The honours system
An Honour is a distinctive way of acknowledging someone’s impact on UK life and recognising that they have achieved something very special and given service above and beyond what would normally be expected of them.
They will usually have made life better for other people or been outstanding at what they do.
Across Devon there are very many people from all walks of life who meet those criteria; you may well know someone who does.
It’s very easy to nominate someone and this part of the website will help you do it.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon
Who are national honours for?
Honours are for individuals from all walks of life who have achieved something very special. This might be at a national level or maybe for those who are well respected by local people and will have made a difference in their neighbourhood. Over half of all awards go to people who are putting something extra into the community on a voluntary basis.
People get honours for achievements like:
- making a difference to their community or field of work
- enhancing Britain’s reputation
- long-term voluntary service
- innovation and entrepreneurship
- changing things, with an emphasis on achievement
- improving life for people less able to help themselves
- displaying moral courage
Honours are given to people involved in many different fields including:
- community, voluntary and local services
- arts and media
- science and technology
- business and the economy
- civil or political service
National honours are for individuals, so if you are thinking of nominating a group or organisation please look at our pages on the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The honours system
What levels of Honours are there?
When writing a nomination you don’t need to say what level of award you are aiming at – this is decided by the Cabinet Office Committees when they read the nomination letters.
But as a guide the National Honours are:
- British Empire Medal (BEM): awarded for very “hands-on” service to the community in a local geographical area.
- Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): recognises an achievement or service to the community which has delivered a sustained impact, and which stands out as an example to others.
- Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): recognises those who have performed a distinguished regional or county-wide role in any field.
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE): rewards a prominent national or regional role.
- Dame or Knight: for those who have made a pre-eminent contribution in any field, usually at a national level.
who gets an Honour?
The nomination is assessed by one of nine specialist committees, all independently chaired, using guidelines set out by the Prime Minister. In Devon – as elsewhere in the country – the Lieutenancy is often asked to conduct local Due Diligence checks in support of the process. The nomination is then sent to the main honours committee, which is chaired by the Secretary of the Cabinet. Names, with the recommended level of honour, are then put forward to The Queen.
All nominations for honours are treated in the strictest confidence. It’s really important that the person being nominated should not be told as it wouldn’t be fair to raise expectations in case they are not met: about 1,100 honours are awarded on each occasion, twice a year, and there are many thousands of nominations received, so competition is stiff.
How long does it take
between nomination and an honour being given?
Honours Lists are published in the New Year and on Her Majesty’s Birthday.
You can check published Lists (in the national newsletters, the London Gazette or on the honours website) to see if your candidate has been successful.
If, after three years, you have heard nothing you can usually assume that the nomination has been unsuccessful and has lapsed. However on occasions they can take longer than this.
You can re-nominate, but this is not likely to be successful unless the person you have nominated has had additional achievements.
Making a nomination
So, how do I make a nomination?
It’s quite simple. You can make a nomination on line or in writing. If you click on the link below it will take you straight to the website where you can find full details of the honours system, all the forms, and a step by step guide: https://www.gov.uk/honours
You can also write for information and a form to:
Honours and Appointments Secretariat, Cabinet Office, Ground Floor, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.
Tel: (020) 7276 2777
Email: [email protected]
There is also a step by step video guide here:
Making a nomination
Are letters of support required?
Yes. At least two letters of support are expected and should be from others who have personal knowledge of the candidate.
Ask for letters that:
- Confirm that the person is doing what they are being nominated for;
- Confirm that an Honour would be supported by the community;
- Describe recent achievements;
- Describe the impact that the person has had; for impact, consider what wouldn’t exist or happen without your candidate’s input and whether what they have done is voluntary or in a paid capacity
Making a nomination
When must nominations be sent in?
There are no deadlines for nomination forms but the process is likely to take at least 12 to 18 months.
Nominations should be made while the candidate is still active and, if possible, at least 12 months before he or she is expected to retire or stand down.
Are there any
“Top Tips” when making a nomination?
In the end it is the quality of the case that will determine if a nomination is successful, but the following tips may be helpful:
- Start with a really strong opening sentence. E.G. “ x would never had happened without the personal involvement of….”
- Do not use acronyms, abbreviations or flowery language.
- Talk about the individual personally rather than their organisation or team (if it ends up being about the team then think about a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service or Queen’s Award for Enterprise instead).
- Only include information about your candidate’s education or early life if it’s strictly relevant to the nomination.
- Do not use unnecessary comments such as: “an Honour would be the most appropriate recognition of x’s efforts”.
- Do not use unsubstantiated comments on performance or other ‘padding’.
- Use no more than 2-3 recent examples, any more and your citation will look like a CV.
- Make it interesting to read so that it stands out from the competition.
The most important thing is to provide evidence of what your candidate has done and how they’ve improved matters for others. Tell the story of what has changed because of your candidate (Impact) and put it into context for a reader who won’t necessarily have detailed knowledge of the subject.
Making a nomination
Do please consider taking just a little time to nominate someone if you believe they deserve recognition. The process is easy to do and can be a really wonderful way of marking the contribution someone has made. The Lieutenancy Office can help with further advice if you would like it.
of recent awards
Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Honours List for Devon 2019
Knighthoods: Gary Nicholas Streeter MP
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE): Kenneth James Allison, Professor William Trevor Hamilton.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): David Charles Bragg, Jane Elizabeth Burrows, Vivien Foster, Mark Tyrell-Smith.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): Frances Faith Bell, Lucy Jane Findlay, Mary Frances Brenda Pugsley, Dr Nicholas Ian Roberts, Ruth Mary Saltmarsh, Douglas Stephen Seymour, Mandy Terrell, Michael Terrell.
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM): Robyn Leigh Colwill, Frank Handscombe, Herbert John Allan Jeffrey, Christopher Lloyd Maddocks, Michael Roy Richards, Francis Gloria Janet Satchwell, Edwin John Willis, Veronica Jane Willis.
Queen’s Police Medal: Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable Devon & Cornwall Police.
Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Devon 2018
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): Mr Mark Criddle, Professor Sian Ellard, Professor Deborah Greaves, Ms Anne Moore.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): Mrs Mary-Jane Butler, Mrs Jayne Clemence, Mr Richard Neil Frost, Mr Neil Frederick Handly, Mr Alistair Handyside, Mr Colin William John Hodgetts, Mr Stephen Hudson.
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM): Mrs Gina Awad, Mr Arnold Bradbury, Mrs Rosemary Cole, Mrs Joan Dixon, Mrs Ann Liverton, Mrs Jennifer Newman, Mr Roger Pullen , Ms Judith Reynolds, Mr Stuart Rogers, Mrs Caroline Steffens, Mrs Anne Tattersall, Mrs Susan Veale.