Technology Excellence in Libraries Award

Welcome to the BIC Technology Excellence in Libraries Award (TEiLA)

Page last updated 12th April 2022

Given the current COVID-19 situation, we appreciate the difficulties many organisations are facing. With that in mind, BIC has decided to offer some flexibility with regards to deadlines for annual accreditation renewal.

Organisations that miss their application deadline for annual renewal will be granted an additional 3 month grace period in order to apply, during which time they will remain listed as accredited.  However, if after this extension period has passed, BIC is still not in receipt of an application to renew, the organisation(s) in question will no longer be listed as accredited. 

Changes to the TEiLA Scheme in 2021

Please note that new Bronze, Silver and Gold awards tiers will be introduced and applied from September 2021 applications onwards.  Click here for more information about weighting and minumum scores etc.

What is TEiLA?
TEiLA is an accreditation scheme designed by BIC for libraries and their suppliers. The scheme encourages and rewards libraries and their suppliers for their adoption of best practice and industry standards and their investment in beneficial technologies. The scheme is directly aligned to BIC’s programme of work in the library sector over recent years. This includes the development of ‘full-cycle’ EDI, RFID, Bibliographic Information and Book Classification.

Organisations that are currently accredited.

Is there an application fee? Is it for BIC members only? 
The accreditation scheme is simple to apply for, and applications are completely free of charge and open to all (NB: applicants don’t have to be members of BIC to apply). Whether your organisation is a library, a library stock supplier, a library systems supplier (e.g. for LMS or RFID) or a service provider, simply open BIC's new TEiLA online application form, fill it in and click "submit".

How should my organisation apply?
As of July 2019, the TEiLA questionnaire is provided to applicants in the form of an online application form which will take approximately one hour to fill in and may need input from other experts in your organisation.

Application preparation
Prior to filling out and submitting the online form, you may wish to first forward PDF copies to colleagues in other departments of your organisation for their additional input, if necessary. PDF copies of the questionnaires (for each organisation type respectively) are provided below, for this purpose. Once the collaborative input required has been received, an applying organisation can nominate one individual to then complete the online application form on its behalf. NB: BIC will only accept one TEiLA online application per organisation. The following PDFs are for reference purposes only and should not be submitted to BIC:

TEiLA Questionnaire: Libraries - Academic & Public (REFERENCE ONLY)

TEiLA Questionnaire: Library Management Systems Providers (REFERENCE ONLY)

TEiLA Questionnaire: Library Stock Suppliers (REFERENCE ONLY)

TEiLA Questionnaire: Service Providers (REFERENCE ONLY)

TEiLA Questionnaire: Complete Question Set (REFERENCE ONLY)

Are there instructions within the online application form itself? 
Yes. The TEiLA online application form contains full instructions for applicant organisations but for those who may be unfamiliar with some of the terminology used, a glossary is provided as follows:

BIC TEiLA Glossary. 

Can I save my online application as I go, and before submitting it?
Yes. When filling out your online application form, it is possible to save your progress by section; this means that, if necessary, you can work on the online application over a number of days, resuming the application where you left off each time. Once you are happy that the online application form has been fully completed to the best of your ability, simply click "submit" in order to send the form to BIC. 

What happens after I submit my online application? 
Your application will be reviewed by a panel of industry experts. If your application is successful, BIC will inform you via email and will send you a certificate and logo which you can use / display in your organisation, on your organisation's website and social media platforms, etc. BIC will also publicise your organisation's success on the BIC website, on social media, etc. If your application is unsuccessful, BIC will inform you in complete confidence and will provide useful feedback and help on any areas of weakness. BIC’s objective in this case is to enable your organisation to improve so you can apply again and be successful next time. 

Please also note the following:

  • BIC reserves the right to check the answers provided in your TEiLA online application form to ensure accuracy.
  • All information provided in the TEiLA application form should already be in the public domain as members of the Accreditation Panel may be from other competitor organisations.

Once you are ready to fill in the TEiLA online application form, please use the link provided, below, to begin the application process. 


The BIC TEiLA Online Application Form
All applicant organisations - whether your organisation is a Library (Academic or Public), a Library Stock Supplier, a Library Management Systems Provider or a Service Provider - must use the following link in order to apply to the BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme.

Please ensure that you select the correct Organisation Type for your respective organisation as this will affect the questions posed to you by the online application form. 

Click here to apply to the BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme

Any feedback regarding the BIC TEiLA online application form and/or the online application process will be warmly welcomed; please send your feedback to


When to apply in 2022
Please note that currently accredited organisations will be contacted by BIC when their award is up-for-review; at this time, each organisation will be invited to fill out the TEiLA online application form, providing information which will support its application for reaccreditation. 

The following deadlines apply to all applicants to the scheme (including those applying for accreditation for the first time, those whose organisation's accreditation is up-for-review, and those who have lost their accreditation and wish to apply again following a period of 6 months). 

As the BIC TEiLA Accreditation Panel meets quarterly, new applicant organisations can apply for the scheme at multiple points across the year. (Thereafter, applications to renew your organisation's award will be accepted on an annual basis).

Please note that all submissions are confidential. 

Application deadlines for 2022:

  • Friday 4th March 2022
  • Friday 3rd June 2022
  • Friday 2nd September 2022
  • Friday 2nd December 2022

For how long is the award valid?
The TEiLA award will last for one year so organisations will need to renew their accreditation on an annual basis, as per the instructions above.

TEiLA could be of great benefit to your organisation:

1) Library Patrons / Customers / Users / Borrowers 
Gaining an award on the BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme enables libraries to showcase their achievements in developing and implementing beneficial technologies to improve efficiency in the library and the service it offers to library patrons. The accreditation logo and certificate can be displayed and made the subject of promotional articles or publicity. The accreditation can be a headline statement under which the library can list its achievements, the technologies, their benefits, how the service has improved, etc.  Normally, it is difficult for a library to shout about their achievements in this area, but accreditation gives an ideal opportunity. The logo can be displayed on all library service publicity, printed and online. The certificate can be displayed prominently in the library, framed and mounted so that patrons and visitors can see how this library is investing in its service.

2) Library Stock Suppliers
The BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme shows a library's stock suppliers what the library is capable of in terms of its systems. Stock suppliers view libraries with this award as easier (and possibly cheaper) to trade with. Suppliers want to supply libraries which use standards as this reduces their costs. Obtaining TEiLA accreditation says to stock suppliers that this library is technically capable, and that metadata can be received efficiently, orders placed efficiently, and stock accepted in a shelf-ready condition. Stock suppliers themselves can achieve the accreditation and use it to promote their service to libraries, e.g. being able to cater for all EDI requirements such as full-cycle EDI and being capable of supplying books as shelf-ready stock with standard RFID tags and servicing. 

3) Governance
All libraries are funded in some way and they report to fund holders and administrative bodies. These authorities want to see that the library provides a good service at reasonable cost and by implementing BIC's programme of work across metadata, EDI, RFID and systems integration etc., many libraries both public and academic have derived significant benefits, cost reductions and service improvements. Public Libraries are part of local government and are constantly under threat of cuts. TEiLA accreditation will enable a library service to show that theirs is an efficient library service, that technology has been implemented and that this has reduced costs. This may provide some protection against cuts as the library service budget may already have shown recent reductions due to payback from technology investment. 

Senior Management and politicians also like to receive awards and a TEiLA accreditation may be useful to impress and demonstrate that the library service is efficient. Some politicians whose service has not been accredited may want to know why their library service has not yet achieved this award when others have. It has even been suggested that government should make achieving TEiLA accreditation mandatory for UK public libraries as part of establishing an improved future national library service.

4) Consultancy and Advice
Many libraries are currently below the standard for a TEiLA award. They have some metadata, some EDI, but perhaps no RFID and poor systems integration. The aim is to encourage these libraries even in these difficult times, to identify best practice and to deploy standard solutions which deliver improved service at reduced cost. Libraries which apply for but fail to gain TEiLA accreditation are offered useful feedback and advice. Many libraries no longer have a systems librarian or similar role and they rely on their suppliers and others for help in this area. The right advice can help libraries move in the right direction so that for example when they next tender for a computer system, they ask the right questions and insist on a best practice, standards-based approach.

5) Systems Vendors and Service Providers
The TEiLA accreditation scheme applies to systems vendors and service providers and is a way of enhancing their credibility with their customers. BIC recommends that libraries include TEiLA accreditation as a requirement in ITTs when tendering for a new system. In effect, accreditation says that the organisation has invested in the necessary technology, industry standards and best practice and this in turn means more capable, open, less proprietary systems. Libraries should understand that this makes vendors easier to deal with.

6) Internal Research and Improved Understanding
Undertaking the accreditation process which looks at standards and technology can be very useful for libraries, library stock suppliers and systems vendors alike. More than one person or department may be needed to cover different sections of the scheme and analysing technical capabilities can help to inform and even surprise staff and management about their own organisation and its systems and services. Achieving accreditation can also help management and staff to measure their achievements against their peers.

The BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme helps to promote, encourage and reward activity in the library supply chain. It is free, easy to apply for and open to all. Applicants who pass can display their certificate and logo wherever they wish, and applicants who fail, do so in complete confidence and can receive advice from BIC on how to improve.

Read the full Benefits Statement here.


If you have any questions regarding the BIC TEiLA Accreditation Scheme, please contact BIC at


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