Effectiveness Accreditation

An IPA endorsement that your agency culture is dedicated to business effectiveness.

The IPA Effectiveness Accreditation is an endorsement that your agency culture is dedicated to business effectiveness. It can turn what you already do into a competitive advantage for attracting clients and talent.

All you need to know

    Key Dates

    Accreditation will be assessed every two years starting 2021, and the accreditation will last for two years.

    • 11 March 2021 – Launch of online submission form
    • 26 May 2021 – Deadline to submit for accreditation
    • September 2021 – Announcement of accredited agencies 

    Applying for your Effectiveness Accreditation

    Who can apply?

    The IPA Effectiveness Accreditation is available to all IPA member agencies regardless of discipline or size.

    Why apply?

    We believe that some of the benefits of obtaining accreditation are as follows:

    • It creates a measure of distinction for your agency, where distinctiveness is sometimes difficult.
    • It provides validation of your processes and culture.
    • It helps agencies to position themselves as true business growth partners to clients, and could potentially influence a brand into sharing data with your agency in the interest of effectiveness.
    • It can help clients justify their choice of agency, the working processes and, potentially, the work itself to their organisation.
    • It helps the industry to create a culture in which effectiveness is not only a goal, but, in time, a basic requirement, an expectation between brand marketers and agencies.

    Is there a fee?

    No, the accreditation is offered free of charge to all IPA member agencies.

    Online Submission Form

    The online submission, launching online in March 2021, will be comprised of two parts: an essay and a video submission. These should detail the organisation’s philosophy and approach to effectiveness, and demonstrate why it’s important to their business.

    Part One

    A written description of 1500-2000 words, explaining the agency’s philosophy and approach to effectiveness and why it’s important to your business.

    We are flexible about the format of the description, but here are some questions to get your started:

    • What does effectiveness mean to your organisation?
    • What difference does it make to your relationship with clients – to the fundamentals of how you work?
    • How do you embed it in your culture?
    • How do you use it in new business?
    • How are the principles of effectiveness used in briefing, planning, creative development? How do you ensure consistency? Even if some of your recommendations are not in the end adopted by clients, the process and presentation of the principles are a crucial to the submission.
    • What obstacles have been encountered along the way and how have they been overcome?
    • Is there an approach, promotional tool, platform, dataset or process you have developed to help bake in effectiveness into the culture of the agency? How is it working?
    • What difference is a focus on effectiveness making to client/agency relationships? And, of course, what difference is it having on the commercial success of your clients’ businesses?
    • Consider the level of the agency’s financial literacy. Those in direct contact with marketers as well as planners and insight teams, would be important to understand. How has it enabled the delivery of commercial objectives set by clients?
    • What difference will this Accreditation make to your business?

    The content from this section will be confidential. Agencies will also be allowed to attach an Appendix, which will not be included in the word count.

    Part Two

    A video submission (up to 3 minutes) which demonstrates your agency’s attitude to effectiveness and its impact.

    Here we are looking for you to bring to life your effectiveness culture – a way of showing your effectiveness culture in action. You may consider including your clients, who may be able to help demonstrate that effectiveness is on your agenda day to day, and/or show how you engage, and educate colleagues and new recruits. It is an opportunity to demonstrate a different narrative of your culture and how the focus on business results is managed and celebrated.

    It is our intention to showcase an edited version of a number of these videos at IPA events and promotional platforms going forward. However, we will, of course, ask permission before using them.

    Short questionnaire separate to the assessment

    In addition to the submission above, all agencies will be required to complete a short questionnaire separate to the assessment, which will not be judged and will be anonymous. The objective of these is to provide an industry benchmark on effectiveness culture and practice and to understand which tools, platforms, research and education resources are most helpful to its members. Details of this questionnaire will be communicated to agencies once they have submitted their application.

    Assessment of your Submissions

    Who will assess applications?

    Leading brand owners, academics or authors, and renowned effectiveness specialists will be invited to assess the submissions. None of the assessment panel will work for an existing IPA member agency. Details of the assessment panel will be announced soon.

    How will they assess submissions?

    Details of judging criteria will be announced on this page soon.

    If a submission is considered by the Assessment Panel to achieve a proficient vision of effectiveness and demonstrate and evidence a consistent capability to deliver it, the agency will be given Accreditation.

    The Assessment Panel will also award a higher level of “Outstanding” for submissions that reflect advanced standards of performance, evidence, consistency and proven capability throughout the organisation.

    What happens if my agency is successful?

    Your agency will receive an effectiveness kite-mark and certificate to use in communications. The selection of accredited agencies will be celebrated by the IPA in press and online.

    Once achieved, the Accreditation will last for 2 years. Agencies will then have to resubmit to regain their status.


    Please get in touch, if you need any help or more info.

    Kay Heenan

    Marketing Manager, Effectiveness

    Office Number

    0207 201 8266

    Last updated 24 February 2021