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National Honours for Individuals

Did you know that you can nominate anyone suitable for an honour? There are so many unsung heroes who deserve to be honoured but they need someone to nominate them.

How do I nominate someone?

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It is simpler than you think. You will find detailed guidance, some real life examples and the nomination form by following the link below. 

In addition, there is a useful video about how to complete an Honours nomination form that you may like to watch.

Make a nomination online

Alternatively, you can telephone the honours team in the Cabinet Office in London on 020 7276 2777 and someone will talk you through the process and send you everything you need. You can also contact the Lieutenancy team via email at and we will try and help you.


  • When writing your nomination, bear in mind that the evidence that you are submitting will be the only evidence that the Honours Committee will see, ensure to cover all aspects of Nominees background including information about their impact on the community.
  • Please do not treat this like a CV, the Committee would like to know the impacts and achievements this person has made.
  • Concentrate on the things this person has been doing within the past 6 months, rather than in previous years, as this is what the Committee is interested in.
  • We advise you do not tell the nominee, however you may need to speak to family/friends/colleagues to establish facts.
  • Try to get a range of letters or support, ideally from people your nominee has helped in their work, from colleagues and from anyone who may have a broader view of your nominee’s achievements.

You need to describe what is special about your candidate’s achievements and show memorably and persuasively how they have made a real difference. The weakest nominations are those which read a bit like CVs or job descriptions and the best are those which demonstrate the impact the individual has made, showing how they have overcome obstacles or gone the extra mile.

Honours are awarded by an independent selection system, free from political or other undue influence. Once you have made your nomination, it will be handled by a team in the Cabinet Office who check that all the required information has been included. They will then seek comments and feedback from those who are likely to know the nominee or their area of activity. When these checks are complete a citation is prepared for one of a number of specialist honours committees to consider.

Honours committees are made up of mainly independent experts and cover a variety of fields – community, voluntary and local service; the arts and media; sport; health; education; science and technology; the economy; politics; and service to the state. Each committee decides which are the worthiest candidates and submits its recommendations to a central committee chaired by the Head of the Home Civil Service. They then prepare the final list for the Prime Minister, who submits it unaltered for The Queen’s approval.

How long does it take?

It usually takes at least 18 months from the date a nomination is made until a successful candidate appears on an honours list. Time is taken to check facts and to get comments from others. You can provide additional information or further letters of support at any stage. Please bear in mind that not everyone who is nominated will receive an award.

The specialist honours committees decide which level of award is appropriate for the successful candidates. These are:

  • British Empire Medal (BEM) - awarded for exceptional ‘hands-on’ service to a local community in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly
  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) - recognising 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) - for those who have performed a distinguished regional or county-wide role in any field
  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) - rewarding a prominent national or regional role
  • Dame or Knight - for those who have made a preeminent contribution in any field, usually at national level.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have so many people who deserve an honour but they won’t get one unless they are nominated. So, please download a nomination pack, phone 020 7276 2777 or email and make a start today.