The agency, whose clients include Channel 4 and DaimlerChrysler, won gold at the IPA's second biennial Excellence in Continuous Professional Development Awards.
The scheme was judged by a panel led by the Saatchi & Saatchi chairman EMEA, Richard Hytner, who said: "The winning submission is a story about an agency's unswerving belief in its talent and the need to develop it."
Rapier was singled out for its decision to overhaul its approach to account management and improve its training and development during a difficult year, when many other agencies were focusing on reducing costs.
The agency introduced a series of measures to reassert its position "as the agency for service brands", and to ensure that this objective was clear to staff. Rapier's senior management gave its staff job appraisals and issued detailed job descriptions and objectives. It also introduced bespoke training programmes for every executive as well as best practice skillset sessions.
Saatchis, J. Walter Thompson, Burkitt DDB, BrandConnection and Profero won silver awards.