The National Honours and Awards Act, promulgated on the 18th of July 1969, made it possible for the nation to recognize those who by their service and contribution have had a meaningful and significant impact on national life.
Orders are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service. Decorations and Awards are used to recognise bravery, meritorious, long and/or valuable service and/or good conduct.
National Honours and Awards are administered by the Chancery of the Orders of the Societies of Honour in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Formal recognition of service to Jamaica and its citizens may be given by the conferment of the honour of one of the Orders of the six Societies of Honour established under the provisions of the National Honours and Awards Act, The Act provides that the Chief Justice is the Chancellor of the Order of the Nation and the Governor-General is the Chancellor of:
- Medal of Honour
- Badge of Honour
- Order of Distinction
- Order of Jamaica
- Order of Merit (OM)
- Order of Excellence (OE)
- Order of the Nation (ON)
- Order of National Hero
Badges of Honour
- Badge of Honour for Gallantry [BH(G)]
- Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service[BH(M)]
- Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service [BH(L)]
Medals of Honour
- Medal of Honour for Gallantry
- Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service
- Medal of Honour for Long & Faithful Service
- Medal of Honour for Efficient Service