Guidance

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

Updated

About the scheme

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Pledge your organisation’s support via the bronze award or nominate an organisation for a silver or gold award via the links below.

Bronze award

Bronze award holders:

  • are self nominated by employers who pledge to support the armed forces, including existing or prospective employees who are members of the community
  • promote being armed forces-friendly and are open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners
  • receive an electronic certificate and logos to display on their website, stationery and other collateral

View the ERS bronze award holders.

Silver award

Silver award holders:

  • demonstrate support for service personnel issues and employ at least one member of the armed forces community
  • actively communicate and uphold a positive stance to their employees via established HR policies and procedures
  • show flexibility towards annual training commitments and mobilisation of reservist employees and support the employment of cadet instructors, armed forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick) and military spouses/partners
  • collect their certificate at a regional silver awards ceremony, receive silver logos to display and are themselves displayed on the list of Employer Recognition Scheme award winners
  • must be nominated for a silver award by a third party using the online nomination form
  • are required to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and employ at least one individual from the covenant category that the nomination emphasises

ERS silver nominations for 2016 have now closed. If you would like to be informed when nominations open for 2017, please email employerrelations@rfca.mod.uk.

View the ERS silver award winners.

Gold award

Gold award holders:

  • proactively advocate and support defence, communicating their commitment both internally to employees and externally to the wider community through established policies and examples of support
  • are positive to all service personnel during recruitment
  • enable reservists to fulfil their annual training and mobilisation commitments and demonstrate significant support for cadet instructors, armed forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick) and military spouses/ partners
  • must be nominated for a gold award by a third party using the online nomination form
  • collect their award at a prestigious national event, receive gold logos to display and are themselves displayed on the list of Employer Recognition Scheme award winners
  • are required to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and employ at least one individual from the covenant category that the nomination emphasises

ERS gold nominations for 2016 have now closed. If you would like to be informed when nominations open for 2017, please email employerrelations@rfca.mod.uk.

View the ERS gold award winners.

Nomination and award process

Employers can sign up themselves for the bronze award. A wide range of individuals may nominate an organisation for either a gold or silver award, including that organisation’s employees who are reservists, armed forces veterans, spouses/partners or cadet instructors.

External nominations may also be made from a variety of sources, including an account manager within the Defence Relationship Management (DRM) organisation, a Regional Employer Engagement Director or the military unit of a reservist employed within an organisation. The nomination process requires nominees to state their relationship with the employer they are proposing.

Nominations will be validated to determine the level of defence personnel employment within the nominated organisation and to check that the organisation has signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

Once the nomination has been validated it will be considered by a selection board at national level for gold awards and regional level for silver awards. The selection boards will be a panel chaired by a senior military officer and they will consider each nomination against the award criteria. Organisations selected for gold and silver awards will be formally notified in writing and invited to the relevant award event.