Posted By John
Post-nominal Honours in Order of Precedence

See also Post-nominal Honours in Alphabetical Order

Have you ever seen someone’s name with a string of letters/abbreviations after it and wondered what they meant? Most people recognize that MD stands for Medical Doctor and CPA means Certified Public Accountant. Those are called post-nominals and consist of abbreviations or initials to indicate that the individual holds a position, office or honour.

Post-nominals are written without periods. If a person has more than one, a comma is inserted between them. When there are several post-nominals after someone’s name, honours are listed first in descending order of precedence, followed by degrees and memberships of learned societies in ascending order.

The list below is in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the information you seek.

Postnominals in Order of Precedence >>  Part 1    Part 2

The list below is in order of precedence.

Orders and Decorations

Post-nominal Awarded
since Oct 1992 before Oct 1992
 Distinguished Service Medal (Australia) 5 DSM DSM
 Public Service Medal (Australia) PSM PSM
 Australian Police Medal APM APM
 Australian Fire Service Medal AFSM AFSM
 Ambulance Service Medal (Australia) ASM ASM
 Emergency Services Medal (Australia) ESM ESM
 Medal of the Order of Australia OAM OAM
 Order of St John 3 Varies
 Distinguished Conduct Medal 2, 5 DCM
 Conspicuous Gallantry Medal 2, 5 CGM
 Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) 2, 5 CGM
 George Medal 2 GM
 Conspicuous Service Medal CSM CSM
 Australian Antarctic Medal AAM AAM
 Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry 2 QPM
 Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry 2 QFSM
 Distinguished Service Medal (UK) 2, 5 DSM
 Military Medal 2 MM
 Distinguished Flying Medal 2 DFM
 Air Force Medal 2 AFM
 Sea Gallantry Medal 2 SGM
 Queen’s Gallantry Medal 2 QGM
 Royal Victorian Medal RVM RVM
 British Empire Medal 2 BEM
 Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service 2 QPM
 Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service 2 QFSM
 Reserve Force Decoration RFD RFD


 Member of the Australian House of Representatives MP
 Member of the Legislative Assembly MLA
 Member of the Legislative Council MLC
 Member of the House of Assembly (Tasmania) MHA

Legal Positions

 Queen’s Counsel QC
 Senior Counsel SC
 Justice of the Peace JP
 Special Justice (South Australia) SJ

Vice Regal Appointments

 Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General or State Governor ADC

1 Refers to both the Imperial Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for Australia. Awarding of the Imperial
Victoria Cross to Australian citizens ended when the Victoria Cross for Australia was created as part
of the Australian Honours System in 1991. The Australian Victoria Cross has yet to be awarded.
There have been 96 Australians awarded the Victoria Cross.
2 These are Imperial awards. All Imperial awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are
classed as foreign awards, and hence such Australian citizens are not entitled to use the associated
post-nominal letters. However, those presented with these awards before that date are still permitted
to use the post-nominal letters.
3 Post-nominals within the Order of St John are not recognised as notified in the Governor-General’s
media release of 14 August 1982.
4 Provision for further awards at the Knight & Dame level within the Order of Australia was removed by
Her Majesty The Queen on 3 March 1986 on the advice of the Prime Minister. Those who have been
awarded this rank are still permitted to use the title and the post-nominal letters.
5 In the period 1975-1991, for Australian citizens and ADF personnel, a number of Imperial awards were
replaced by Australian awards. See charts below:

For Citizens

Date Imperial award Australian award
1975 GC George Cross CV Cross of Valour (Australia)
18 Oct 1989 RRC & ARRC Royal Red Cross NSC Nursing Service Cross (Australia)

For ADF Personnel

Date Imperial award Australian award
15 Jan
DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal SG Star of Gallantry
CGM Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
DSO Distinguished Service Order
1991 DSC Distinguished Service Cross (UK) DSC Distinguished Service Cross (Australia)
1991 DSM Distinguished Service Medal (UK) DSM Distinguished Service Medal (Australia)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia article postnominal.
For more information visit the Australian government website

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