How to get an MBE

An MBE is an award given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local 'hands on' service. The definition of MBE is Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Free MBE Assessment

For a free honest assessment of your nominee's chances of success or if you have any questions, contact us today on

How can Awards Intelligence help with an MBE nomination?

We help families, organisations and individuals to put forward a comprehensive, accurate and in-depth presentation of their nominee’s achievements in order to give them the best chance of getting the recognition they deserve.

Every nomination we undertake is unique, reflecting the nature of the individual’s successes, commitments and expertise. Our consultants research the nominee independently and spend on average over 150 hours working on each nomination to ensure it is as detailed and in-depth as possible - giving the nominee the best possible chance of success. Our support will save you valuable time and significantly increase your chances of success. The average success rate is just 10%. Our success rate is over 50%.

All nominees are assessed independently and informally by our experts against the Queen’s honours criteria to ensure their achievements are appropriate before we embark upon a nomination.

Call us today on 01444 230130 for a free assessment and advice.

Who can get an MBE?

Anyone can be nominated to receive an MBE so long as they meet the necessary Queen’s honour criteria.

An MBE award can be given for all types of different achievement, but it is often given in recognition of community achievements or for a local "hands-on" service that has set an example to others.

A BEM (British Empire Medal) can also be awarded for sustained local achievements and high-impact work of a shorter duration.

When you recommend someone for an award it is not necessary to specify the name of the honour in your nomination as this will be decided by the committee judging the nomination.

Examples of individuals with an MBE include:

Sandbach School teacher John Lonsdale was recognised with an MBE for his services to education.

Tamara Heber-Percy and James Lohan, founders of hotelgroup MR & Mrs Smith received MBEs for their achievements

Martin Myers, clinical director of pathology and consultant clinical biochemist at the Royal Preston Hospital received an MBE for services to Healthcare Science



How do I nominate someone for an MBE?

To make a nomination for an MBE you need to tell the Honours and Appointments Secretariat all about the nominee's work and achievements in an official nomination document. You also need to provide a minimum of two supporting letters for your nomination although we would recommend between five and 15 letters.

Awards Intelligence can help you nominate someone for an MBE, or any other Queen’s honour award, by professionally handling the whole nomination process for you.

A nomination for an honour cannot be resubmitted year on year until the desired result is achieved. If your nomination is unsuccessful you cannot re-nominate until a minimum of two years has passed, and then the nomination must show a significant difference to the first to be considered at all.

We can make sure your nomination has the best possible chance of getting the right result from the start. 

How can I get an MBE?

You can't nominate yourself for an MBE, you can only be nominated for an MBE by someone else; for example a friend, family member or colleague who would like to see your achievements formally recognised with a Queen's honour.

If someone would like to make a nomination for you, they can either do this themselves or they can enlist the help of Awards Intelligence to gather all the evidence, details and material for the nomination and give it the very best chance of success. We have probably drafted more successful nominations than anyone else in the world.

When is the best time to make an MBE nomination?

As soon as possible! Honours nominations for MBEs are considered all year long. However, the honours process involves a consideration period of around 12 - 18 months from receipt of your nomination, and the nominee must still be involved in the service for which they are being nominated, so it is important to get the nomination in the queue as soon as possible.

Too many people wait to put forward their nomination and are disappointed when an unexpected change or delay prevents their nominee from getting the honour they deserve.

Any further achievements the nominee has during the consideration process can always be added to the existing nomination later on, so don't delay your nomination because you are waiting for a project to finish or until the nominee retires or they may never get the award they deserve!

Who judges MBE nominations?

There are different honours committees available to judge nominations for specific types of work and achievement, (for example health, education or the economy) and the main Honours Committee who review all types of honours nominations.

The committees are made up of independent experts as well as senior civil servants, and it is these individuals who decide whether a person should receive an MBE, OBE, CBE, knighthood or damehood.

Will Awards Intelligence lobby for an honour for an individual?

Absolutely not. Awards Intelligence offers a highly professional service that is transparent, objective and fair. 

Awards Intelligence has never embarked upon a lobbying campaign and has no connection with any government department or committee.

The Awards Intelligence team work entirely independently from the government and any other group. It is always important to remember that honours are open to all, they cannot be bought.

We do not decide who should and shouldn't be awarded an honour, however we will ensure that the nominee meets all the relevant criteria before offering to help with the nomination.

What should a nomination for an MBE look like?

An MBE nomination should accurately and persuasively inform the honours committees about the nominee's roles, contributions and achievements.

An Awards Intelligence nomination does exactly this, maintaining an evidence-based, factual yet compelling approach at all times.

What are the benefits of getting an MBE?

Many nominees have reported that getting an MBE in recognition of their work has made a real difference to the work they are doing and to their lives:                         

  • Receiving an MBE can provide much needed positive publicity to the nominee's chosen charity, community effort or profession, allowing them to build on their achievements and contribute even more to society
  • A raised personal profile and enhanced reputation is also enjoyed by many individuals with an MBE award.
  • MBE recipients may enjoy a greater degree of trust, respect and acceptance of their ideas, work and projects.
  • Attracting new business or personal opportunities may be another benefit of receiving an MBE.

Does the nominee have to live in the UK?

To be nominated for an MBE the nominee must have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work or community and benefitted others through their achievements, wherever these are.

Non-UK citizens can be considered for an honour for their work within the UK.

UK citizens can be considered for achievements that either benefit UK citizens at home or abroad, or if they bring distinction to the UK through their work.

Nominees living abroad can be nominated through the Foreign Secretary's Overseas List. The List is made up of awards given to UK citizens and citizens of a Commonwealth country of which HM The Queen is Head of State.

A nomination can be made for professional achievements, business triumphs, personal expertise, charitable or volunteer commitments - in short, anything that demonstrates a positive impact and influence on peers, the community or society as a whole.

 

How many people a year receive an MBE?

Around two thousand people in total receive an MBE every year!

MBE awards are given out twice a year - in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June and in the New Year's Honours List on the 1st January.

MBE recipients are then invited to attend an investiture ceremony at either Buckingham Palace or one of the Royal households, where they will receive their MBE medal from The Queen or her representative from The Royal Family.

If Awards Intelligence writes my nomination will it guarantee an honour?

No. Every single nomination is considered by the appropriate honours committee and will only be judged on the merit of the candidate's achievements - not on who the nominator is, or on who drafted the nomination. 

The Cabinet Office are aware when a nomination has been professionally drafted and ensure that all nominations are considered equally. 

Awards Intelligence will make sure your nominee has the best chance of being awarded the recognition they deserve by putting their case forward in the most compelling, appropriate and relevant manner.

Who has Awards Intelligence helped to get an MBE?

We will never knowingly divulge whose nominations have been professionally produced. All of our services are treated with a high level of discretion and we will treat your nomination with the same level of confidentiality.

We constantly receive feedback from our happy clients, for example:

"Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and your team for delivering a fantastic nomination for... He was delighted to receive an MBE and when I showed him a copy of the nomination he was bowled over. It was the best birthday present I could ever have arranged for my father."

You can see more examples of our happy clients' testimonials here.

What is the difference between the Queen's honour levels; MBE, OBE, CBE, KBE, DBE?

When you make a nomination it is not necessary to stipulate which level of honour you think the nominee deserves. However it can be helpful to understand the level of award they may be eligible to be considered for: 

In short, levels tend to be considered according to the spread of the nominee's work and achievements, for example; the BEM and MBE are mainly awarded for local, hands-on achievement; the OBE and CBE tend to be awarded for work and achievements that have had a wider impact on society, for example, influencing a profession, industry, region or nation; and a knighthood or damehood is the highest level of award given for the widest impact, for example an inspirational impact on a profession, industry, country, or charitable cause. 

Our page by page guide will help you learn more about the type of work and achievements that lead to the different levels of award, just click on the links for more information on the other levels of honour: OBE, CBE, knighthood and damehood

Where can I find out more about Queen's Honours?

We constantly update our blog with stories, news and tips on the subject of Queen's honours. These include tips on the type of candidates encouraged for nomination, recent results on the Queen's honours lists and real profiles of honours candidates.

There is even a video here to help you understand how the whole process works and to show you what happens at an investiture ceremony, so do take a look when you have a moment.

View Blog

Will a criminal record effect a nomination?

A criminal record will not prevent a person for being considered for an MBE or any other level of honour, so long as there is no outstanding issue.

Showing how the nominee has turned their life around and used their experience in a positive way can make for a great nomination and there are many examples of people who have done just this and gone on to receive an honour for their achievements. 

Take a look at our blog story on one exceptional honours candidate who overcame adversity, and a criminal record, only to become the proud recipient of an MBE!

I want to get my nomination in the queue, how do we get started?

To start your MBE nomination we simply need to make sure the nominee meets all the requirements of the Queen's honours criteria. Simply call Awards Intelligence on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email enquiries@awardsintelligence.co.uk for your free honours assessment.

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Sue Hall, Awards Intelligence

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