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What is the SHRM Pinnacle Awards Program?
The SHRM Pinnacle Awards Program is an annual recognition program honoring the highest achievements in affiliate development and contributions that enhance the development of effective human resource management. Affiliates enter the competition by submitting an innovative project created and implemented by the chapter or state council, and special consideration is given to successful programs that are readily transferable to other affiliates.

Who is eligible to apply?
All SHRM-affiliated chapters and state councils in good standing are eligible to submit nominations for consideration.

How many are awarded?
Up to seven $1,000 Pinnacle Awards will be given to chapters and up to two $1,000 Pinnacle Awards will be awarded to a state council.

Can an affiliate submit more that one entry?
Nominations are limited to one per affiliate per year.

What does SHRM use to evaluate and judge Pinnacle Award nominations?
The Pinnacle Awards reflect the best that the field of human resources has to offer and recognize programs and initiatives of the highest quality. Your application serves as the sole basis for evaluating and judging by the Selection Committee utilizing the following Standards of Excellence:

  • An outstanding accomplishment that experts or peers in the human resource field would agree deserves special recognition.
  • Significant technical or professional impact on the human resource profession.
  • High levels of originality or inventiveness that clearly identify your affiliate as creating an innovative enhancement or solution to a significant issue or problem.
  • Outstanding leadership and coordination of extremely effective activities.
  • A program that produced significant results above and beyond expectations and enable your affiliate chapter to meet key benchmarks and schedules that otherwise would not have been completed.
  • Improved program, service and product quality or member satisfaction to a degree that significantly increased membership and revenue and/or reduced costs.
  • An important addition or amendment to the SHRM portfolio of programs, products and services.

(NOTE: It is unlikely that any one program will satisfy every standard of excellence mentioned, and some achievements may reflect qualities other than those listed here. The Selection Committee reserves the right to adopt additional criteria agreed upon by all of its members.)

What type of programs might qualify for Pinnacle Award consideration?
The Selection Committee looks for innovative projects created and implemented by the chapter. Special consideration is given to those successful programs that are readily transferable to other chapters. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A program designed to assist in the transition from welfare/workfare to productive, full-time employment or workforce readiness initiative. 
  • A program to improve community relations, education, diversity, and work and family issues.
  • A program designed to facilitate the advancement of entry-level practitioners into the profession.
  • A program to meet the needs of senior-level human resource professionals.
  • An effort to provide innovative support and guidance to a local SHRM student chapter.
  • A creative program designed to meet the professional development needs of individual members.
  • An outstanding contribution to the strategic direction and programs of SHRM
  • A new program to foster the quality process or competitiveness of your affiliate.
  • A professional analysis, input and impact on state and federal legislation.
Your response MUST include answers to the following six questions and designate the Standard of Excellence your submission reflects and why:

  • Why was the program created?
  • Who participated in the implementation of your program? How was the program implemented?
  • What were the program's goals? Were they met?
  • Was the program effective? Based upon what criteria?
  • Who benefited from your program? How so?
  • What makes your program deserving of a Pinnacle Award?
  • How does an affiliate obtain a Pinnacle Awards Program Application Package?
    The Pinnacle Awards Program Application Package is available in PDF in the VLRC by June 1.  The Web-based application is also available in the VLRC. Only electronic submissions are accepted and considered.

    What is the submission deadline?
    All entries must be received by the due date indicated in the application information package.

    Can two affiliates, for example two chapters, work on a program together and submit an application together?
    Yes, more than one affiliate can work together and submit a single application/entry.

    What do Pinnacle Award-winning entries receive?
    Each winning entry receives a $1,000 monetary grant and national recognition for outstanding achievement through SHRM publications such as HR Magazine®

    If a winning entry is submitted by multiple affiliates working together, the affiliates would share the $1,000.  

    When are winners announced?
    Winners are announced at the SHRM Leadership Conference in November and featured in various SHRM publications including SHRM Online.

    For more information regarding the SHRM Pinnacle Award, contact your Regional Team.

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