Awards of the Royal Humane Society

The Royal Humane Society awards medals, testimonials and certificates for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations.

These medals, testimonials and certificates are presented throughout the year with no limit to the number given.

All awards can be awarded posthumously as ‘In Memoriam’ medals or as an ‘In Memoriam’ Testimonial.

RHS Stanhope Medal

Stanhope Medal

The Stanhope Gold Medal is the Royal Humane Society’s most prestigious award.

It is presented annually to an existing medal winner nominated by the following humane societies:

The medal is accompanied by an A4 size certificate signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

A full list of Stanhope medal awardees can be found at Stanhope Awardees.

RHS Silver Medal

Silver Medal

The silver medal was first issued in 1775 and is the Society’s oldest award.

The committee judges each case on its merits. The silver medal has been awarded to people who have;

  • put themselves in extreme personal danger
  • carried out a very long and arduous rescue
  • returned repeatedly to a highly dangerous situation

It is accompanied by an A4 size certificate signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

Only a small number of silver medals are awarded annually, although there is no upper limit.

RHS Bronze Medal

Bronze Medal

The Royal Humane Society bronze medal was introduced in 1837.

It is awarded to people who have put their own lives at great risk to save or attempt to save someone else.

It is accompanied by an A4 size certificate signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

Police Medal

The police medal was introduced in 2000 to honour the most outstanding act of heroism by a police officer of the United Kingdom during the preceding year.

It is made of silver gilt and is awarded every January. The winner is chosen by the committee from among the previous year’s award-winners.

It is accompanied by an A4 size certificate signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

A full list of Police Medal awardees can be found at Police Medal Awardees.

President’s Award

The President’s Award is given to a young person (less than 18 years old at the time of the incident) who has received an award from the Society, and whose life saving act is considered the most meritorious for the year.

It is A4 in size and made of good quality card. Each one is signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

Vellum Certificate

Testimonial on Vellum

The testimonial on vellum is awarded where someone has put themselves in considerable danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else.

Although we’ve kept the historical name of the award, these days it is no longer made of vellum but of good quality card. It is A4 in size.

Each one is signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary.

Parchment Certificate

Testimonial on Parchment

The testimonial on parchment is awarded where someone has put themselves in danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else.

Although we’ve kept the historical name of the award, these days it is no longer made of parchment but of good quality card. It. is A4 in size

Each one is signed by the Society’s chairman and the secretary.

In Memoriam Certificate

In Memoriam Testimonials

An In Memoriam testimonial is awarded where someone has lost their own life in the attempt to save someone else. The In Memoriam testimonial is made of good quality card. A4 in size, and signed by the Society’s president, HRH Princess Alexandra, the chairman and the secretary. 

Where possible, the In Memoriam testimonial is presented to the next-of-kin.

Certificate of Commendation

Certificate of Commendation

For consideration for a certificate of commendation, the nominee(s) must have made a significant contribution to the saving or attempted saving of a life, though their own life was not necessarily at risk.

Examples of the type of situation for which this award can be granted are:

  • staying with an injured person until medical help arrives
  • talking to an injured person to try to keep them conscious
  • giving assistance to paramedics at the scene of an accident
  • in the case of a child, asking an adult for help
  • an unsuccessful resuscitation.

The certificate is A4 in size and is signed by the chairman and secretary.

Resuscitation Certificate

This certificate is awarded to people who have undertaken a successful resuscitation of someone, who was at one stage ‘seemingly dead’, through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (MMR) and/or heart-and-lung massage (CPR). A successful resuscitation is measured by the resuscitated person being alive when they are taken from the location. If they subsequently die, this will not nulify the award of the resuscitation certificate.

A Certificate of Commendation may be awarded for an unsuccessful resuscitation.

This award is not given to professional medical staff (i.e. doctors, nurses, paramedics) when on duty (i.e. it is considered to be part of their job). However, if they are off duty when performing the resuscitation, they can qualify for a certificate.

There is no requirement for the life-saver to be in any kind of danger to be eligible for this award.

If the resuscitation is unsuccessful, the resuscitator can qualify for a certificate of commendation.

The certificate is A4 in size and is signed by the chairman and secretary.