You can also read a blog post about the ARIAS judging method, written by Chair of Judges Phil Riley.
How the ARIAS are judged – an FAQ
How many judges are there?
There are more than 100 judges, operating in panels ranging in size from 5-9 (depending on how many entries there were in the pool).
How are judges selected?
Judges are invited to participate by the Chair of Judges. They represent a cross-section of senior practitioners in the audio industry.
How are the panels made up?
Each panel has a Head Judge who is a Trustee or Fellow of the Radio Academy. Each panel has a 50/50 gender split, and each panel has a recent alumnus of the Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 scheme. In each panel, there is always at least one person from the BBC, and one person from a commercial or indie background. 25% of the judges in 2019 were from BAME backgrounds.
How do the judges make their decisions?
Each panel judges just one category, and each award is determined in isolation. Judges listen to the audio and read the text, then give each entry scores out of 10, in three areas – impact, creativity, and production. This produces a score out of 30 for each entry.
How is the shortlist of nominees formed?
The entries are sorted into one of two pools: Pool A is entries broadcast on the BBC (made by either in-house or indies); Pool B is entries broadcast on commercial radio or published independently. Having completed their individual scoring, the panel are told their collective top three entries from Pool A, and their top three entries from Pool B. These form the six-strong shortlist, and the panel meet (either in person or on a conference call) to identify their Bronze, Silver and Gold. (The pool system is occasionally relaxed in categories where one or the other clearly dominates, eg Fictional Storytelling or Commercial Promotion).
How was the Radio Times Moment of the Year shortlist formed?
We invited Radio Academy members to suggest (for free) any moment from across audio and radio, whether they worked on it or not. A panel of judges formed of Radio Academy Trustees and the Editor of the Radio Times scored these to create a leaderboard, and met as a group to discuss the entries. The longlist of ten was determined at this meeting. The readers of RadioTimes will vote for this on the RadioTimes website.