Ergo Cup® Internal Competition

Key Activities and Timelines

The following activities and timelines are suggested as a starting point for companies organizing an internal competition and/or preparing for the Ergo Cup® competition, sponsored by the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina and Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

May: Obtain approval and funding for the winning team(s) to travel to and attend the Applied Ergonomics Conference
Funding should include travel costs and registration fees to attend the Applied Ergonomics Conference, costs associated with creating and shipping a display booth, and in some cases, the expense for time spent preparing for and participating in the Ergo Cup competition. Finalists receive a discount on the conference registration.

May: Establish a judging procedure for scoring entities and selecting winners
Since the winning team will represent the company in the Applied Ergonomics Ergo Cup competition, it is recommended that you use the same evaluation criteria for your Applied Ergonomics internal competition outlines for the Ergo Cup competition. It is beneficial to provide the judges with a summary sheet that allows them to assign scores to each team based on the evaluation criteria. Include one or tow rounds of scoring. Two rounds are appropriate if there are a large number of entries as it allows you to have teams of two judges score the initial round. In either case, best practices are to have all participating judges score the final round of submissions.

May: Establish company procedure for documenting successful projects and submitting them to the Applied Ergonomics internal competition
Implement an electronic submission process, complimented when possible, by virtual or in-person team presentations. Be sure to describe the judging process and highlight key dates. the main advantage of an electronic submission process is that geography will not be a barrier. It is highly advised that you provide a template and clear instructions on the type and amount of information required. Team presentations offer the advantage of question-and-answer sessions with the judges. It is highly recommended that you provide an outline for the teams to follow. 

July: Send out first announcement
The internal competition announcement should clearly state the purpose of the competition, roles and responsibilities, and key dates. Document the process for your internal Applied Ergonomics competition using company-accepted practices (charter, SOP, etc.).

This early announcement is important in order to provide teams ample time to gather and package the necessary information to complete their submission. This will include information on the ergonomics issue that was addressed, the steps taken to address it, and the outcomes of the project. The most difficult parts can be finding appropriate visuals to illustrate before and after situations and tracking the metrics that fully explain the impact.

August: Send out follow-up announcement
Follow up with a second announcement about the internal Applied Ergonomics competition.

September: Recruit judges
Judges should be selected based on a commitment to the time required to participate fully and maintain unbiased participation. There are several benefits to engaging upper management as judges: the personal recognition received by the competing teams will be enhanced if voiced by company leadership; and your leadership’s perceived value for ergonomics will be enhanced by first-hand knowledge of the ergonomics impact being achieved in your company.

September: Send out final reminder Send a final follow-up reminder regarding the internal Ergo Cup® competition.

September: Submit required information per company procedure
All teams must complete the ergo cup submission process per your established procedure. If your company procedure includes team presentations, the team presentations must also be scheduled and completed.

October: Review and score submissions
Judges should complete their assignments according to the process established. Clearly communicate deadlines to the judges and provide a simple way for them to communicate their scoring.

October: Tally scores and announce outcome
Best practices include having a documented method that ensures accurate outcomes from the scoring. The announcement of winner(s) is an opportunity to recognize all participants and the impact that ergonomics is making in your company. Recognize the top entries and share the ergonomics impact of all teams who competed.

October: Submit the application for the Ergo Cup Competition
Submit the application for the Ergo Cup Competition for the top projects from your internal Ergo Cup competition. The Ergo Cup applications must be submitted on or before Oct. 28.

February: Register ergo cup team members for the Applied Ergonomics Conference and send recorded presentation and supporting information
Teams that are selected as finalists and invited to attend and present a booth at the Applied Ergonomics Conference 2023 will be notified by Dec. 9, 2022. Each team must send at least two team members to the 2023 conference. Ergo Cup Team Member registration deadline is Feb. 17, 2023.

Each AEC Ergo Cup finalist is asked to submit a brochure/handout and a video of their ergonomics initiative as part of their participation in the AEC Ergo Cup Competition. Both the handout and the Ergo Cup video footage must be submitted on or before Feb. 25, 2023. Information explaining the process for submitting these materials will be provided to all finalists.

February: Prepare for the Ergo Cup competition
A wide variety of approaches have been used in the past to communicate success of Ergo Cup teams, including simple hands-on demonstrations, video displays, and computer simulations. Below is advice for preparing your Ergo Cup booth:

  • Prepared team members. Prepare and practice a speech so all team members can communicate the activities and impact of your submission in one to two minutes.
  • Clear display. Make sure that your booth provides the information required for conference participants and judges to score your entry appropriately.
  • Concise handout. A one-page handout that summarizes the activities and impact your project has had in past competitions.
  • Give-a-ways. You may give away trinkets or other items, but you cannot conduct a drawing. This will disqualify your team. 

February: Conference registration deadline
A reduced conference registration rate is available for Ergo Cup® finalists.

March 27–30, 2023: Attend the 26th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference
Although each Ergo Cup finalist team is required to send a minimum of 2 team members, you may send the entire team! A discounted registration fee is extended to Ergo Cup team members.