The Council, individually and collectively, considers each nomination – including the research that has been undertaken, the original nomination form information and the comments of referees.
The Council meets (usually) twice a year, to discuss each nomination.
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.
The Council refers to the following to help determine what level of award or appointment to recommend:
Companions (AC) - appointed for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large.
Officers (AO) - appointed for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.
Members (AM) - appointed for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
Medals (OAM) are awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.
The number appointments each calendar year is also limited. The current limits are:
- 35 Companions
- 140 Officers
- 605 Members
There is no limit on the number of Medals which may be awarded each year.