How the ARIAS are judged

The ARIAS are judged by over 200 senior audio and radio practitioners, drawn from all sectors of the industry.  Judges are organised into judging panels, which range in size from 8 to 15 people per category, depending on the number of entries submitted.  Each panel is chaired by a Head Judge, who is a Fellow or Trustee of the Radio Academy.

Entries are organised into pools – Pool A is for content from the BBC, Pool B is for content from Commercial and Other Radio, and Pool C is for podcasts that don’t come under either of the other pools.  (Pool C doesn’t apply in all categories)

Judges listen to all entries and read all submissions, then anonymously score them against four criteria: Creativity, Impact, Production, and Meets The Rubric.  The top three entries from each pool form the nominations list.

The judging panel then meet (either in person or virtually) to identify their Bronze, Silver and Gold winners.  (The pool system is occasionally relaxed depending on what entries we receive, at the discretion of the Chair of Judges).

Each panel judges just one category, and each award is determined in isolation, with the decision of the judging panel being final.

The Radio Times Moment of The Year is judged differently - Radio Academy members are invited to suggest (for free) their favourite moment from across audio and radio in the past year, whether they worked on it or not.  A panel of judges formed of Radio Academy Trustees and the Editor of the Radio Times score these and meet to form a shortlist of ten.  The readers of RadioTimes then vote for their favourite on the RadioTimes website.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at The ARIAS

Inclusivity is part of The Radio Academy’s Values: we strive to be representative of the sector and the UK population in all that we do.

The ARIAS are designed to be open to all – from large broadcasters to independent podcasters and community radio stations – they are intended to celebrate great UK radio and audio; however it is made or distributed. We actively encourage entries from all backgrounds.

We aim for our group of judges to be representative of the sector and the UK population at large. In recent years, our focus has been to meet a minimum of 50:50:20 representation – we aim for an equal gender split, and a minimum of 20% of judges to be Black, Asian or from other minority ethnic backgrounds. We have published monitoring data for a range of Radio Academy activity.

This historical data is not based on self-identity, and from 2023 onwards we are asking judges to fill out an anonymous monitoring form, so we can better capture how judges identify their own gender, ethnicity, and other demographic factors.