Membership of the Order
Her Majesty The Queen, as Sovereign Head of the Order, honours individuals with admission to, or promotion within, the Order in recognition of their outstanding achievement, the successful discharge of responsibility or their notable and selfless service in furthering the objects of the Order.
All nominations for admission to, or promotions in, the Order from across the world are considered against a set of grade standards, and it must be shown that the merits of that candidate are over and above those which might ordinarily be expected of a person in comparable circumstances. The overriding principle is that a person is admitted to or promoted in the Order on the basis of merit. Recommendations for admission or promotion are considered irrespective of the faith, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any disability of the candidate. Length of service is not the predominant factor, although it is necessary for some time to pass to allow merit to be demonstrated.