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Sword, Globe and Shield of Honour FAQs

Each year, British Safety Council invites eligible organisations to apply for a Sword and/or Globe of Honour award. In 2023, we are also launching a Shield of Honour wellbeing award. The awards recognise commitment to exemplary levels of health, safety, wellbeing and environmental management. The entries are adjudicated by an independent panel of chartered health, safety, wellbeing and environmental professionals. The prestigious Sword, Globe and Shield of Honour Luncheon will be held at Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Ave, London EC2N 2DQ on 24 November 2023.

Any queries not covered by these FAQs should be sent to [email protected].

Scheme details

How do the schemes work?

The Sword of Honour, Globe of Honour and Shield of Honour schemes are open to all organisations who achieve a five-star outcome in their site-specific Five Star audits. 

Unlike in previous years, only the marks from the written award application will count towards the final overall score. 

The written application comprises one question set in four component parts, with up to 750 words expected per component. Applicants will need to respond consistently across all sections.  

The questions are aligned with components of the Five Star Audit specification model and the focus of these questions changes each year to assess different aspects of health, safety, wellbeing and environmental management systems and best practices. This keeps the scheme both challenging and dynamic. All applications are site-specific. 

Who is eligible and what are the eligibility criteria for each award?

Each year, those that have achieved a five-star result, between 1 August 2022 – 31 July 2023 in one of the following audits are invited to apply: 

  • Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit 
  • Five Star Environmental Audit 
  • Five Star Integrated Health, Safety and Environmental Audit 
  • Combined Audit. 
  • Five Star Wellbeing Audit 
  • Five Star Wellbeing Supplementary Audit 

With a direct link to the Five Star Audit report, these awards require a detailed and objective evaluation of occupational health, safety and environmental management system(s) and associated arrangements. 

Since 1 August 2022, the site must NOT have: 

  • Suffered any workplace fatalities 
  • Been subject to any prohibition notices 
  • Been the subject of any convictions in relation to health and safety breaches. 

The full award eligibility criteria can be found on our website. Click here 

During what period should the Five Star audits have taken place for the 2023 awards?

1 August 2022 to 31 July 2023. 

How are marks calculated?

To achieve a five-star outcome from their audit, an organisation must currently score between 92% and 100% in the audit process. The final marks for each submission will be determined by reference to applicants’ performance in the written application only. Unlike in previous years, the results of the Five Star Audit process will not be considered other than as a right of entry to the awards. 

  • A maximum of 60 marks are available for the written application. Applicants must score a minimum of 45 marks to remain eligible for the award. 
  • A minimum of two individual responses must be scored within the top mark band (11-15 marks). 
  • Submissions will become ineligible for the Sword of Honour award should any individual responses be scored within the lower mark band (0-5 marks). 

The guidance notes for applicants detail the scoring mechanism and should be read in detail when completing the application.  

What is the new Shield of Honour and who can apply for it?

Newly introduced in 2023, the Shield of Honour award is aimed specifically at Being Well Together Supporters and others, to recognise excellence in wellbeing. To be eligible for the Shield of Honour, applicants must have achieved five-stars in one of the following Being Well Together audits: 

  • Five Star Wellbeing Audit 
  • Five Star Wellbeing Supplementary Audit. 

Getting the five-star audit is just the start though, like the Sword and Globe awards, applicants need to demonstrate to an independent adjudication panel that they have a proven track record and culture of best practice for excellence in wellbeing, that runs throughout the organisation, from the shop floor to the boardroom. 

Being Well Together Supporters gain free access to the new Shield of Honour awards. 

The application process

When will I receive the application form, marking scheme and guidance notes?

Once you purchase the application via the website you will receive a link to access the application form via the Learning Zone. The marking scheme can be found here:  

In what format is the application form?

The application form can be submitted via our Learning Zone portal. You will receive detail on how to access the application via an email after purchasing the application. A step-by-step guide to access the Learning Zone can be found here SOH/GOH Application process ( 

Can I submit additional evidence?

No. Applicants must restrict responses to no more 750 words per question. The adjudicators will not consider appendices or additional information. 

What support is available to applicants?

There are various support options available, and you are highly encouraged to take advantage of them even if you have applied for the awards before. 

  • Webinars – we have 2 separate webinar options for applicants to join, which will be run by the Chief Adjudicator for UK and International clients (23 August 2023) and Head of Audit & Consultancy – India, for India clients (8 September 2023). To book on one of the webinars click here: UK/International or India
  • Watch our video on how to enrol – on the Learning Zone tutorial. Click here 
  • Read the 2022 Chief Adjudicator’s reports – available on our website. Click here 

How would I get access to multiple sites applications?

We have created a step-by step guide that will assist you with multi-site applications. You can find it here.

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications is 23:59 GMT on Friday 22 September 2023. No extensions will be granted. 

When will I receive my results?

Results will be emailed to the email address given on the application form on Thursday 12 October 2023, and published on the website Friday 13 October 2023. 

How much does it cost to apply?

£495 +VAT per site (VAT does not apply overseas). 

How do I pay?

You can pay by credit/debit card, bank transfer (BACS) or you can request an invoice, via our website. When paying by invoice please provide a purchase order number. 

When do I have to pay?

Payment is usually required in full upon completion of the application order form, results will only be issued to applicants that have paid the application fee in full. 

Who marks the applications?

Independent adjudicators who are chartered health, safety, wellbeing and environmental practitioners. 

What is the pass mark?

The adjudicator will apply the marking scheme and award a score and a Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.

Any application scoring a borderline Fail, will be remarked by the Chief Adjudicator to check the accuracy of the marking. Similar borderline reviews will be conducted at the Merit and Distinction grade boundaries. The Chief Adjudicator's decision is final in respect of all grades awarded.

Is there a quota of Sword/Globe/Shield trophies to be awarded?

No. If all applicants reach the pass standard, then all applicants will receive a Sword/Globe/Shield award and can purchase a trophy on our website. Please note that there is an additional charge for the trophies. A certificate will be issued to all winners. 

I am unhappy with my mark/grade. What can I do?

There is a formal result enquiry process whereby you can get a re-mark and/or feedback. Result enquiry applications must be received with payment by 23:59 GMT on Monday 23 October 2023 to be considered. 

Winners’ Luncheon

When is the winners’ Luncheon?

Friday 24 November 2023

Where will it take place?

Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Ave, London EC2N 2DQ 

What are the benefits of attending the Luncheon?

  • The opportunity to celebrate and reward staff for their hard work and dedication 
  • Networking opportunity with other health, safety, wellbeing and environmental management professionals 
  • Brand exposure and publicity through press coverage of the event 
  • An official presentation photograph that can be used for internal and external communications 
  • A post luncheon press release template for you to publicise your achievement. 

How do I book tickets for the Luncheon?

You will be able to book tickets via our website once the results have been published. 

When can we expect to receive our tickets?

No tickets will be issued for this event. An email confirmation will be sent to the booking contact to confirm the booking. 

What is the dress code for the Luncheon?

Business attire.

What should I do if I have a specific dietary requirement?

Any dietary requirements should be noted on the booking form next to the relevant guest’s name. We can cater for a variety of dietary requirements; please provide clear information and we will contact you if we need further details. 

Will the event be wheelchair accessible?

Yes, we kindly ask that guests requiring wheelchair access contact us prior to the luncheon at [email protected]. 

Awards and commemorative plaques

When should we expect to receive the winners pack?

All winners will receive an email on 12 October 2023 and this will contain: 

  • Winners’ logo - winning organisations may use a promotional logo on their websites, letterheads and other collateral 
  • Press release for winners to use 
  • Details on how to book your place at the Sword, Globe and Shield of Honour luncheon. 

When should we expect to receive our certificate?

Those attending the luncheon will receive their certificate during the luncheon. For those not attending, certificates will be posted to the main contact on the application. 

When should we expect to receive our trophy?

Those attending the luncheon will receive their Sword and/or Globe and/or Shield trophy during the luncheon. For those not attending, an order form will need to be completed and emailed to [email protected] 

What is a commemorative plaque?

This unique wall plaque features the Sword, Globe or Shield of Honour logo and is designed to be used indoors or outdoors. The classic design of this 14-inch plaque reflects the impressive achievement of gaining an award and all organisations have the opportunity to display the name of the winning organisation/site on their plaque. 

How do I order a commemorative plaque?

The link to order the trophy and plaque will be enclosed in the results email that will be sent on the 12 October 2023.  

What is the cost of a commemorative plaque?

The cost per plaque is as follows: 

  • UK: £260 plus VAT, (includes postage and packaging) 
  • International: £393 including packaging and courier charges 

Please note for overseas customers, any local duty payable is the responsibility of the purchaser at the point of entry. Plaques will be dispatched once full payment has been received. 

Government regulations state that Value Added Tax (VAT) at the standard rate of 20% is not applicable for overseas customers as the plaque is being shipped abroad. 

How do I pay for my commemorative plaque?

You can purchase the plaque via the website and the payment can be made by BACS or credit/debit card. Details are to be completed on the booking form. The plaque order will be submitted to our supplier once the payment has been received. No refunds are available upon cancellation of an order. 

When will I receive my commemorative plaque?

Plaques will be dispatched six weeks after payment is received and will be sent directly to the address stated on the booking form. You will receive by email a PDF attachment of your plaque for review and confirmation before it is produced. 

How do I ensure that the site name on the certificate, trophy or plaque is accurate?

The name on the certificate, trophy and plaque will be the same as the name on the Five Star audit report and cannot be amended. Exceptions will be made in case of a spelling mistake. 

Can the name on the certificate, trophy or plaque be different from the name in the application?

No. The name of the site which wins the award must be the same as that which appears on the certificate, trophy and plaque as the award is for the activities that took place at that specific site. We are unable to just insert an overall company name where an organisation has more than one site. 

Key dates

What are the key dates and deadlines?

22 June 2023: Award applications open 

22 September 2023: Application submission deadline on the Learning Zone portal 

12 October 2023: Results emailed to applicants 

13 October 2023: Winners list published 

23 October 2023: Remark and feedback enquiry deadline 

03 November 2023: Trophy and plaque orders deadline 

24 November 2023: Sword and Globe of Honour Luncheon, Drapers Hall, London 

Any queries on the scheme not covered by these FAQs should be sent to [email protected]

Queries on the luncheon not covered by these FAQs should be sent to [email protected]