To be awarded according to the Joint Service Publication, the initiating officer responsible for the award recommendation must complete the form JPA S004 and ensure that all the particulars in the form are correct. Superior commanders need to countersign the form and, wherever possible, must provide an indication of the merit of submission.
The recommendation must contain a description of the actions of the recommended individual, the effect of his conduct on those around him and the outcome of the operations, but should not specify the recommended award except on the front page. For the operational periodic awards, forward the recommendations to the Secretary, AFOAC by the commander who has received the operational scale authority.
The commander places the recommendations in an order of priority for each grade of the award. The commander records the average strength of all ranks and provides an operational summary. To assist the AFOAC in its assessment, the commander groups the citations dealing with a single incident, series of events or locations and submits recommendations that are justifiable.
The Secretary then reviews the recommendations and awards the individuals the awards. For non-operational awards, the recommendation for an act of gallantry is to be forwarded through the normal channels to Secretary, AFOAC for the final approval. The recommendations for the half-yearly Honor list must reach the Service Secretaries’ Honors desks through the appropriate reporting chain prior to the third Monday in November and second Monday in June for review.
The next step is forwarding the names of the individuals chosen to receive awards to the Secretary of State for Defence, who, if he agrees, submits them through the Prime Minister to The Sovereign for approval. Individuals deemed to receive an award later get the notification.