Award Force blog
Release notes

Badges from software advice, G2, Capterra and Get App 1

April 2022


  • We upgraded our application software to significantly improve platform performance.
  • There is a new sort option in table headers to quickly order starred entries and users.
  • Two new triggers are available for the native Zapier integration: payment success and payment pending, allowing users to communicate with accounting software.
  • We capped the number of options displayed in the list view for optionable fields to enable the page to load faster.
  • The judging menu on the judging dashboard has changed to improve user experience.
  • Notification settings for review stages have been optimised for clarity. 

March 2022

New features

  • Program managers can now star entries and users in the list view and then use the Advanced search to filter them.
  • We’ve added a new payment gateway to our options: PayStack, particularly useful for clients in Africa. 
  • Canada has been added as our newest data residency option, in addition to our existing options of Australia, the European Union and the United States.
  • We’ve launched a Guides and tours tab in the left-hand navigation of the platform, helpful to get started and manage the program more easily.


  • Two new improvements were made to SMS communications:
    • SMS messages now include an Unsubscribe link to give participants the option to opt out from receiving notifications.
    • Users in North America can now reply to SMS messages with the text “help” for support in compliance with the new 10DLC text messaging guidelines in the United States.
  • There is a new menu link to the custom exports layout list view which offers a list of all custom exports in one place.
  • There is a new prompt on the pricing page to advise program managers to create a currency.
  • Invoices have been improved to allow program managers to customise their next invoice number.
  • Removing a role from multiple users at once is now possible.

February 2022

New features

  • Easy-to-view PDF files are now embedded in the judging view and entrant preview, making it quick and easy for judges to view PDFs attached to entries.
  • Radio button lists and drop-down menu options have been added to email nomination fields in the enty form so entrants can select from a list of provided email addresses.


  • Programs using SAML login authentication can now hide the login form on the home registration page to require all participants to use SAML.
  • Several improvements were made in line with WCAG accessibility standards, including:
    • When users click the save and next button on the entry form to advance to the next tab, focus moves to the top input field to support screen readers.
    • Screen readers now announce the message that displays at the top of screen when users submit an invalid password on the registration form.
  • Improvements were made to the layout of buttons and pagination in all list views.
  • We added a label to the score set selector on the leaderboard page.

January 2022

New features

  • Our new billing portal is live! Access your invoices, upgrade your account and more. 
  • You can now receive payments for entries through a new payment gateway,  CCAvenue.
  • We made it easier for you to delete users permanently in bulk, helpful for GDPR compliance.


  • The dashboard round date widgets now display more precise dates. 
  • Password requirements must now include upper and lowercase characters, one number and one special character.
  • An “Are you sure?” message has been added as a cautionary measure before the status of an entry is changed. 
  • We reduced the waiting time for a new domain (when an account is first created) from seven minutes to about one minute.
  • An accessibility label was added to the email address input field on the user profile page.
  • User exports now include a column for confirmation status.
  • Review flow pages now display the https:// placeholder in URL fields to make them consistent with URL fields on the entry form.



December 2021

New features

  • You can now enable dark mode in the platform in the user profile settings.


  • Nested action buttons have been added to all list views. #simplify
  • Review flow received the following updates:
    • A new message has been added to the top of Review flow pages for when a form has already been submitted.
    • Validation has been removed from the flow when the hide action is enabled to improve user experience. 
  • Autocomplete is now active on account provisioning pages so any user data is not lost when the page is refreshed. #timesaver 
  • A new success notification has been added to My Award Force for when users copy an entry successfully.  
  • We simplified the account provisioning page to include the new account URL with an option to edit. 
  • The checkbox styling received an update in all list views.  
  • An interface text string for SSO users who are required to input a code is now editable. 


November 2021

New features

  • You can now choose to show or hide a password while logging into the platform.


  • The links in list views have been improved for clearer navigation.
  • There is now a column for rounds and a search filter in the Panels list view.
  • It is now possible to add another panel to all judging modes in Judging fast start.
  • The default social share image has been improved to automatically use the account’s home page logo if no social sharing image has been provided. If there is no home page logo, the homepage background image will be used.
  • Improvements were made to the message in the system to inform users it could take up to several minutes for domain changes to take effect.
  • Accessibility (WCAG) updates were made to add keyboard and hover focus to the dashboard round links.

October 2021


  • The Manage judging dashboard has two new updates:
    • There is a new season selector at the top of the dashboard view
    • Dates are now available for any gallery modules
  • File uploads now have “delete” and “retry” options in case of any errors during the upload process.
  • Even more interface text is available for customising, including options to update the following text:
    “You have no entries yet”
    “Your entry has been submitted”
    “Entries are closed”
    “Maximum allowed entries has been reached”
    “Active season”
    “Pay now to enter”
    “Your cart is empty. To pay for your entries, submit each entry and they will be added to the cart here. You will then be able to continue with the payment process.”
    “Add entries to cart”
    “Enter your member number”
    “Member number”
    “Emails have been sent to you confirming your payment and entry submission. Please download and print your invoice for your records:”
    “Whoa! That’s not ready yet – please check the highlighted fields and tabs.”

    September 2021

    New features

    • Judging fast start has been released! 🚀 Read more about this new judging configuration wizard here.  #gamechanger
    • Manage judging has been released! 🥳 This new judging dashboard offers users a bird’s eye view of all judging configurations and progress in one simple view. 
    • You can now add a shortcut to Saved views. Shortcuts are added to the top of the list view where the Saved view is applied. This is also available to judges! 
    • A Zapier integration tool is now available in-app under the Developers menu in Settings. A convenient way to find applications that can integrate with Award Force via Zapier.
    • A new login code has been added for SSO (Single sign-on) users who already have an account. They will now automatically be sent a six-digit code on first log-in rather than asked for a previous password. #simplify
    • Files can now be added to entries via drag-and-drop file upload functionality. 


    • The left-hand navigation now collapses all the options not in use for improved user experience.
    • Theme setting changes are now automatically refreshed so updates are instantly visible without having to refresh the screen or browser. 
    • We improved the colour of entry error messages under the entry form for better visibility.
    • The order of action buttons on the Manage entries view have been reordered and a new “Edit form” button has been added for improved user experience.
    • Validation has been added to user invite notifications to prevent accidental errors or deletions of the {join_link} merge field.
    • The registration validation message has been simplified to be consistent with the entry form with any error messages highlighted in red.
    • WCAG labels have been added to the Tabs page under the Entries menu. #accessibility 


    August 2021

    New features

    • A new API endpoint for fields has been added, which can now retrieve a full list of fields.  


    • The success message for inviting users has been improved for clarity. 
    • Default notifications for user registration and invitation have been created to ensure ease of registration for new users when these notifications do not exist or were previously deleted. 
    • Image size dimensions are now visible on the entry preview for program managers. 
    • Visual and accessibility improvements were made to the My entries view so that keyboard users can now copy, delete and download entries.
    • Role details have been improved in the score set settings for score sharing. Help articles have also been linked in the score set settings for further details. 
    • We improved usability of the searchable fields panel for score set settings, where a maximum of three fields can be selected. 
    • There is now an option to remove the State field from the address on the cart. Since many countries do not have states (or an equivalent), this streamlines the payment process for entrants in those countries.
    • It is now possible to hover over any judge in the panel settings and view the email address for faster identification. 

    July 2021

    New features

    • We now support multiple attachment tabs, enabling you to organise attachment tabs by category or type of attachment.  
    • Emojis are now supported 🎉 and can be added to category descriptions, content blocks, notifications, terms and interface text. For Mac users, use the shortcut Cmd+Ctrl+Space to insert emojis. For Windows users, hold the Windows key and the period or semicolon key.


    • A confirmation message is now displayed when a user makes a change to their profile or password.
    • Broadcasts now provide the option to send a copy to yourself. 
    • We updated the name of the interface text tooltips toggle for clarity.
    • User experience has improved when editing an attachments tab in configuration mode. 
    • You can now resend an email invitation to users invited to the platform who did not receive the original email.
    • When choosing a date and time for entry and judging rounds to start or end, you can now type in the date and time in addition to using the date-picker.

    June 2021

    New features

    • It’s now possible to add users via email invite. Learn how to do it. #simplify 
    • Users can now log in through Google and LinkedIn authentication. 
    • We’ve made it easier to see and edit tooltips within the platform. Go to Settings > Content > Interface text and switch on Display edit interface text tooltips.
    • New endpoints for attachments have been added to the API, which can enable entry attachments to download through the API, among other tasks.
    • We now have a native Zapier and Integromat integration to help connect more work apps to the Award Force platform.


    • When Pay to start an entry option is enabled, entrants are now redirected back to their entry after they have paid for their entry. 
    • When creating judging panels, a new message displays to let users know that only a selection of judges is shown to help in programs with large judging panels.
    • We’ve simplified the error message when an entrant submits an incomplete entry. Errors are now highlighted by tabs and fields.
    • On the category view (Settings > Entries > Categories), the category name column is now sticky, showing even on smaller screens or if the browser width is reduced.  
    • A view-only judging round has been updated to better clarify entries can only be seen and not judged in this mode. 
    • New season functionality has been improved for clarity and ease. 
    • The following accessibility improvements have been made:
      • The user’s profile at the top right has been classified as a button to help screen readers clarify its purpose.
      • The header image link back to the home page on Entries > My entries has been removed for better user experience for keyboard and tab users. 
      • Keyboard focus on the advanced search button and active menu links have been improved for visibility.  
    • All new Award Force accounts now come with a default role for a lead judge. This role has slightly higher permissions than a normal judge, allowing them to see a combined total score from all judges for each entry.
    • To improve usability, the button colours for Review flow have been updated to reflect the traffic light system. The proceed action is green and the stop action is red, helping to avoid any confusion with conflicting theme colours.

    May 2021

    New features

    • The leaderboard now shows attachment thumbnails for entries, making it easier to distinguish between entries in a list format. 
    • An API update was made to include endpoints for chapters. This means when using the Zapier app, you can now select from a drop-down of available chapters rather than copying and pasting the slug from the platform.
    • You can now set program entry prices based on the value of a field in the entry form. For example, if the entrant specifies they are a member or a student, you can specify a different price for them.


    • We added a warning message that appears when an option for an optional field is deleted. This is to let you know that some entrants may have selected the option you’re about to delete.
    • The following review flow improvements were made:
      • Previously action flow required both a proceed action button and a stop action button (e.g “submit report” and “do not submit report”). Now the stop action button can be hidden and user’s can only see the proceed action button.
      • When users click the stop action button, the fields do not have to be completed to finalise the action. We have now added an option to validate fields on the stop action so all fields must be completed before submission.
      • Review flow notifications have two new merge fields: entrant name and entrant email address.
      • Notifications now must have content in both the email and SMS body to prevent errors from missing content.
    • The following accessibility improvements were made:
      • Update to the flag selector for phone fields to make it compliant with accessibility guidelines.
      • A new black outline around any element in focus for improved keyboard navigation.
    • Payment processing fees can now be added for Alipay and iDeal payment methods.
    • Bulk resubmission is now possible. Previously, resubmission could only be triggered for one entry at a time. Now, resubmission can be triggered for up to 100 entries at once. 

      April 2021

      New features

      • A faster method for communicating with a specific panel of judges has been added to the Panels view. Simply go to Judging > Panels and then click Notify judges in the action menu (the three dots).


      • We’ve used April to make several optimisations and performance improvements around the system. Including improvements to conditional fields, our Salesforce integration, exports and search functionality. As well as a few usability and visual improvements.

      March 2021

      New features

      • The Top Pick judging mode now has a live progress bar to track picks in real-time.
      • Two new languages have been added—Danish and Norwegian, bringing our total number of supported languages to 29


      • The following API improvements were made: 
        • The filter “archived” was added as an option for the list entries endpoint.
        • When a change is made via the API, the audit log now displays the user as “API User” for easier troubleshooting.
      • We updated the country list to reflect a political change in the name for the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia.
      • The error message when an entrant attempts to submit an entry in an inactive category has been improved for clarity.
      • We added placeholder text to the password fields to make the 12-character minimum clearer.  
      • When configuring prices, only the categories associated with a selected chapter are now displayed.

      February 2021

      New features

      • We’ve added Alipay as a new payment gateway.
      • Merge fields are now available for content blocks. Available merge fields for a specific content block can be seen under the content box.


      • On the entry form editor, the ‘add’ option for chapters and categories is now positioned next to the edit option.
      • A new WCAG accessibility update was made to improve the cookies banner display for keyboard users.
      • The Broadcast email review page now displays the number of emails sent and if there were any email delivery failures.
      • There are three new interface text change options. 
      • A 20-second timer has been added to users with SSO login to help with password issues.
      • There is an updated display message to let entrants know if their internet connection was lost during file upload. 

      January 2021

      New features

      • Our video player now supports captions. We’ve added new controls that allow entrants to upload a .vtt captions file to accompany their video. Once added, these captions display when a video is played and can be seen by judges, program managers and entrants.
      • A new trigger has been added to our automatic tagging feature. The new ‘assignment completed’ trigger automatically tags an entry when a judge scores an entry and the status changes from in progress to complete. This can then be used in the panel for the next round to automatically move those entries through without having to manually tag.


      • New improvements to accessibility were made to meet WCAG standards, including:

        • Added text for screen readers for the profile icon at the top right (when the user’s name is not visible)
        • More easily identifiable buttons for screen readers
        • Labels for the pagination controls at the bottom of list views  for easier navigation 
        • Limit of one H1 tag on the home page for easier reading 
        • Labels and roles added to the searchable list box field type 
      • We updated our Google Analytics implementation from analtyics.js to gtag.js which supports the new format ID


      December 2020

      New features

      • The entry form builder has received new improvements:
        • New drop-down field format: You can now drag and drop the order of a drop-down list field. Also, the value of each list item is now locked to prevent unintended changes.
        • Category configuration: You can now add, edit and delete categories without leaving the entry form.
        • There is a new currency field type that automatically preselects local currency, adds the currency symbol and applies appropriate formatting. 
      • There are two new endpoints to the API:
        • Tag entry endpoint to enable adding and removing tags via the API.
        • Orders endpoint to provide access to any payment, billings or orders via the API.
      • The gallery score set now allows you to choose between the original masonry gallery layout (original photo proportions) or a new square layout (images cropped to a square) to display in a grid. 
      • You can now lock categories on submitted entry forms, preventing entrants from changing categories after submission.
      • Merge fields are now included in Broadcasts, allowing you to personalise your communications sent from the platform.


      • In notification and Broadcast settings, the sender address field has been replaced by a reply-to email field to improve email deliverability.
      • The one-click login message has been updated inline with the improvements to email deliverability.
      • We added new rule possibilities for checkboxes in conditional fields: “is checked” and “is not checked”. 
      • There is a new contributor field prompt that lets users know they need to create contributor fields if there are none on the entry form.
      • Several improvements have been made to comply with WCAG 2.1 guidelines, such as: 
        • There is now a hover colour on menu items that have keyboard focus and we added role=”button” to menu items that expand to assist users with screenreaders.
        • All status messages like active search filters in list views and the “Display 1 – x of x” message have been given the role of “status” to assist users with screenreaders.
        • We updated the colour of the search filters to make them more prominent.
        • In the single column view, users now have the full screen to view the entry form.
        • Popovers can now be dismissed using the escape button on the keyboard.
        • When a menu item on the left is clicked, screenreaders announce the new page and focus changes to the heading element on the new page.
      • The file type .avi is now supported for uploads in the entry form field types. 


      November 2020

      New features 

      • Categories can now be configured directly within the entry form builder. Every component of the entry form can now be created, edited and deleted from the form itself. #timesaver


      • There is now a “get file endpoint” to the API that returns file information such as size, path, extension, transcoded file links and more. Also supports video playback from videos originally hosted on Award Force.
      • There are new customisable interface text options, including:
        • The “Start entry” button text
        • Password labels 
        • The “Resubmit entry” button text 
      • There is now validation on the “Reply to” email field to ensure program managers only input an email address. 
      • We removed the second register button from the custom registration form when there are no user fields, further enhancing the usability of the registration process.


      October 2020

      New features 

      • You can now configure tab settings right from within the entry form builder! Clicking the settings icon above a tab will display a settings tray on the right-hand side of the screen that contains all tab configuration settings. 


      • We’ve added more options within the Interface text functionality. You can now:
        • Customise more text strings across your platform
        • Search for a specific string
        • Preview your changes as you make them
        • Revert changes with a Reset button
        • Get a list view displaying only modified text strings
      • You can now choose which season you want to modify in the entry form builder, including live and draft seasons.
      • The Hindi language is now available on the platform. 
      • In the voting review mode, unvoting is no longer counted in the 5 votes per 5 minutes limit.
      • Account details such as email address and password can now be changed only by the account owner.

      September 2020

      New features 

      • You can now edit form field settings without leaving the form builder. Clicking the settings icon above a field will display a settings tray on the right-hand side of the screen that now contains all field configuration settings. Categories and tabs configuration settings are next. 
      • A close button has been added to the settings menu to allow users to dismiss the menu and free up screen space.


      • When entries are locked for editing after submission, entrants are now prevented from typing anything in the fields once an entry has been submitted. 
      • Category descriptions and images are now displayed with subcategory information together, removing any need for replicating content.

      August 2020

      New features 

      • It’s now possible for program managers to legally bypass user preferences when sending notifications in compliance with GDPR. 
      • You can now sort by values of Fields added to the Manage Entries list view. #timesaver


      • Programs can now request .srt files in the Attachment tab of the application form, allowing entrants to submit captions or subtitles with any video submissions.
      • The following changes have been made to the cookie banner:
        • The footer now contains a link to activate the cookie banner, allowing users the ability to adjust their preferences at any point in time.
        • All buttons in the banner are now the same colour. No difference in priority or importance is implied.
        • Tooltips for each option in the cookie banner are now provided and allow users the ability to see further information about each option.
      • The following usability improvements have been made in judging panels:
        • Searches without results will show the message “nothing found”.
        • A small animation has been added to the judge name when you add a judge to a Panel.
      • To enhance security in your account, the required password length in user profiles has increased to 12 characters.
      • In the country field drop-down list:
        • Swaziland has been replaced by Eswatini to reflect the country’s name change.
        • West Bank and Gaza has been added.

      July 2020

      New features 

      • You can now archive Score sets, in addition to entries and entire seasons. 
      • A new settings menu is now available, with: 
        • Settings grouped by function
        • Improved visual design for easier and faster navigation, with customisable colour styling
      • The main left hand navigation menu is now collapsible, providing greater control over your workspace.
      • Your program participants can now unsubscribe from broadcasts and notifications with a single click.  
      • Galleries and public voting pages now display a drop shadow on image cards to improve the contrast between the image and background. 
      • The platform has been translated to Finnish and Lithuanian. This means Award Force is now available in 26 languages!


      • Program managers, in addition to account owners, can now generate new API keys. 
      • Users can now download single file upload files and attachment files using the new API.

      June 2020

      New features 

      • The entry form has a new flag selector and geolocation for the phone field, which prefills the matching country code for entrants. #timesaver
      • Auto-tagging is now available for program managers, allowing you to set up rules on what entries you want tagged and when. #powerfeature


      • You can now create chapters for a season even if it isn’t active (a draft season).
      • You now have two ways of reordering your fields in the entry form:
        • Through the configuration mode of the entry form builder, create and/or move fields and let the system assign your fields a new order number automatically.
        • In the Settings > Fields section, create and move fields around by assigning them an order number manually.
      • In the Score set judging view, there is now a combined status that favours entries that need attention, such as “in progress” or “to be scored”. 

      May 2020

      New features 

      • The judge’s view received several new features. Judges can now: 
        • Add, remove and rearrange columns to display what’s relevant to them
        • View weighted or unweighted scores
        • See Score sets in separate columns, better highlighting each score
      • A new feature is now available in tab settings. Program managers can now choose to show or hide that tab to entrants.


      • The validation messages on the entry form will now display in the colour specified in the theme settings for “Alert box error”. 
      • Several aesthetic improvements have been made to the form preview, applied tags, entries in the gallery and voting pages. 
      • Even more performance improvements have been made to panel management – now much faster!
      • Our new API has been released, including updates to key creation and endpoints that include entries, users and categories. Watch this space, more to come!
      • Multiple improvements have been made to the Settings > General tab: 
        • Enable social authentication for log-in and disable it for registration or,
        • Choose only social media authentication for registration 
        • You can now configure SAML alongside other authentication and registration options.
        • Aesthetic improvements have been made to panel boxes and we’ve renamed headings for ease of use.
        • Social authentication is now more flexible. You can now also:
          • Enable social authentication for log-in and disable it for registration or,
          • Choose only social media authentication for registration

      April 2020

      New features 

      • Great news! We’ve launched our new entry form builder! Featuring a new simplified interface, drag-and-drop configuration, preview functionality and granular control.
      • You can now recover access to your Award Force account with a magic one-click login. Also available on mobile.


      • We’ve added a “less than” and “greater than” rule to conditional field settings.
      • You can now adjust the terminology for “state” and “postcode” to be more relevant for your users.  
      • You can now see which chapter managers are assigned to which chapter directly within your chapter export and chapter list view at Settings > Chapters.
      • Several improvements to judging panels: 
        • When choosing judges for rounds, you can now search by name, email or role. This also allows faster load times! Timesaver!
        • You can now easily differentiate between judges with similar names: hover over the name of a judge in the list and a tooltip will display their email address.
        • The judges you have selected for a panel now appear on a list at the right of your judges list.
        • You can easily remove a judge from your selection by clicking the “x” mark near the judge’s name.

        March 2020

        New service

        • We’ve launched a new service to help support and facilitate live online judging, with multiple participants, remotely. Learn more here.

        New Features

        • Over the last few months, we have been working on an amazing new entry form builder to help make configuration even easier for program managers. The first stage of that release is now complete and you will now have access to “Configuration mode” allowing you to edit your entry form on the fly. It will be live within the next few days, more details to follow soon! Gamechanger!
        • As part of the new entry form builder: tabs will now be highlighted with validation errors to help entrants quickly find fields requiring correction. Timesaver!


        • Editing the user associated with an entry in the “Manage Entries” view has received some updates:
          • A link has been added to the entrant’s name linking to their user profile
          • Within an entry, and on-hover of the entrant name, the text has changed from “Edit user” to “Edit” to make it clear that it’s changing the entrant associated with an entry rather than editing a user profile
        • Entry forms are now automatically saved when the user clicks away from the form 
        • The cart icon is now visible only to users who can submit entries. Judges don’t need to see the cart, making their view more streamlined!
        • The judging tab has been removed from “General Settings”. This tab was redundant with the Judging menu. #simplification
        • You can now personalise the automated message entrants receive when they submit an incomplete entry form. #branding For example:

          Notification flexibility 

        • If you’ve deleted a judge from an entry, the scoring matrix of the entry view will now denote this.
        • Links can now also be provided on the attachments tab

        February 2020

        New features

        • We are focused on a fantastic new feature to help Award Force be even easier to use! It is a multi-month development and stage 1 has just gone into beta-testing. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it is released in the coming weeks. Game changer!


        • Vote processing speed has received a huge performance boost! Time-saver!
        • The Copyleaks API has received an update:
          • Featuring a new downloadable PDF scan of results
          • Large volumes are now batch processed for better performance
        • Award Force platform is now accessible for users running Internet Explorer 11 in compatibility mode.
        • The sender name and email address are now optional fields when sending broadcasts from within Award Force. This is in line with notifications and improves the deliverability of broadcasts sent from your platform. 
        • A reference to the position of an entry in Top pick judging results has been removed from the manager’s view of an entry.
        • We have further improved the compatibility of our SAML integration with different providers. 

        December 2019

        New features

        • Program managers can now permanently delete entries. While deleting entries has been available for some time, this was a soft delete and entries were retrievable. Permanently deleting entries deletes them forever. When permanently deleting entries, you can choose to retain the judging data and if you do, the entry’s score will remain on the leaderboard but the entry name will be changed to a random set of 8 characters. 


        • The  “View Judge PDF” button has been removed from the manager’s view of an entry since judges can now download entries themselves 
        • The “recalculate” button on the Leaderboard is now available to Chapter managers. 
        • URL type fields can now be selected when creating conditional fields. This means you can create a condition based on whether a URL field is completed correctly
        • Language in the Top Pick judging view has been simplified to make it even easier for judges to use. 
        • The cookie banner has received a usability improvement. Your users now have a simplified set of choices, yet still have the power to control their privacy settings. 
        • Access permissions for using Twitter to log in has been relaxed. Twitter will no longer request access to unnecessary data. 

        November 2019

        New features

        • The Ukranian language translation has been added to our platform. 
        • The bulk download button for judges is now live. With this new feature, your judges can download entries in bulk in PDF format and review them offline.


        • We’ve made further improvements to the Top pick judging mode:
          • “Assignments” is now labelled “entries” in Top pick.
          • The calculation for “total picks” has been modified to take into account cases where there are more picks allowed than entries to pick from 
        • Removed the pre-check from analytics and social sharing cookies to comply with the latest judgment from the European Court of Justice. The only cookie option now pre-checked is for necessary cookies.
        • We’ve improved multi-line text fields to include line breaks in the formatting so now, no formatting will be lost when exporting data.

        October 2019

        New features

        • Following on from the work done on the Top pick judging mode last month, we’ve added two new useful features:
          • Top pick now displays a progress bar detailing how many picks a judge has made and how many are left. Judges can now instantly see their progress through allocated entries. 
          • We’ve introduced a new toggle button to help judges toggle between all entries and their picks. Judges can use the toggle to restrict their view to just the entries they’ve selected. 
        • Public voting has also had an update! Program managers can now choose between masonry and square for layout options on the voting page. Previously the only option was masonry. The square option produces a symmetric grid of images of the same size.
        • There’s a new setting in the score set which allows program managers to set a default number of entries in the judging list view.


        • We made a small change to the eWay payment gateway to simplify the process for entrants. Previously they had to click a Finalise transaction button for the payment to generate an order and submit the user’s entry.  Entrants sometimes missed this last step which created extra work for program managers who had to track down the order manually. This step is no longer required and a successful payment will generate the order and submit the entry.

        September 2019

        New features


        • We’ve made it easier for your judges to make evaluations within the Top pick judging mode. A new feature within each entry allows your judge to hover over their previous picks, making it simple and fast to compare and change a pick, if they wish.

        • A new message appears when a user hits the voting limit (5 votes from one IP address per entry in 5 minutes). This helps to restrict spammers targeting entries on public voting.

        • Four new language translations have been added to our platform: Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish (neutral) and French (Canadian).


        • Program managers can now set the maximum number of entries shown to judges. Previously, judges could choose their preference for how many entries to display in a list, but not all judges knew the option was there. This will make it much easier and more streamlined for judges moving forward. #timesaver

        • The entry autosave now only saves when changes have been made, resulting in better application performance.

        • There have been several payment gateway improvements:

          • BluePay payment gateway users can now add a payment identifier to their account.

          • The First Data payment gateway has been updated to be compliant with the new SCA regulation.

          • The Stripe legacy payment gateway has been removed as an option in the payment settings. All clients using Stripe now need to use the more secure gateway.

        August 2019

        New features

        • Along with our new manage duplicates feature (released last month), we have now implemented additional corresponding functionality:   

          • A new option has been provided to the score set configuration to allow judges to see duplicate entries. This adds a box to the judging view to display the number and details of duplicates in the set, enabling judges to see the primary entry and any duplicates. Judges can also click into duplicates in the list to see more information.

          • Tags are now also visible on the manage duplicates list view.

          • On the manager’s view of an entry, there’s now a box listing all the associated duplicates. Program managers can use this to undo a duplicate if they were grouped together by mistake.

        • SAML (Security Markup Language) authentication is now supported for Single Sign-On (SSO).

        • Judging panel configuration now has improved filter options for entry tags. Entries can now be included in a panel as a result of having any of a selection of specified tags (existing behaviour), all of the selected tags, or none of the selected tags. 


        When making changes to settings in payments, themes, or categories, the save button will now return the user to the same screen they were viewing. #timesaver

        July 2019

        New features

        • The new manage duplicates feature is now available for pro accounts. This feature can both automatically identify duplicate entries and allow program managers to manually manage any suspected duplicates. Entries with the same or similar names in the same category will be flagged as a possible duplicate entry. The program manager will be able to:

          • See an overview of a duplicate set

          • Compare duplicate entries

          • Observe or change the primary entry

          • View confirmed duplicates in archives

          • Set entries as “Not a duplicate”

            Learn how to save time managing duplicate entries on our support site

        • There’s a new content block at the top of the user preferences tab to help communicate the importance of broadcast and notification subscription emails to your entrants. Like all content blocks, this copy is editable to fit your program needs.

          Learn more about this content block on our support site

        • Swedish is now available as a language option

        • Discount codes now have an expiry date and a new checkbox to make them active/inactive.


        • It is now impossible to create a round where the end date is before the start date to help prevent misconfiguration.  

        • When two or more score sets are active at the same time and use the same content block only one content block will now display to avoid duplicate content.

        • There is now a visual prompt for users to check their deleted list when trying to add a new user who already exists, but has been deleted.

        • It’s now possible to copy the table field type between seasons and accounts using My Award Force.

        • Resubmission edits now follow the same rule set by the “Entries locked on submission” checkbox. If this is checked, edits cannot be made after resubmission. If this is unchecked, edits can be made provided the ends date has not passed.

        • Image dimensions of file uploads are now included in the custom files export at Entries > Manage entries

        • The review/resubmission end dates have been removed from the judging and feedback round configuration options as they are only applicable in entry configuration.

        • The new user preferences content block has received a few updates.

        June 2019

        New features

        • Actions now appear in the action overflow menu to the left of all entries at manage entries, making it much faster and easier for program managers to apply actions to individual entries.


        • When a new season is created, judging and entry seed rounds are now created at the same time.

        • The audit log now includes: 

          • Price events

          • Season creation

          • Copy, update and deletion actions

        • The round configuration setting now has an Audit tab to make it easy to access the audits via the rounds.

        • When you click refresh on a page, you’ll now be taken to the same point on the page rather than the top of the page. 

        • We added currency and percentage symbols to the payment page to make it easier to view the currency.

        • Voters can now unvote from voting list view. If “Maximum votes per entry” = 1 and “Votes can be revoked by users” is true, then the vote button can be pushed once to vote and once again to remove the vote (much the same as a “Like” button on social media).

        • On round configuration for single chapter accounts, when creating a new round, the chapter selector is now hidden with default chapter preselected.

        May 2019

        New features

        • The random assignments feature is now live! We’ve made it easy for you to create new random assignments for your judges. From the assignments list view, beside the primary action for “New manual assignment”, click “New random assignment”. You can set how many assignments to create per judge or entry.

        • The assignments view report has updated fields that clarifies the role.


        • Plagiarism detection functionality has some improvements, including:

          • Plagiarism scan column is now sortable

          • Manage entries list view now has a filter for plagiarism scan status

          • Usability improvements to error handling and large volume scanning

        • Dates displayed for orders on invoices are now adjusted for the account time zone

        April 2019

        New features

        • Badges can now be optionally set to display on the My entries list view.

        • All content locations now have an in-context edit icon (Blue pencil) that quick links to edit the content block, even if there is not yet a content block defined for that location.


        • A few improvements to the Entries tab of a user screen:

          • Tags are now displayed for entries

          • Status column displays the various other statuses as in the Manage entries list view

          • Pagination controls have been added to support longer lists of entries

          • An action button at the top of the tab Open in Manage entries shortcuts to all the functionality in Manage entries.

        • The Manage entries filter now has a typeahead filter for Entrants

        • The Score set configuration loading time is now much faster

        • Time stamping on edited chapters and other resources has been improved

        March 2019

        New features

        • Bulk action buttons are now nested under one Action button on the Manage entries list view.

        • Table field export is now available! Tables are now included in the same export file as the regular Entries export, with an extra sheet for each table field.

        • Field visibility for judging has been moved to score set configuration, on the display tab.

        • The Archive feature got a batch of exciting “phase two” additions/improvements:

          • Creating manual assignments, you can now filter “Entry state” to include/exclude archived entries.

          • The Assignments list view now has an “Entry state” filter.

          • You can now Archive/Unarchive an entry from the manager’s view of the entry. Look for it under the new action button.

          • You can now bulk Archive/Unarchive entries from the leaderboard.

          • On the Manage reviews list view, any archived entries are identified with the Archive icon.

          • On the Review entries list view, archived entries are excluded from display.

          • For review tasks, archived entries cannot be viewed/reviewed (same treatment as deleted entries).


        • Top pick on mobile has been improved to use the same colour palette for buttons as desktop.

        • On the Top pick judging progress list view, the “Total” count column has been renamed to “Total assignments” for clarity. Also, a new “Preferences allowed” count column has been introduced.

        • All entry related notifications can now be sent to an email address specified in the entry (previously only the “Entry submitted” notification could do this).

        • Awards (badges + certificates) are now copied with a copy of a season.

        • Content blocks for judging can now be made for specific score sets to provide instruction and content for any mode. They can be configured and displayed in Judging > Score sets > Score set > Display tab).

        • AddThis profile ID config on Settings > General > Social is now validated to check that it follows the expected ID format.

        • The broadcast limit has been raised to 5,000 to allow more communications from the dashboard.

        • Payment configurations have received several improvements:

          • Currency selections now persist when toggling payments on/off.

          • Error messages help notify you if currency is missing.

          • The currencies configuration list view is now consistent with Taxes and Prices.

          • Currency list now includes ISO three-letter currency codes.

        • It’s now impossible to delete the default currency.

        February 2019

        New features

        • The new plagiarism detection feature is now available.

        • Bulk untag of entries is now also available from the Manage entries view.


        • On the manager’s view of an entry, the Moderation and Tagging controls now use better technology, a save button is no longer needed here. We’ll do that automatically for you.

        • Attachment settings (quantity, size and type limits) have been moved from Settings > General > Attachments, to the more logical location of Settings > Tabs and visible when creating an attachments tab.

        • The Quick manager bar, moderation + tagging controls and the comment control have received aesthetic upgrades.

        • Images larger than 500MB cannot be resized (they can be uploaded/downloaded though), resulting in a broken icon for these thumbnails. We now replace that with a generic document upload icon.

        • Grammar has been improved on Voting rules displayed on the voting view.

        • New notifications now default to active.

        • Registration / log in validation of system fields has now been localised to reflect your language preference.

        • For qualifying score sets supporting unsure decisions, the Unsure button now changes to amber when selected, to improve visibility of the selected state.

        • When creating manual assignments, there is now a count next to each judge’s name to show how many assignments they have allocated to them. Clicking the count displays a modal window with a list of their assignments.

        January 2019

        New features

        • Teaser alert! We are working on a new plagiarism detection feature! Soon to be released.

        • You can now copy a judging panel

        • Greek is now available as a language option

        • iDEAL payment method option for Stripe gateway users

        • Introducing “The Quick Manager” on manager’s preview of an entry


        • {parent_category} merge field introduced on notifications.

        • The assignments list view has received an upgrade with various improvements:

          • Entry tags are now displayed, and you can filter assignments by entry tag.

          • Bulk action controls were added to add / remove tags from the entry associated with the selected assignments.

          • Bulk action controls were added to recuse / remove recusal of judge associated with the selected assignments.

        • Payment status (displayed on My entries and Manage entries) now links to either the associated invoice, or to the cart, depending on status.

        • A feedback round can now be set to display total/overall scores only

        • Manage entries now has a Submitted date/time column option.

        • Leaderboard now has Created, Updated and Submitted date/time column options.

        • Leaderboard now has an ID column option for exports to have a concatenated local ID and category short code in one column.

        • Improved communication for users who already have an Award Force account.

        • Field and tab order numbers are now automatic.

        • The score set configuration received a clean-up. Now clearer + more readable.

        • Prices can now be copied, including variants on the price.

        November 2018

        New features

        • From within Award Force, users with membership to two or more accounts on Award Force now have a link to My Award Force (from the user menu, top right), where you can switch between all your accounts. You can also access My Award Force from this website by clicking “Log in” in the menu.

        • Program managers can copy entries between accounts from within My Award Force.

        • A new implementation of our payment gateway integration with Stripe, supporting Stripe’s preferred/current integration method has been completed. The existing Stripe integration remains appended with “(Legacy)” in payment gateway settings.

        • Entries can now be individually archived, in bulk. Archived entries are safely retained, but locked and hidden away from your main working areas.

        • The “Entry name” field label can now be specified per category.


        • Discount codes can now be configured to limit their usage. Limit usage by number of uses or maximum uses per user.

        • Our API “Entry” end-point now includes attachment field information, along with attachments information.

        • Improved performance when copying multiple entries with large attachments.

        • The new “Entries by category” report now has an Excel/CSV export option.

        • For VIP judging score sets, the judge’s own summary in their “list view” now shows the mean score, when that is the selected option for a score set.

        October 2018

        New features

        • Report functionality is here. The first report “Entries by category” has recently been released, and is accessed from the Dashboard. Look for the Full report link at the bottom of the entries by category widget.  

        • Settings events are now being recorded to the audit log.  E.g. when updating general settings, payments settings or theme settings, these events are now visible in the audit log.

        • New interface text override option for “My entries: No entries”. Use this text override if you’d like to change the default message when a user has no entries.

        • Two new professional language translations are now available: Polish and Czech


        • With category export, you can now include the description as an optional column.

        September 2018

        New features

        • New white-label domain option has been added for scholarships.

        • You can now export the Audit log, and customise that export.

        • Under GDPR, data subjects have the right to request all of data held on/about them, and in a format that could be transferred to other software/systems— we now have a tool in place for users to be able to request this directly themselves (saving you a lot of manual effort) from within their user profile and then download a securely encrypted Zip file package of all their data.


        • Performance improvement for panel configurations.

        • Improved protection and optimisation to deal with automated (bot) traffic.

        • Some dashboard widgets are now cached, to improve dashboard/application load speed.

        • The export configurator control for selecting columns to include in exports now have controls to “Clear all” and “Add all” columns, with one click.

        • Subscription and cookie consent preferences are now available as optional columns on the users list view and users export.

        • The Award Force interface has received a few subtle yet impressive improvements:

          • Checkbox and radio button styling

          • Slightly darker text has been implemented system-wide for improved legibility

          • Action button improvements

          • Typography refinements

          • General UI improvements

        • The Audit log has received several new improvements:

          • New search UI

          • Columns can now be arranged and that configuration can be saved

          • Over 10 new resource events are now logged, including fund events, role events and chapter events.

          • Export log event history

        August 2018

        New features

        • Award Force’s very own advanced bot detection + blocking has just been released.
        • A new content block for use with pre-paid entries is now available.
        • Teaser alert! We have undertaken a new and exciting project which will add even more to the incredible value offered by Award Force. Is it your Award Force or “My Award Force”? Keep watching this space!


        • Table field type aesthetic improvements.
        • In judging views, file upload fields now have a direct download link.
        • In a judging view, using the slider for scoring now includes a numeric indicator for even better scoring accuracy.
        • Review exports now include the review URL, allowing you to send emails to reviewers outside of Award Force.

        July 2018 release update

        New features

        • Users can now provide cookie consent for necessary cookies, cookies used for analytics and cookies used for marketing, in line with GDPR requirements.

        In the last month, the Engineering team has been working on some major new feature development. So not much new has been released, but some exciting developments are on the way in the coming months— watch this space!


        • PDF theming improvements
        • We now support another payment gateway in First Data.
        • Table field type layout improvements
        • Email formatting has improved

        May 2018 release update

        New features

        • Our new table field type has been completed
        • You can now configure your Award Force platform to request your users to consent to:
          • Your privacy policy
          • Cookies
          • Broadcasts and notifications
        • A preference center has been created for users to individually edit their consent preferences from within their Award Force accountImprovements
        • The user record now includes all agreements the user has consented to
        • You can now filter by tags when creating manual assignments

        April 2018 release update

        New features

        • In the assignments list view, you can now filter by panel
        • Leaderboard now has configurable columns and exports


        • Improved sort functionality behaviour in exports
        • New Hebrew language translation
        • Media links in PDFs are now persistent
        • Rejected entries are now excluded from manual assignments
        • Improved layout for PDFs, including option to include tabs as page dividers
        • Notifications are now seasonal

        March 2018 release update

        New features

        • Improvements for PCI-DSS compliance.
        • The leaderboard has been updated to allow for sorting, filtering and export of data, including chapters and categories. 
        • You can now export a catalogue of all uploaded files found in the manage entries list view.


        • UI improvements for better handling of languages.
        • Content blocks are now sorted by default and sortable in ascending or descending order. 
        • Notifications can now be sent by SMS, even if email is available.
        • All translations have been updated.

        February 2018 release update

        New features

        • Discount codes can now be assigned to specific categories or all categories.

        • You can now add a purchase order number (PO) and edit the billing address on an invoice.

        • New features to enhance the management of table views found in Award Force (E.g. Scoring criteria or Judging progress):

          • Sort more columns than ever before

          • Arrange columns by drag and drop

          • Add or remove columns from a table

          • Save new created table layouts (views) with a combination of column arrangement, columns in view and any specific filters applied to the table.

          • Share newly created views with your team.

        • Customized exports are now available:

          • Add/remove columns from any export

          • Define column order in the export

          • Save and share the export configuration with your team.

        • Hebrew has been added as a language translation.


        • Tables are now fully responsive.
        • Performance update completed for the “My entries” section. 
        • Clicking on links in Award Force now opens a new tab instead of in the same window. 

        January 2018 release update

        New features

        • Four new language translations have been added. Simplified Chinese, Russian, Korean and Japanese. 

        • An improved CAPTCHA service called “FunCaptcha” has been added to protect registration from bots. Unlike Google’s reCaptcha used previously, FunCaptcha works in China. And it’s more fun!

        • Prepaid entries are now enabled, allowing programs to request payment before the entry process.

        • New API endpoints for orders and order items are available. For more on our API see here.

        • Orders are now searchable. Search by order number, transaction ID, username or user email address. 

        • Two new “order” related widgets can be found on your dashboard alongside “data volume”. One deals with the total submitted cart orders value and the other deals with an estimation of cart orders based on entries in progress.

        • We now give you the option to collect billing details if an entry invoice amounts to $0.


        • Changes to the “File upload” field data in the entries export:
          Entries export used to list an ID for an attachment uploaded to file upload (single) fields. Now, we list the original name of the file that was uploaded making it easier to identify a file itemised in the export. Handy if you want to add files to your CRM. 
        • Search and filtering on archived seasons is now much faster and will result in fewer timeouts.

        November 2017 release update

        New features

        • We now have a Drupal module which allows your logged in users to access Award Force without logging in. 

        • Major upgrade coming: Column views within Award Force and exported data will now be configurable! Significant multi-month work has gone into this feature and will be releasing over December.


        • User resource fields have been updated to control read/write permissions by role.
        • Integration with Salesforce is now more powerful – select any objects made available through the Salesforce API.

        September 2017 release update


        • Badges (e.g. in Galleries) can now be controlled seasonally

        • Support for local and international date formats and date formatting in exports is now improved

        • Mean scores added on the feedback view

        • Bulk downloads now include category short code in the folder name

        • We now prevent removal of judge feature roles when judging assignments are present

        • Broadcasts can now be sent from the Manage reviews page

        • Control the order of judging modes in the menu, via score set

        • Optimisations to the queue pipeline

        • More helpful login failure message

        • Category quick filter option now available

        August 2017 release update

        New features

        • Mercanet (BNP Paribas) payment gateway can now be used for payments

        • Volume entry pricing can now be controlled “By category”

        • Campaign object on Salesforce integrations has been added


        • Use invoice numbers to search orders

        • Category dashboard widget now excludes parent categories

        • Maximum attachments per entry are now capped at 100, previously these were unset

        • French language translations have been updated


        • Chapters being locked after season copy has been solved

        • Conflict of interest comments not shown in exports has been resolved

        • Bulk role assignment on users performance improved

        July 2017 release update

        New features

        • Slovenian is now available as a language option

        • Multi-factor authentication to improve the security of accounts is complete

        • Seasonal entry review filter enabled

        • Export for judging assignments view is available for use

        • Ability to send contributors to Salesforce


        • The columns in the scoring criteria list view are updated

        • Now add a category name to the individual scores export

        • Galleries now show instantly in the menu when created or updated

        • Optimised bulk role assignment


        • Removed the bug causing the divide by zero error in top pick judging mode

        • The top pick export has been resolved

        June 2017 release update

        New features

        • Award Force integrated with Salesforce allowing data to be passed between the two systems

        • Judging assignments can be viewed, searched and filtered in a report

        • Additional white-label domains ( and are now supported

        • Facility to (optionally) lock completed assignments and avoid inadvertent changes

        • Export individual scores

        • “Badge” award feature is now complete and ready for use


        • Broadcasts can now be sent from the judging assignments view

        • Various permissions adjustments

        • Scoring criteria refinements and new options

        • Autocomplete performance has improved markedly

        • Empty or hidden fields are now not considered for scoring

        • Language translation updates


        • Panels and abstentions missing from Progress view has been recitified

        • An error saving interface text has been resolved

        • Fonts now appear as selected in PDF’s

        May 2017 release update

        New features

        • Orders can now be soft-deleted

        • Additional PDF’s

          • Packing slip PDF

          • VIP Judging PDF for scoring


        • Copied video files no longer have any missing transcoded file parts

        • More optimisations to assignments


        • A large number of minor bug fixes have been resolved and to date, no bugs are outstanding

        April 2017 release update

        New features

        • Entry preview

        • Payments season toggle/switch

        • Indicate entries that are in the cart

        • Category division filter on manager entries view


        • Default role applied on login if user has no roles

        • Additional option for related entries in paid accounts

        • Tracking of video viewing minutes complete

        • Queue performance and infrastructure improvements

        • Mobile responsive view improvements

        • Category count for fields updates based on filter


        • Default home logo missing from new accounts

        • Role assignment fixes

        • Facebook registration fix

        March 2017 release update

        New features

        • Control the judging slideshow per entry

        • Default chapter is locked to prevent mistaken deletion

        • Feedback comments are now available from all judging modes

        • Export for VIP judging summary

        • Thumbnail gallery option is now available for file fields on an entry


        • A few UI updates and tweaks

        • Judge settings moved to score set

        • Role assignment improvements

        • Additional discount functionality for discounting entire cart (not just individual items)

        • Automatic assignments have received a number of optimisations


        • Small bug in the cart has been rectified

        February 2017 release update

        New features

        • Export for fund allocations

        • Account setup guides added for entry and judging

        • Cybersource has been added to our ever growing list of supported payment gateways


        • All exported PDFs now include the Account name, Season, Chapter and Code

        • Video links have been added to slideshow

        • You can now reset a guide with the “reset guide” control


        • TIFF files will now generate a thumbnail on the entry list view

        • AAC audio format now plays in the audio player

        • Related entries check for pricing rule was not seasonal

        Search our blog


        Follow our blog!