How to get a CBE

The CBE is an honour awarded to an individual by the Queen for a leading role at a regional level or a prominent but lesser role at a national level in any activity. The definition of CBE is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Free CBE 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

Our Queen’s honours support service is renowned the world-over as a highly professional package helping families, organisations and individuals to make nominations for awards.

The level of work that goes into an Awards Intelligence Queen’s honour nomination makes sure that it stands out from the crowd and gives the nominee the very best chance of being selected for an award in the Queen’s Honours List. On average our consultants spend at least 150 hours researching and drafting every award nomination. So our service will save you valuable time and significantly increase your chances of success. The average success rate is estimated to be just 10%. Our success rate is over 50%.

Before we start a nomination we always ensure the candidate meets all the necessary criteria for a Queen’s honour nomination, offering a free assessment service to all. Call us today on 01444 230130 if you would like to find out if your nominee is in with a chance of getting a Queen’s honour for their achievements.

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

Different levels of honours are awarded according to the level of achievement the nominee is considered to have made, as well as on their potential to go on achieving and receive a higher honour in the future. 

In short the level awarded will be based upon the reach of the nominee's achievements, ie whether this is local, regional, national or international, as well as the breadth of their influence and impact on society.  

There is more information available on the various types of people that achieve different levels of honour in the following pages: MBE, OBE, 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. You can find out more about teh type of people recognised with an honour each year, the results of Honours Lists and any special types of nominations the Cabinet Office are encouraging at any one time. 

There is even a video here to help you understand how the whole Queen's honours process works. Take a look at an investiture ceremony and watch a few famous faces collect their awards here: View Blog

Will a criminal record effect my nomination?

If there is no issue outstanding a criminal record will not prevent a nomination from being considered.

There are many examples of individuals who have turned their lives around and gone on to use their experience to help others and been rewarded with an honour as a result.

Our blog story explains how one exceptional candidate overcame the hurdles in her life, and a criminal record, to go on to become a great influence on her community and the proud recipient of an MBE. 

The best thing to do if you are unsure is to give us a call for your free, confidential Queen' honours assessment today. 

Do I need to live in the UK to get a CBE?

To be nominated for a CBE the nominee must have gone above and beyond the call of duty in either their paid or unpaid roles and benefited others through their achievements, whether these are in the UK or abroad. 

Honours can be awarded to UK citizens at home or away, and non-UK citizens living in the UK too. So long as the impact is either positively effecting other UK citizens in some way, or a UK citizen is bring distinction to the UK through their work and achievements abroad, they could be recognised with a CBE or other level of honour.

Depending on the type of achievement and where this has taken place will depend on the Honours List your nomination is selected for - it can be either the primary Queen's Honours List for the UK or the Foreign Secretary's Overseas List.

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

What does a nomination for a CBE look like?

A CBE nomination should be presented in a way that accurately and persuasively informs the honours committees about the roles, contributions and achievements of the nominee.

An Awards Intelligence nomination involves gathering a wide range of evidence and first-hand appraisals 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.

Our consultants have the experience and understanding of the honours criteria to ensure your nomination has everything it needs to make it all the way. We can take care of the whole process for you and we will make sure you are delighted with every aspect of your nomination. Just call us today to get started. 

Who has Awards Intelligence helped to get a CBE?

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. However here is an example of the kind of feedback we receive from happy clients:

Business contact of a recipient of a CBE said:

"Great work. You saved me so much time and I would never have been able to produce a submission that compelling!"

Take a look at more testimonials from our happy clients here

How do I nominate someone for a CBE?

To make a nomination for a CBE you need to tell the Honours Committee all the details of a nominee’s work and achievements. These are presented in a formal nomination document.

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

It is important to remember that honours nominations cannot be resubmitted once they have been considered. At least two years must have passed and the nomination must contain significant differences in achievements from the first if it is to be considered at all.  

This is a nomination that you need to get right the first time, or your nominee may never receive the recognition they deserve. Awards Intelligence professionally manages many successful honours nominations every year, providing a comprehensive service to help you make sure that your nominee has the best possible chance of getting the national honour they deserve. 

Who judges CBE nominations?

There are nine different honours committees chosen to judge nominations for specific types of work and achievement, for example Education, Community, Economy etc. There is also a 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 will decide together whether a person should receive an MBE, OBE, CBE, knighthood or damehood, based on the details in the nomination and supporting letters.

Honours committees cannot be influenced in any way other than through the information provided in a compelling nomination along with relevant letters of support. So let us help you get your nominee the recognition they deserve by providing a comprehensive nomination for the committees to consider for the next Queen's Honours List. 

What are the benefits of getting a CBE?

Many nominees have reported that receiving a CBE in recognition of their work has made a real difference to their work, the causes they support and their lives in general:

  • Receiving a CBE can help the nominee to continue their good work by opening doors and creating the opportunity to gather further support and for their professional, community and charitable work.
  • The CBE award represents a monumental legacy to be enjoyed by the nominee’s family, friends and colleagues
  • A raised personal profile and an enhanced reputation is another benefit enjoyed by many individuals who receive the CBE award.
  • CBE recipients often report that they experience a greater degree of respect, trust and acceptance of their ideas, work and projects, which enables them to do more of the great work they have already achieved. 
  • The CBE award can attract new business or personal opportunities that widen the scope of the nominee’s work, roles and commitments.

When is the best time to make a CBE nomination?

Now! CBE nominations, along with all other Queen’s honours nominations, are reviewed constantly. However, there is a review period of around 12 - 18 months from receipt of your nomination at the Cabinet Office, and the nominee must still be active in their role to get an honour, so don’t delay getting your nominee into the queue for consideration. 

Any unexpected development in yours or your nominee’s life can delay you putting their nomination forward and ultimately stop them from receiving the MBE, OBE, CBE or knighthood they deserve for their work. So it is important to act sooner rather than later!

If the person you want to nominate is likely to retire in the next few yaers, contact us now to get your nomination started or they could lose their opportunity to receive an award from The Queen.

If your nominee is likely to continue to have more achievements to add to their nomination during the 12-18 month waiting period, there is no need to wait for these to complete, you can update the nomination by informing the Cabinet Office of these at a later date. The best way forward is to get your CBE nomination in the queue as soon as possible. 

Who can get a CBE?

As long as they meet the Queen’s honour criteria, anyone can be nominated to receive a CBE.

A CBE medal is presented for all types of different achievement, but in general the person nominated will have had a prominent role either nationally or in their region.

When you make a recommendation for an award you are not asked to specify the name of the honour, such as CBE. The level of honour awarded will be decided by the committees who look at all the evidence of that person’s work in the nomination.

Examples of individuals with an CBE include:

Nigel Charles Annett. Managing director, Welsh Water. Under his leadership the company was transformed into one of the best in the sector and Nigel received a CBE for his services to the Water Industry in Wales and voluntary service to Wateraid.

Barry Dodd. Since receiving his OBE in 2006, Barry has accomplished many notable achievements. In recognition of his work, his CBE has been awarded for services to the Yorkshire Economy and voluntary service to the community.

Ms Rita Ann Clifton. Known as one of the world’s leading experts on branding, Rita has helped businesses small and large to achieve their goals. She has been recognized for her success with a CBE for services to the Advertising Industry.


Why is there no guarantee of receiving an honour?

Using the Awards Intelligence honours nomination service will guarantee that your nomination is of the highest standard and detail, in order to give it the best possible chance of success. We will not guarantee the receipt of an honour as we do not influence the selection process in any way and have no links to the Cabinet Office, Government or the Honours and Appointments Secretariat.

Honours are open to all and are judged by the appropriate committee using a fair and transparent approach. They cannot be bought or lobbied for, no matter who is being nominated. Every nominee is considered for an award based only on the merit of their achievements, not on the merit of who has produced their nomination or who has put it forward.

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

To start your CBE nomination first we need to make sure all of the requirements of the Queen’s honours criteria will be met.

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, confidential Queen’s honours assessment.

How many people a year receive a CBE?

Around one hundred people in total receive a CBE every year!

CBE 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.

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

You can find out more about the whole process by watching the behind-the-scenes video on our blog

How can I get a CBE?

You can only be nominated for a CBE by someone who knows about your roles, successes and achievements. You can’t nominate yourself for a CBE.

However, making a nomination for an honour is a publicly accesible process, whereby any friend, family member or colleague can put you forward for consideration for an award based on the merit of your achievements. 

If you want to find out more about making an honours nomination you can  simply contact Awards Intelligence for free advice and guidance, and to make sure the nomination has everything it needs to make it all the way to the Honours List.

Will Awards Intelligence lobby for an honour for an individual?

You can be reassured that Awards Intelligence will never lobby for an honour to be awarded to any individual.

Our professional service is transparent and objective and bears no relationship to the Cabinet Office or any other government department or committee. We have no influence over awards proceedings or decisions made by the honours committees. 

The only way in which you can ensure your nomination has the best possible chance of success is to provide an accurate, detailed and compelling presentation of the nominee's achievements that leaves no doubt in the minds of the judges that the honour is well-deserved. 

We can help you put your case forward in the most relevant and comprehensive way, just give us a call and we will do all the hard work for you. 

Contact Us

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Sue Hall, Awards Intelligence

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