two awards to be presented: one for Strategic reporting in the FTSE 100 and one for Strategic reporting in the FTSE 250.

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will review the company’s strategic report.

As UK companies have now settled into the new era of strategic reports, these awards recognise those that have embraced the FRC’s guidance and gone beyond regulatory requirements to produce strong, integrated narrative disclosures in a clear and concise way that give real insight to their stakeholders. Good strategic reporting is not necessarily about more information but about de-cluttering existing structures, linking together key narrative elements and taking a fresh approach to traditional disclosures by exploring innovative approaches to meeting the needs of investors and other key stakeholders.

Specific areas we focus on include:

  • Reports that look beyond process and boiler plate to give clear insight into activity and progress across the key components of reporting such as strategy, business model, risks and performance.
  • A forward-looking orientation to the narrative including a description of the long-term direction of the company, supported by the short-term strategic priorities, actions and resources needed to pursue this.
  • An insight into the company’s business model, its dependency on key resources and relationships across its value chain, and how they’re managed by the company in order to fulfil its strategic objectives.
  • A consistent and compelling strategic narrative with explicit alignment between key elements of the company’s story such as the business model, risks, KPIs and remuneration. A clear, relevant, and dynamic discussion of the principal risks, including how they are assessed, managed and mitigated.

These awards are judged by the BPTA independent judging panel for the FTSE 100 on 12 September 2016 and for the FTSE 250 on 14 September 2016.

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Sustainability reporting (FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 and PIES)

Two awards to be presented: one for Sustainability reporting in the FTSE 100 and one for Sustainability reporting in the FTSE 250 and PIEs.

The period reviewed will be 1 June 2015 to 1 June 2016, and we will review corporate responsibility reports (or micro-sites), corporate responsibility websites and annual reports.

These awards aim to assess the depth and relevance of sustainability reporting offered throughout the publicly available information provided to stakeholders. The particular focus of these awards will be on those companies that provide the following:

  • A consideration of sustainability issues being factored into core business strategy/priorities.
  • An explanation of the sustainability related risks and opportunities that the company faces, and clear links between these and the sustainability strategy.
  • Identification of and focus on the company's material sustainability issues and an explanation of the process undertaken to identify material issues.
  • Evidence of appropriate performance monitoring and reporting on the company's sustainability key performance indicators.
  • Clear targets and objectives in relation to the key performance indicators and material issues.
  • Evidence of an understanding of the impacts of sustainability issues for the company and across the company's value chain.
  • Identification of the company's key stakeholders and information on stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Evidence of appropriate governance and policies related to sustainability issues.
  • Evidence of an understanding around how the company and its value chain use and affect natural capitals and how this is being measured and managed.
  • Identification of the company’s social, economic and tax impacts, the associated implications and the means by which they are being identified, monitored and managed.

 These awards are judged by the BPTA independent judging panel for the FTSE 100 on 12 September 2016 and for the FTSE 250 on 14 September 2016.

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Sustainability reporting (Public Sector): in association with the National Audit Office

This award will be presented jointly with the National Audit Office.

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. We will review the annual report and supporting corporate reporting, such as presentations on the organisation's website and sustainability reports, where these additional sources are referenced in the annual report.

This award aims to assess the quality and relevance of sustainability reporting offered throughout the publicly available information provided to stakeholders. The particular focus of the award will be on those public sector organisations that provide:

  • A consideration of sustainable development issues being factored into core business strategy/priorities.
  • Evidence of an understanding of the organisations material issues, and linking material issues to KPIs and targets.
  • Evidence of an understanding of the impacts of sustainable development issues for the organisation, including risks and opportunities.
  • Evidence of appropriate governance, policies, targets and objectives relating to sustainable development performance.
  • Identification and explanation of relevant sustainable development key performance indicators.
  • Evidence of appropriate performance monitoring and balanced reporting on the organisation's priority sustainable development issues, including any mandatory requirements.
  • Evidence of engaging with internal and external stakeholders, and how this has impacted on the organisation's sustainability strategy.
  • Use of multiple communication channels thoughtfully, ensuring that the medium, content and style are tailored to both the audience and the messages being delivered.
  • Credibility of the organisation's reported content, for example, by reference to independent studies, external benchmarking, expert review panels or through convent

This award is judged by the BPTA Judging Panel sitting on 14 September 2016.

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Tax reporting (FTSE 350 Multinationals, UK focused and Extractives)

Three awards to be presented: one for FTSE 350 Multinationals, one for FTSE 350 UK focused and one for FTSE 350 Extractives.

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, and we will review the annual report and supporting corporate reporting such as disclosures made on company websites, corporate responsibility reports and standalone tax reports.

These awards recognise disclosures made in the three areas of our Tax Transparency Framework. The bullets below show examples of items we look for in each area.

1. Tax strategy and risk management

  • Discussion of tax objectives and strategy
  • Disclosure of policies in key areas of the business, for example, tax planning and transfer pricing
  • How the tax strategy and function are managed and who has responsibility for governance and oversight
  • Discussion of material tax risks

2. Tax numbers and performance

  • Clear reconciliation of the tax charge to the statutory rate
  • Discussion of cash tax payments and how they relate to the tax charge
  • Forward-looking measures of tax, such as an indication of the future direction of the tax rate
  • Narrative around tax uncertainties

3. Total Tax Contribution and the wider impact of tax

  • Indication of how tax impacts the wider business strategy 
  • Discussion of advocacy and lobbying activities on tax
  • The impact of tax on shareholder value
  • Communication of the economic contribution of all taxes paid

In the current environment, there is an increased level of attention on tax from a wide range of stakeholders. The award recognises companies making voluntary disclosures to enhance understanding of their tax positions, complex tax numbers and contribution beyond corporation tax.

These awards are judged by the BPTA independent judging panel for the FTSE 350 Multinationals on 12 September 2016 and for the FTSE 350 UK focused and FTSE 350 Extractives on 14 September 2016.

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