The Council, individually and collectively, considers each nomination – including the research that has been undertaken, the original nomination information, and the comments from relevant external agencies. The Council usually considers brave acts to involve deliberately choosing to go from a place of safety to a place of danger, or choosing to remain in a perilous situation, to assist others.
Acts involving the preservation of life, (for example, first aid) while admirable, may not be considered brave.
The Council meet twice per year, usually in May and November, to consider nominations.
The Council must reach a consensus on every nomination it considers. This means the members must decide to either recommend an award, recommend no award, or defer consideration to a later date.
If a nomination is deferred the additional information the Council requires is sought, and the updated nomination is submitted at a future meeting.
There are four levels of awards for individuals, as well as an award to recognise the bravery of a group of people involved in a single incident. The Council refers to the following to help determine what level of award to recommend:
Cross of Valour - Awarded for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.
Star of Courage - Awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
Bravery Medal - Awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.
Commendation for Brave Conduct - Conferred for other acts of bravery which are considered worthy of recognition.
The group award is known as the Group Bravery Citation. This is awarded for a collective act of bravery by a group of people in extraordinary circumstances that is considered worthy of recognition.