NLPES Certificates of Impact


2021 Selection Criteria and Submission Instructions

NLPES Certificates of Impact are presented to legislative offices that issued evaluations or audit reports, during calendar year 2018, 2019, or 2020, that resulted in documented public policy changes, program improvements, dollar savings or other public impacts. There is no limit on the number of offices that can receive Certificates of Impact. If no office meets the criteria for the award, none will be awarded. Each office may submit only one evaluation or audit report for consideration per award year. An evaluation or audit report that previously received a Certificate of Impact is not eligible to receive a future Certificate of Impact. 

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants must document that the audit or evaluation report submitted meets at least two of the following criteria:

1. Dollar savings from implementing evaluation or audit recommendations. This includes documented one-time or recurring savings resulting from implementation of the evaluation’s or audit's recommendations. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that the recommendations were implemented and dollar savings resulted. It is not sufficient to simply list the expected savings from implementing recommendations.

2. Program improvements as a result of implementing evaluation or audit recommendations. These are improvements to the evaluated or audited organization made as a result of implementing the evaluation's or audit's recommendations. Program improvements could be documented through various methods including:

  • Evidence of changes in the agency's structure, training, procedures, etc. provided through agency status reports or follow-up audit or evaluation work.
  • Improvements in an agency's outcomes, as determined by reasonable outcome measures or follow-up audit or evaluation work.

3. Impacts from the legislature's perspective. These are documented actions taken by the legislature as a result of the evaluation or audit. Legislative impacts could be documented through various methods including:

  • Changes in statute (please indicate specific statute changes and reference the applicable recommendations or section in the report that prompted the change).
  • Decreased or increased funding for the program or agency as a result of the evaluation or audit.
  • Requests for presentations about the evaluation or audit to a legislative committee(s) other than a legislative committee that governs or oversees your office.

4. Impacts from the public perspective. These are documented results of the evaluation or audit on the public. Public impacts could be documented through various methods including:

  • Media attention specific to the evaluation's or audit's impact, such as editorials, articles, or news stories calling for change or highlighting the effects of the evaluation or audit on the public. Media coverage that simply discusses the report is not sufficient.
  • Advocacy and special interest group responses.

5. Impacts from other organizations' perspectives. These are documented impacts of the evaluation or audit on similar organizations. Other organization impacts could be documented through various methods including:

  • Evidence showing that the evaluation or audit methodology has been copied by evaluators or auditors in other organizations.
  • Documentation that the evaluation or audit work is being used to improve the operations of other organizations.

Submission Instructions

Submission packets for the Certificate of Impact must include the following:

  • A completed Certificate of Impact submission form. A PDF version of the 2021 submission form is available here. Contact Brenda Erickson to request the submission form in MsWord format.
  • A copy of the nominated evaluation or audit report.
  • A one paragraph summary/abstract of the nominated report.
  • A narrative of no more than two pages describing how the evaluation or audit has met at least two of the selection criteria.
  • Documentation of the evaluation or audit report's impact described in the narrative. Documentation too large to email (e.g., video of a news report) should be discussed with the lead judge to determine a suitable method for submission.

Note: Submissions involving contracted work must demonstrate that office staff were integrally involved in all aspects of the evaluation or audit.

Email your submission to each of the judges listed below by the May 7, 2021 submission deadline. Applicants are responsible for submitting all documentation and materials to be considered by the submission deadline. Judges will not follow up with applicants to obtain additional materials nor will additional materials be considered after the submission deadline. Please ensure that your submission packet meets all criteria. Applicants are encouraged to confirm with each judge via a separate email that their submission was received.


The NLPES Awards Subcommittee selects a panel of two or three judges to review award submissions packets. The judges for the 2021 Certificates of Impact are shown below. 

If you have any questions about the Certificates of Impact award process, contact the NLPES Awards Subcommittee chair:

Mary Jo Koschay
(517) 940-6402