Assessment of participating towns is carried out by an independent panel of adjudicators appointed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and takes place during the months of June, July and August each year. This assessment is conducted in secret and on unspecified dates.
Each entrant is assessed under eight criteria with a total of 450 marks available as follows -
Community Involvement & Planning (60 marks)
Built Environment & Streetscape (50 marks)
Landscaping & Open Spaces (50 marks)
Wildlife, Habitats & Natural Amenities (50 marks)
Tidiness & Litter Control (90 marks)
Sustainable Waste & Resource Management (50 marks)
Residential Streets & Housing Areas (50 marks)
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes (50 marks).
These criteria are applied to the physical environment of the area having regard to materials furnished by the entrant, which can, among other things, include a map, plans and photographs etc.
Participants can specify sub-areas of special interest for adjudicators to look at, but full adjudication covers the whole area and approach roads. This is normally defined as within the welcome signs to an area or, where none exist, within the relevant low-speed limit signs. In more rural or urban areas, where boundaries may not be clear, the minimum adjudication area is approximately one kilometre in all directions from the centre of the area as local geography and adjoining areas permit.
As a result of this assessment a number of entrants are identified as potential candidates for winning the overall title and are subject to not less than one more detailed assessment. Decisions on winners are made by the full panel of adjudicators.