To protect the integrity of the Silver Leaf Awards program, all entries are judged by qualified IABC evaluators. The following criteria are used:

Division Work Plan Work Sample
Communication Research Management 50% 50%
Communication Management 50% 50%
Communication Training and Education 50% 50%
Communication Skills 35% 65%


Judges evaluate entries on a 7-point scale with zero being the lowest score and 7 being the highest. An entry is considered to be competent if it scores at least 4. Entries must receive 5.25-5.74 to receive a Merit award. Entries scoring at least 5.75 receive an Award of Excellence.

We’ve modelled the Silver Leaf evaluation forms after the ones used for the IABC Gold Quill Awards. View the Evaluation Management Sample Form.

Entries are evaluated against international standards set by IABC. Your entry will be disqualified if:

  • Either the entry fee or the entry is received after the final deadline.
  • Payment is insufficient for the total number of entries.
  • Your entry includes mainly syndicated, borrowed, reprinted or stock material.
  • Your entry is the work of another person and you had no direct involvement.
  • The work plan exceeds the stated length limits.
  • The entry form is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • The work plan was not completed and in use between Jan. 1, 2020 and the date of submission, unless the entry spans multiple years or has not been previously evaluated.
  • Electronic files contain viruses, if they disable or require disabling of any part of the computer system used during evaluation, or if evaluators cannot view work samples using the instructions provided.
  • Maximum file size is 2 GB.
  • Work sample is larger than 100 pages.

Want to know what evaluators are looking for when they judge an entry? The resources on IABC’s Gold Quill website guide entry preparation; check your work against the criteria before you submit it.

Thank you to our Silver Leaf sponsor: