How to get an OBE

An OBE is a Queen's honour given to an individual for a major local role in any activity such as business, charity or the public sector. OBE stands for Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Free OBE Assessment

For a free honest assessment of your nominee's chances of success or if you have any questions, contact us today on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email us at enquiries@awardsintelligence.co.uk

The Awards Intelligence Service

If you would like to give someone the best chance of getting the recognition they deserve for their professional, business or community achievements take a look at the Awards Intelligence Queen's honours service. We relieve the pressure on you by managing the whole process of nominating your friend, colleague or family member for a prestigious Queen's award. 

When you engage with us we will save you valuable time by dedicating one of our expert consultants to you. They will spend approximately 150 hours on average researching the candidate, gathering evidence of their achievements and professionally writing a nomination of the highest standard. We will also significantly increase your chances of success. The average success rate is just 10%. Our success rate is over 50%.

Our experts understand the criteria required and will make sure that your nominee has the very best possible chance of making it on to the Honours List and getting the recognition they deserve for their achievements.

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

Who can get an OBE?

Anyone can be nominated for an OBE, and it can be awarded for all types of different achievement. In general the person nominated will have had a significant role locally or regionally, or they will be known nationally for their work, expertise and achievements. These can include community or charity work as well paid positions.

When you nominate someone you are not required to specify the name of the honour. The level of honour to be given will be decided by the specialist committees who look at all the evidence of the nominee’s work and achievements as set out in the written nomination.

Examples of individuals with an OBE include:

Miss Priya Lakhani. The entrepreneur who set up Masala Masala and a range of ready-cook meals and Indian sauces has received an OBE for services to Business, Community and Voluntary Initiatives.

The three founders of the parental support website, Netmums, received OBEs in the New Year Honours List. Sarah Russell, Siobhan Freegard and Cathy Court set up the site when their eldest sons were in the same toddler group in Harrow.

Michael Acton Smith. Chief executive and Founder of Mind Candy and creator of the much loved children’s toys, Moshi Monsters, received an OBE for his services to the Creative Industries.

How do I nominate someone for an OBE?

To make a nomination for an OBE you need to complete the official nomination document telling the Honours and Appointments Secretariat at the Cabinet Office all about the nominee’s outstanding work and achievements.

All nominations must also be accompanied by at least two supporting letters from people who have direct experience of the nominee's work and achievements.

Awards Intelligence can professionally handle the whole nomination process for you. Whether you think the nominee deserves an OBE or any other level of honour, our experts will save you valuable time and significantly increase your chances of success.

Please note: This is not an award that can be re-applied for year on year - if your nomination doesn't have what it takes the first time around you will need to wait a minimum of two years before re-nominating, and if you do, the nomination must then be significantly different in order to even merit consideration.

How can I get an OBE?

You can only be nominated for an OBE by someone who knows about your work and achievements. You can’t nominate yourself. Anyone can nominate you for an honour, this could be a friend, family member, work colleague or community contact who would like to see your hard work and achievements formally recognised with an award from The Queen.

If you know someone who you think deserves recognition you can either manage the whole nomination process yourself or you can choose to enlist the help of Awards Intelligence to gather all the evidence, details and material and make sure the nomination has everything it needs to make it all the way to Buckingham Palace.

Simply call Awards Intelligence on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email us at enquiries@awardsintelligence.co.uk for your free, informal Queen's honours assessment.

When is the best time to make an OBE nomination?

Nominations for OBEs are considered continuously throughout the year. However, the honours process involves a judging period of around 12 - 18 months from receipt of your nomination. So the sooner you submit your nomination the better.

Importantly, the nominee must still be involved in the service for which they are being put forward, so if you want to nominate someone don’t miss the boat, too many people delay putting forward their nomination and are disappointed when an unexpected change or delay prevents their nominee from getting the Queen's honour they deserve.

If the person you want to nominate is likely to continue to have more achievements to add to their nomination during the 12 - 18 month judging period, these can always be added to the existing nomination by submitting an update letter to the Honours Secretariat at any time.

So there is no need to delay your OBE nomination because you are waiting for a project to finish or until the nominee retires - if you wait they may never get the honour they deserve!

Who judges OBE nominations?

In addition to the main Honours Committee who review all types of honours nominations, there are nine different honours sub-committees chosen to consider nominations for specific types of work and achievement, for example, Education, Community, Economy etc.

These sub-committees are made up of independent experts as well as senior civil servants, and it is these individuals who will decide together, whether a person should receive an MBE, OBE, CBE, knighthood or damehood, based on the evidence supplied in the nomination and supporting letters.

What does a nomination for an OBE look like?

An OBE nomination should accurately and persuasively inform the honours committees about the work and achievements of the nominee.

A nomination professionally produced by Awards Intelligence includes a wide range of evidence of how the nominee has excelled in their chosen field; how they have positively impacted upon society, and why their achievements are worthy of such a prestigious award.

We have probably drafted more successful Queen's honours nominations than anyone else in the world, so we naturally have the required understanding and experience of the process to give your nomination the best chance possible. 

What are the benefits of getting an OBE?

Honourees have reported that receiving an OBE, and other Queen's honours, in recognition of their work and achievements has made a real difference to their work and their lives:                         

  • Receiving an OBE can help the nominee to continue their good work by opening doors and creating the opportunity to gather further support and for their cause.
  • The OBE award represents a monumental legacy to be enjoyed by the nominee's family, friends and colleagues, bringing great pride and respect from peers for such highly deserved recognition.
  • A raised personal profile and an enhanced reputation is another benefit enjoyed by many individuals with an OBE award.
  • OBE recipients often report that they experience a greater degree of trust and acceptance of their ideas, work and projects.
  • The OBE can attract new business or personal opportunities that widen the scope of the nominee’s work.

Can you guarantee the nominee will receive an honour?

No. The honours process is based upon an honest and transparent judging process undertaken by independent members of the Honours Committees. 

Awards are determined based on the strength of the nomination and the merit of the candidate being considered. Which is why it is so important that a high level of detail is included in your nomination. You will have to wait a long time for a second chance of consideration if your nomination isn't successful the first time. 

Awards Intelligence will do all the work it takes to give the nominee the very best chance of a winning nomination and of seeing their name on the Queen's Honours List. 

Do you have to live in the UK to get an OBE?

Nominee's who benefit either the UK or another country are eligible to be considered for an honour. However, it must be demonstrated that their work and achievements have a positive impact on UK citizens at home or abroad, or their work brings distinction to the UK.

Overseas nomination will be considered by the Foreign Secetary through the Foreign and Commonwealth process, whilst UK based nominations will be considered by the Honours and Appointments Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. 

To be nominated for an OBE you must have gone above and beyond the call of duty in either your paid or unpaid roles and benefited others through your work or achievements, wherever in the world they may be.

An OBE nomination can be made for professional achievements, business success, outstanding personal expertise, charitable or community commitments; anything that demonstrates a positive impact and influence on others.

 

 

Can I ask Awards Intelligence to lobby for an honour?

No, we don’t get involved in any lobbying and have no affiliation or relationship with any lobbying bodies, government departments or the Cabinet Office. Awards Intelligence has no direct influence over the results of nominations, we simply provide an all-encompassing professional drafting and management service for the nomination and letters of support. 

It is always important to understand that honours cannot be bought or lobbied for, they are considered only on the merit of the nominee's achievements, not on who has written the nomination or who has put forward the nomination.

 Supporters of a nomination must have a genuine first-hand experience of the nominee's work and should be able to speak with enthusiasm about their achievements. 

We can help you ensure that everyone involved with the nomination fully understands the process and adds value to your nomination through their own experience of the nominee's achievements. 

How many people a year receive an OBE?

Around five hundred people in total receive an OBE every year and around 2,200 people in total receive a Queen’s honour.

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

OBE recipients are then invited to attend an investiture ceremony at either Buckingham Palace or one of the Royal households, where they will receive their OBE medal from the Queen, Prince Charles or another member of The Royal Family.

Honours recipients are allowed to bring family members, friends or colleagues with them to this special event. Take a look at our blog to watch a video that takes you behind the scenes of an investiture ceremony. 

Who has Awards Intelligence helped to get an OBE?

Awards Intelligence are widely considered to be the leading experts in helping people to put forward honours nominations and have probably drafted more successful nominations than anyone else in the world.

We never knowingly divulge who we work with on a Queen's honour nomination, and we will treat your nomination with the same level of respect and confidentiality.

Recipient of an OBE said:

"Thanks for drafting such a professional nomination. You offer a truly outstanding service. I'm so glad my wife and I found you before she submitted the nomination. You are a great listener and an excellent writer. You made me sound brilliant!"

You can view more feedback from our happy clients here.

Where can I find out the different levels of Queen’s honour, such as an MBE, CBE or knighthood?

Different levels of honour are awarded according to the reach of the nominee's achievemenst, for example whether this is local, regional, national or international, and the scope of their impact and influence on others. 

You don't need to specify the level of award you are nominating for , but to find out more, see our information pages available on nominating someone for an MBE, CBE, KBE and DBE

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. Here you can find out more about the type of nominations being sought by the Cabinet Office, results of Honours Lists, individual profiles and more

There is even a video here to help you understand how the whole honours process works!

Vew Blog.

Will a criminal record impact upon a nomination?

So long as there is not an outstanding issue there is no reason for a criminal record to effect a nomination. Many people with criminal record have gone on to turn their life around, give back to society in some way, and receive an honour for their achievements.

Take a look at our blog story to find out about a recipient of an honour who overcame their troubles to go on to help others and be awarded a gong. 

Every nominee is unique in their life experience and achievements so the best thing to do is give us a call for a free, confidential assessment of your chances of success. We will give you our honest opinion and make sure all the necessary criteria is met.

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

To start your OBE nomination first we need to make sure the nominee meets all the requirements of the Queen’s honours criteria.

The easiest way to do this is to simply call Awards Intelligence on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email enquiries@awardsintelligence.co.uk for your free, informal and confidential Queen’s honours assessment.

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Sue Hall, Awards Intelligence

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