Support with citation writing
Discover the purpose of a citation, tips and examples.
Citations have two purposes
1. For those reviewing the nomination form, it's the only information that can be used to decide on whether to approve an award or not, so it's vital the form is accurate and includes all relevant information.
2. They support the individual who presents the award (if agreed) to make the event special by allowing them to recount accurate information rather than generic statements about the type of award being presented.
Writing a citation as part of a Meritorious Conduct/Gallantry award or a Good Service award can appear daunting, however the nomination forms will help anyone writing a citation to structure their thoughts and provide a full picture of the individual being nominated.
General citation writing tips
- Use the nomination form to structure your citation.
- Fill out all sections of the nomination form with as much information as possible.
- Complete the nomination form digitally so changes can easily be made.
- Don't inform the nominee that a nomination is being made. When nominating a young person for a Meritorious or Gallantry Award, it may be necessary to approach their family in strictest confidence but make it clear that an award may not be made.
- Get someone else to read the nomination form who does not know the situation, to see if they understand it. If not, amend the details to answer their questions.
Specific tips for Meritorious Conduct/Gallantry citations
- If possible, include medical/emergency services evidence (where relevant).
- Make the nomination in a timely manner. The National Awards Advisory Group will usually only consider award nominations submitted within 12-18 months of the incident/issue.
Specific tips for Good Service citations
- Include examples/evidence of the nominees contributions and if possible, quantify the benefits of their contribution.
- It's vital that you capture what the nominee has achieved since the last Good Service award (if one has been awarded).
- Explain how their service is special and how well their duties have been performed. E.g. someone who has been running a good and lively programme, will almost certainly show an increase in membership or sustained full membership within their section. Explain how that differs from others doing a similar role.
- For someone who may be Scouting in a deprived area, the citation should mention how the nominee has managed to retain membership despite any difficulties.
Suggested citation enhancements
It's vital that citations include all relevant information and the details are accurate so an informed decision can be made on whether to approve an award or not.
Quite often, not enough detail is given, which makes the approval process much harder.
The following lays out some suggested enhancements that could be made to a nomination for to make the approval process for a Good Service award easier.
Outline what this role involves and the time commitment the nominee puts in.
Example: 'John has been involved in the Scouts since 1986. His current roles are Assistant District Commissioner/County Executive Member and Assistant County Commissioner (Beaver Scouts), to which he gives 110%.
Suggested enhancement: Provide supporting evidence of their effective contribution to each of the roles they hold. A list of their appointments and dates is not required in this section, as it is required to be provided elsewhere on the form.
Outline what’s involved in any other roles in Scouts and the time commitment the nominee puts in.
Example: 'He has been a lead member in the District and County events and puts in many hours of planning.'
Suggested enhancement: Provide examples of what he has done for each event and how well this has been carried out, e.g. outstanding/specially distinguished or exceptional service. Also detail how many people benefited from the events and in what way?
Outline specific achievements and impact of the nominee since their last Good Service Award. Examples could include how they’ve: helped grow membership, raised funds, managed large projects or rebuilt their headquarters, etc. Please quote specific figures where possible.
Example: 'Since his last award, his commitment has grown and if anyone deserves an award, John does. I believe he should be awarded the Silver Acorn.'
Suggested enhancement: The first sentence can be used as an introduction, but then expand the information given to show specific examples of the hard work and commitment given.
Where a previous Good Service Award is held, please outline whether the nominee has continued to provide service at a similar level or whether you believe the quality/complexity of their service has substantially increased and why.
Example: 'At the beginning of 2008 he took on the role of Assistant County Commissioner (Beaver Scouts), helping and supporting leaders in the Beaver section. Again John has not taken this job lightly and spends many hours visiting Colonies within the County, which has made him a reliable, worthy, respected and loved team member.'
Suggested enhancement: This paragraph highlights John's conscientiousness. Although we can assume that such qualities bring exceptionally good results, the citation does not explicitly say this or point to supporting examples. Ideally an outline of the impact of such activities should be noted (e.g. better programme, activities, training etc.) and any figures given where possible to show this impact.