Nominate someone for an honour

How to nominate someone who's exceptional for a UK national honour and the types of awards.

Do you know an exceptional person who should be nominated for a National Award? 

Anyone can nominate another person for a National Honour who:

  • has made a real difference to their community or in their field of work
  • is still actively engaged in what they are being nominated for

You need to consider whether or not they have done some or all of the following:

  • Made a real impact in their community or workplace
  • Exemplified the very best sustained and selfless voluntary service
  • Earned the respect of people around them
  • Changed things for the better
  • Improved the lot of those less able to help themselves
  • Displayed moral courage in making and delivering difficult choices
  • Demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Brought distinction to Suffolk life and enhanced its reputation

Meet people who've received an Honour

Visit GOV.UK for guidance about nominating someone for an honour or award.

Suffolk Lieutenancy provide advice and guidance about the nomination process including writing a citation. Email if you would like further support.

What makes a good nomination?

You need to describe what is special about your nominee'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.

In addition to the Nomination Form, you will need some letters of support. These must be written by people who know the nominee well and can strengthen your nomination.

How long does it take?

It can take up to 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.

Who decides?

  1. Honours are awarded by an independent selection system, free from political or other undue influence.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. They then prepare the final list for the Prime Minister, who submits it unaltered for The Queen's approval. 

Meet people who've received an Honour


  • New Year's Day
  • The Queen's official birthday on 8 June 2019.

Up to 1300 individuals are honoured each year. Suffolk has some truly amazing individuals who deserve to be recognised, but this will only happen if someone nominates them (see above)

Meet people who've received an Honour

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

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

Meet people who've received an Honour