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BII NITAs 2018 Winners!

We couldn't be happier for our fantastic winners from last night. We are so proud of the incredible talent in our industry and hope that you all enjoyed celebrating with us.

We're delighted to unveil the 7 overall category winners of the 2018 National Innovation in Training Awards, which celebrate the very best in training excellence and innovation within the licensed industry.

Hosted again this year at the iconic Café de Paris in London’s West End, the finalists joined top operators and respected industry professionals from across the sector to hear who had won the coveted top spots in each category.

The range of NITA award categories are designed to showcase both individuals and businesses operating in today’s licensed retail sector who demonstrate that they are truly putting their people first, with innovative training programmes that encourage long-term careers in the sector. 

The judging process is the most rigorous of its kind, and following an extremely high standard of written entries received by the BII this year, all finalists, with the exception of Licensee Trainer entrants who were visited in their pubs, attended an assessment day. Here, they were asked to present in person to a panel of independent industry professionals and sponsors, followed by an in-depth interview.

Our CEO Mike Clist said: “The NITAs are a celebration of the most successful individuals and businesses in the licensed retail market today.  Our finalists have shown that they value, support and champion their people by continuing to invest in and develop their training programmes. Now, more than ever, it's vital that we recognise, reward and share their successes so that we can encourage further innovation in our fantastic industry for years to come. Congratulations to all our winners.”

The worthy winners in each category are listed below:



Best Training Programme - Leased & Tenanted Companies - Sponsored by Yapster

Charles Wells


Best Managed Training Programme – Companies under 50 outlets - Sponsored by Greene King

Coaching Inn Group


Best Managed Training Programme – Companies over 50 outlets - Sponsored by CPL Training



Best Apprenticeship Training Programme - Sponsored by HIT Training

Mitchells and Butlers


Best Casual Dining Training Programme - Sponsored by HARRI

Oakman Inns & Restaurants Ltd


Professional Trainer of the Year - Sponsored by BIIAB

Gary Richmond - Culinary Learning & Development Manager - Mitchells and Butlers


Licensee Trainer of the Year - Sponsored by Admiral Taverns

Kate Ross - The Turk's Head


Finally, there was our very special award presented on the evening:

Franca Knowles Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Sky

This award was chosen by a panel, led by Keith Knowles, CEO and founder of Beds & Bars.  It identified and recognised an individual working within the on-licensed retail sector who leads by example and demonstrates training and people are at the core of what they do.


Winner: Tim Martin - Founder - JD Wetherspoons