Your Guide to the MBE Nomination process
THE ultimate guide to creating A successful MBE Nomination
“I wish had approached Bayleaf four years ago when I first thought of engaging help for a Queen’s Honour. The level of detail knowing what is required, as well as the ability to coax the relevant information to support a successful application, I can say with experience, is second-to-none. Bayleaf’s approach that every individual is different – and so every approach has to be tailored – is unique.”
The MBE is One of the Most Prestigious Honours Granted in The UK
Here, You Will Find Advice and Tips To Help With Your MBE Nomination
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How do I get an MBE?
The process isn’t difficult. An online form from the British Government needs to be filled in according to the guidelines which are available on the site. Then, at least two letters of support need to be included.
So, what does it take for an MBE nomination to have a good chance of success?
A track record of outstanding results in giving back to the community or helping society
PLUS some passionate supporters willing to write on your behalf
PLUS a compelling and well-written nomination form.
How Do You Nominate Somebody For An MBE?
So let’s get down to business and talk about the actual process that needs to be followed. You can submit your nomination at any time of the year and there are no particular deadlines for applications. In terms of timing you need to know that the awards are announced twice a year, on The King’s Birthday (mid-June) and in the New Year’s Honours which naturally falls at the end of December.
Once a nomination is received, civil service officials are required to carry out the relevant background checks to confirm identity and legality (HMRC checks, criminal record check etc.) The process can take around 12-18 months for a nomination to be processed. All nominations are initially assessed by a committee from the area the nominee is active (e.g. where they volunteer or fundraise), and is then passed on to a Cabinet Office committee for further appraisal.
To nominate someone, there are basic documents that need to be submitted, as follows:
- a citation written by the agent or individual who is making the nomination
- at least two supporting letters written by people to provide a wider perspective on why that person is being nominated
The citation that is presented will be the only evidence that most of the people involved in the official assessment process will see regarding your chosen nominee, so it is important to make sure that it is as compelling as possible, with attention to detail and terminology. This is where our expertise really comes to the fore.
Your citation needs to include:
- your nominee’s name, age, address and contact details
- details of relevant work or volunteering they’ve done
- details of any awards or other recognition they’ve received
The Nomination Writing Process
Here are the detailed steps involved in creating a successful and compelling nomination:
The Planning Phase
- After placing the order, you will receive confirmation that the payment has been received with a link to a questionnaire.
- Complete our online questionnaire with a few details about the nominee. Some of these details are needed now at this early stage (eg confirming email address etc). Others are for foundational work (eg CV or profile). Some are for the online submission at the end of the process (eg date of birth, address etc.) You submit the questionnaire to us and we…
- Use your profile documents and start to do online research. Using that plus the documents you have given us, we put together a framework of the application. More specifically, what are the significant planks of your story around which we are going to build the nomination?
- Once we have a clear framework in mind, we will share that with you to get your agreement and then start the longest and most complex part of the process.
The Creation Phase
- Gathering supporting letters. Firstly, we will ask you for 2 or 3 names for each “plank” of the story to ensure we have good coverage and depth across the entire nomination.
- We approach the potential supporters gently, via email (phones make people suspicious) explaining who we are and that we are working for a client to nominate person X. Then we ask would they be willing to write a letter of support and if so, would they appreciate some guidance from us about how best to write it.
- On average, in a list of 10 supporters, 7 will agree, 2 don’t reply (maybe didn’t see the message, or maybe don’t want to support) and 1 will decline. (There can be several reasons for this – sometimes people don’t approve of the process, sometimes people have been declined themselves & sometimes, people just don’t think that you deserve an Honour).
- For those that agree, we send them some guidelines to help them write effective letters.
- Then we wait. And remind. And chase…and then wait some more. Finally, the letters arrive back and we check, suggest edits, and wait again.
- Once we have enough letters of high enough quality, we pass the letters, background information you have sent us, and online research to the writer from our team that we have selected for you. (Our writers are all broadsheet trained journalists and writers. We match your story with the writer with the experience to write your story in a compelling way.)
- Then – we write. The Bayleaf way. We base our writing on the planks we discuss in #5 above with the key aim of demonstrating your contribution and the results you achieved. We are NOT writing or rewriting your CV. Instead, we are writing a story to show you to your best advantage.
The Review Phase
- And then – we send it to you. The two main sections of the nomination form plus all the supporters’ letters. (Most of our clients tell us that this is the best part of the process – reading the letters from friends and colleagues and seeing their accomplishments in black and white.) Then, we discuss, edit, review, discuss etc – until we are happy.
Five quick steps to become eligible for an MBE:
Build a portfolio of community-based or outstanding contributions over a long period of time.
Where does the MBE fit into the overall Honours system?
There are several different awards, but there is no such thing as an MBE nomination form. We don’t get to choose which we apply for – it’s one application process for all honours. But it’s useful to understand the difference.
Below, our guide briefly explains the different awards in the British Honours System and the various ranks.
Knight Or Dame
This is one of the highest levels, awarded for a significant national contribution. This includes serving and helping Britain through notable achievements or services.
Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire (CBE)
To be awarded a CBE you must have had a role that has made an impact at a national level or have played a leading role in your region. Thus, these awards are also given to those who have made a distinguished and innovative contribution.
Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire (OBE)
The OBE is the most likely award to be given if the activity has taken place over a long period of time at a local level.
Member Of The Order Of The British Empire (MBE)
Next, the MBE is awarded to individuals who have provided long-term community service, or who have been responsible for significant community impact. These people stand out as a positive example to others.
British Empire Medal (BEM)
Finally, the BEM is likely to be awarded if somebody’s ‘hands-on’ local community work is relatively short term (i.e. 3 to 4 years) yet has made a significant difference.
Remember, it is the committee that decides what somebody should be awarded. For a full overview and information on nominating, please see our comprehensive process page.
Bayleaf Honours In The Media
Mike McKie explains the Queen’s Honours application process.
Who Is Eligible For An MBE?
Of course, there are always fewer Honours than people who deserve them. Because they are rare, they should be reserved for people:
- firstly, who have changed things especially by solid, practical achievement or outstanding service
- or, whose work has brought distinction to British life or enhanced the UK’s reputation
What Does MBE Stand For?
Member of the Order of the British Empire
The MBE is awarded to individuals who have provided long-term, significant service to the community, or who have been responsible for significant community impact. Recipients will be those who stand out as a positive example to others
How Can Bayleaf Help You With Your MBE Nomination?
We are experienced Honours and recognition consultants. (We also have a global team who can support in, amongst others Australia, New Zealand and Canada). The team understand how to create an honest and effective case. This takes into account the factors which are important to the selection committee. After we listen to you, we will give you an honest assessment of the chances of success based on the facts that you tell us. Then if you want to proceed, we will write the application with you.
How We Work To Help Your MBE Nomination
It’s a common question – “Why should we use a company like yours when the service is free? And is it ethical to pay for help?” You can read our answers at our blog post.
Our Guaranteed Market-Best Pricing
What Our Clients Are Saying
“Experienced, professional and accessible. My experience with Bayleaf Honours was very enjoyable. I found the team there to be unpretentious, honest and transparent. My nomination was written in a compelling, comprehensive & timely manner. Their fees are fair and readily available. I had full access to all team members and felt my nomination was in the best hands.”
Why Choose Bayleaf Honours For Your MBE Nomination?
We operate a high integrity business. We don’t claim to have influence or inside knowledge of the process. Our clients receive an honest assessment of success, compelling writing & in-depth research. Nothing more, nothing less.
When it comes to success rates, it’s not a straightforward number to measure – for example, it’s not always possible to know which applications are still pending. We are confident in saying that over 80% of our clients have successful nominations. But remember – we never take clients that don’t have a realistic chance of success. Get in touch with us for an honest assessment of your chances.
5 Good Reasons To Use A Consultant for your MBE nomination
1. Identifying The Right Supporters And Helping Them Write Compelling Letters
Chances are, you know a lot of people. Some of them would be amazing resources for supporting nomination letters for an award nomination. But you’d be surprised to learn how many people just don’t know where to start when it comes to creating a prospective supporter list or helping them create a helpful supporter letter. That’s where an honours writing service can help. You’ll receive guidance around whom to approach and they’ll get support writing a great nomination letter; one of the many requirements for a Royal Honour.
2. Follow-Up And Persistence During The Process
3. Effective Writing With A Laser Focus
4. Eliminating The Admin And Risk-Of-Error
The awards nomination process for a Royal Honour can be a long and tedious one. There are multiple moving parts and a fair few documentation requirements to meet before a nomination is considered. So there is a lot that could go wrong for the inexperienced. The admin and detail of submitting a nomination could take over your life if you’re going at it alone. That’s why many people choose to work with an expert team like Bayleaf Honours. That external support is critical to minimise your time investment and reduce errors in your honours nomination submission.
5. Being Discreet Throughout
Outside of your designated supporter list, you might not want the world to know you’re attempting to nominate for or be awarded, a Royal Honour. There are many reasons for this and when you work with an established honours writing service, they’ll always respect your need for privacy throughout the process. You may also be sharing sensitive information about yourself, your career or your medical history as part of the nomination process. Understandably, those things are all kept in the strictest of confidence at all times. When you contract a team like Bayleaf Honours, your privacy is a top priority.
So you see? While no one can guarantee you’ll be awarded an honour, there are lots of compelling reasons to retain an honours writing team for your nomination. If you’d like to discuss further what Bayleaf Honours can do to support you and how to get an MBE or other Honour, reach out to our helpful team here.
Fun Facts About Honours
Twice a year we hear debate about the Royal Honours – both in terms of the recipients chosen and the reasons that some people reject their award. But how much do you really know? What are the rules? And who turned their award down?
It is perhaps the origin of the Royal Honours that divide the masses. While some embrace the tradition and all is stands, others cannot bring themselves to participate in a ceremony that harks back to the British Empire.
So Where And Why Did It Start?
Rarely Granted Awards
Do You Have To Be A British National To Win?
Who Was Stripped Of Their Honour?
And Finally, Just For Fun, We Look At The Weird Things People Have Worn To Their Honours Ceremony
Even the Queen herself has made headlines for her choice of clothes at an investiture. In March 2020, due to public health fears amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the Queen made news for, unusually, wearing long white gloves to pin the medals to the recipients.
But there has been a truly colourful fashion parade at previous ceremonies.
From devil’s horns to no knickers – and we’re talking about just one person here. The Queen of punk fashion, Vivienne Westwood, made the news when she collected her OBE in 1992 and giving a rather revealing twirl in her dress. Although stating that she was once again knicker-less when she was made a Dame years later, it was perhaps her silver devil’s horns that made the headlines along with her fashionable nod to Che Guevara. But even though Dame Vivienne is perhaps the most controversial, many celebrities have been snapped in gorgeous or unusual creations. There’s a great photo gallery here – but can you guess which British celebrity arrived in her trainers?
* For full details about No Risk Nominations, please see our Terms and Conditions, and consult our No-Risk Nomination page.
To read the latest news and get the very best insights from our team, visit our Insights and Updates page