Every five years the government sets a maximum number of awards that can be given out in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List every June and in the New Year Honours List. Around 2,600 honours are given each year across nine sectors.
We can deduce many things from the official allocation chart (pictured above – source: Cabinet Office) that could help explain why we wait such a long time for honours to be awarded, 12-18 months on average and sometimes longer. One explanation could be that if, for example, a teacher is recommended for an OBE, but 32 other individuals in Education have already been allocated this award for the same list, the candidate may have to wait until the next list.
We can also see that there are different allocations for awards across different sectors, for example, there are more awards given out for services to the Economy (Business) than any other professional area – examples of recipients of awards in the Economy sector would be entrepreneurs and leaders of exceptional businesses who have benefited their industry as well as society in some way.
Awards for Community/Voluntary achievements are by far the highest in volume and allowance – reflecting the Prime Ministers wish to reward those who play an active part in society by making their communities stronger.
And remember, nominees can’t be recommended for a particular level of honour – this can only be decided by the committees considering the nomination – so don’t be tempted to think that your nomination can be expedited by suggesting a level with a higher allocation than another!
Ultimately, no matter what we may deduce from the allocations given for each award, the most important message is this – don’t leave it too late to put your nominee forward for an honour!
Honours candidates are considered whilst they are still active in their roles, so if you know your nominee is coming towards the end of their project or their career, act now, as it could be quite a wait until you see them get the recognition they deserve.
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