From the UK Government Website
Honours recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements. There are always fewer honours than people who deserve them and because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:
- Who have changed things especially by solid, practical achievement;
- Whose work has brought distinction to British life or enhanced the UK’s reputation
In their area or activity.
Show how the candidate has:
- Contributed in a distinctive way to improving the lot of those less able to help themselves;
- Devoted themselves to sustained and selfless voluntary service;
- Shown innovation or creativity in delivering lasting results.
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 fields including:
- Community, voluntary and local services
- Arts and media
- Science and technology
- Business and the economy
- Civil or political service
The nomination process is relatively straightforward. There is an online form which includes details of the nominator and the candidate, and allows for the submission of a nomination letter explaining the reasons for the nomination. The process also requires attachment of at least two supporters’ letters from people with first-hand knowledge of the candidate and who agree with the nomination.
The nomination committees meet twice a year and it is very likely that no decision will be made on the nomination for 12 – 18 months.