Why we don’t publish our success rates.
Some of our competitors trade very heavily on their average success rate. Perhaps because of this it’s a question we are asked by potential clients time and again. But we don’t think it’s ethical to sell you a service based on this statistic. Here’s why…
When our competitors tell you that their average success rate is higher than the wider average success rate of public Honours nominees it’s a rather debatable claim in the first place, even potentially a misleading one.
For example, they might state that their average success rate is 65% compared to a national average success rate of just 10%. It sounds impressive, but where has this 10% figure come from?
Some time ago, we decided to dive deeper into the statistics around Honours ourselves. We placed a Freedom of Information request with the Government to ask what % of public nominations had been awarded in the past five years. The request was refused. So declaring a national average as a fact is difficult to do with any credibility.
But if there was, would we try to sell our service based on it? The answer is no. It would be incredibly misleading to suggest to a potential client that, just because our success rate was X, that theirs would be similar. There is no escaping the facts, honours can only be awarded on merit. If you haven’t sufficiently met the criteria, you’ll not be receiving an honour – regardless of who helps you to write the bid.
It’s a similar situation to how CV writers, recruitment consultants and other professionals who help to sell an individual, project or organisation as part of an application or awards process work. All these professionals only work with the facts they have. They can’t invent work experience that doesn’t exist, just as we can’t invent merit that doesn’t exist. What we can do, however, is know which parts of a CV or biography are most important in terms of the Honours criteria, and we can write compelling cases based on these.
Additionally, just as a recruitment consultant will interview a candidate they see as promising before taking them on, we also review a nominee’s potential for being awarded an honour before working with them. It would be wholly unfair on the client if we were to take anyone and everyone on regardless of their chance of success. With that in mind, we have a free self-assessment tool on our website that people can use to check their eligibility before they even contact us.
When they do make contact with us, we actually turn down around 40% on the grounds that they don’t have a reasonable chance of winning. Of course, because we turn down so many low-chance cases, that undoubtedly increases our success rate – but that success rate is driven more by our ethics than the skills we have. Those people can, of course, go ahead and apply themselves directly on the Government website – but we don’t want to charge a fee to trade in false hope.
In promoting a success rate, inevitably people translate it to apply to their own case – it’s human nature. It’s a much more transparent approach to tell YOU if YOU stand a realistic chance, not have you extrapolate your chances from our past data.
Putting in for a Queen’s Honour is not a lottery. A percentage chance means nothing – either you meet the criteria or you don’t. Our job is to ensure that we extract, organise, corroborate and write your life in the best way possible to maximise your chances. But if you don’t meet the criteria, you won’t be awarded an Honour and there is nothing that we, or our competitors can do to change that (other than invent facts – which we don’t think any business would do!)
Additionally, the evaluation process can take up to four years and, at the end of it, there is either an honour, or there is silence. There is no rejection process in the Queen’s Honours. This means that anybody claiming a certain success rate can’t be talking about anything in the past four years because they don’t know if they are still being evaluated. This means the stats will be based on old work.
In summary, the % chance is a vanity metric which we believe sends a very misleading message to clients. We have seen some competitor advertising saying that the average rate is 10% and that they achieve 65% therefore ‘you have a 550% improved chance of winning an honour with us.’
Although that maths is technically true, it doesn’t actually translate into reality. And we couldn’t look ourselves in the mirror if we were taking client money based on that kind of copy!
If you want to do everything you can to tilt the chances in your favour, we are here to help and advise. You can also use our Self-Assessment tool to quickly see if you might be eligible for an Honour.