This award recognizes the role a Section plays in advancing analytical excellence in the areas of food safety, food integrity, and public health, by bringing together members, organizations, and experts dedicated to developing and validating standards, methods, and technologies that are of relevance in the region and thereby help to achieve the vision, mission, and goals of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. This award is given on an annual basis.

Selection Criteria

An active AOAC Section may be considered for this award based on criteria in one of the following four areas: Section activities, communication, recruitment and engagement, and community service.


The application may include a series of exceptional activities throughout the year or a single major activity. Sections must provide a description of each activity, including how many people participated, how it was funded, and what made it a success. Examples of such activities include:

  • Network/collaboration with the national/regional regulatory authorities, and how the Section had supported them in relation to AOAC’s scope.
  • Notable activities/events (e.g., webinars, training, learning resources, etc.), which contributed to achieve the vision, mission and goals of AOAC INTERNATIONAL.
  • Section initiated or conducted any standard development activities contributing to the Official Methods program.


The Section may provide a description of a successful communications plan or vehicle used to communicate with its members. Examples of these vehicles may include websites, newsletters, or electronic mailing list. The Section should describe their communication process/vehicle, the goal (i.e., fostering member engagement and facilitating marketing), and list the results of these efforts.

Recruitment and Engagement

The Section might have implemented a membership recruitment and retention program for its members and/or AOAC INTERNATIONAL members. The Section should describe the program, elements of the program, and results.

Community Service

Describe how the Section has made contributions to its communities through one major service project or a series of smaller projects.

Selection Panel

The Selection Panel includes a past member of the Committee on Sections, an AOAC Board Member, an AOAC Past President, and two volunteer members of AOAC with section expertise. The Executive Director of AOAC INTERNATIONAL shall assign a member of the staff to serve as staff liaison.

Selection Process

  • All AOAC Sections are eligible for this award.
  • Members may nominate a section by Friday, March 29, 2024. Sections may nominate themselves by Monday, April 15, 2024.
  • When a nomination form is received by AOAC, staff will forward an application to the nominated Section Leadership to complete it based on the award selection criteria and return the application and all supporting documents to the AOAC office by Monday, April 29, 2024.
  • AOAC will forward all applications to the Selection Panel.
  • The selection process should be completed by Friday, May 31, 2024.
  • AOAC will use an established point system to rank the four areas of the Selection Criteria:
    • Section Activities
    • Section’s Communication Channels
    • Section Recruitment
    • Community Service
  • The final selection will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for approval in June 2024.

Nominate or Apply for the Award

Award Details

  1. The award will be conferred to the entire Section.
  2. A plaque in recognition of the Section’s achievement will be presented during the AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition Awards Ceremony
  3. The Section’s achievement will be promoted at the AOAC Annual Meeting, during the Committee on Sections Meeting, in AOAC publications, on the AOAC website and in social media.
  4. Members of the Section will be provided “Section of the Year” ribbons at the AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition.
  5. The winner may opt to give a presentation of their winning submission at the AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition to be decided each year based on the program schedule.
  6. Two complimentary one-year AOAC memberships, which must be awarded to a non-AOAC member and a student within the local Section area.

Past Section of the Year Award Winners

2023: Southern Section Learn more >

2022: Sub-Saharan Africa Section Learn more >

2021: India Section Learn more >