Information Services

Edinburgh Award Case Study

Edinburgh Award SharePoint Project Summer 2020

View of Edinburgh Castle

In this case study, the SharePoint Solutions Service team share an insight into delivering a solution that required a quick turnaround - given the first COVID-19 UK lockdown in 2020 - for staff based in the Careers Service who coordinate the Edinburgh Award across the institution.


A ‘virtual award ceremony’ solution was required to replace the in-person Edinburgh Awards ceremony, providing a way to present students with their certificates from the University during lockdown.

The Edinburgh Award is a programme that students can undertake alongside a particular activity such as work experience, volunteering, and getting involved with the University community. The Award aims to officially recognise student involvement in these activities, helping them get the most out of their experiences, and enhancing student employability as graduates.

Using Microsoft Power Automate through SharePoint Online, a total of 1,223 Edinburgh Award certificates were automatically generated and emailed to this years’ recipients. The process undertaken enabled users to upload data before initiating a workflow with a simple click of a button. A template was then populated before the generation of a digital award that was then automatically emailed out.

Ahead of kicking off the project, the Edinburgh Award team sent an initial request to IS Helpline requesting support. The request was passed on to the SharePoint Solutions Service Team Manager, who promptly responded with multiple suggestions and an invite for a call to discuss.

“We were really impressed with the level of support we received from the SharePoint Solutions Team. Communication throughout the process was clear and prompt and ultimately we were able to provide students with an alternative form of recognition in an efficient and effective manner.”

Kirsty Stewart, Edinburgh Award Coordinator.

The Edinburgh Awards team reported that they were really happy with the clarity of communication, and found the technical discussion easy to understand from an end-user’s point of view. They had great feedback on the level of training received via screenshare and found the support provided to be very effective. In turn, they provided the SharePoint Solutions Service Team with invaluable feedback, as this type of project using Microsoft Power Automate through SharePoint Online was a first for the developers.

While the initial ‘virtual award ceremony’ took place in June 2020, the solution provided proved to be successful again in September 2020, when a further 249 Edinburgh Award certificates were automatically generated and distributed.

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