The SPA Award may be presented to nominees that meet the following requirements:
- The award may be presented to an individual or a group. Recipients are most often employees of the target organization. If not, the recipient may work for an organization that provided software engineering process improvement benefits to the target organization. For example, the recipient's organization may be an organization that provides services related to software engineering process improvement to the target organization, or it might be an association that supports activities related to software engineering process improvement that benefit one or more target organizations.
- Because software engineering process improvement activities are normally group activities, a nominee is usually a team of professionals. However, to recognize work within small organizations or within organizations that do not formally define a software engineering process improvement-related team, a nominee may be an individual or a small, informal group.
- The target organization may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit; may be an industrial, academic, or government organization or foundation; and need not be based in the United States.