Nomination FAQs

How do I submit a nomination?

2020 nominations are now closed. We will open nominations for 2021 in September.

I can’t access the online nomination form. What do I do?

Feel free to contact us for a Word version of the form that you can email back to us once it’s completed.

Who can submit a nomination?

Anyone can submit a nomination, but they’ll need to be familiar with the nominee’s work and accomplishments.

Can I nominate myself?

No, but you can ask someone else to nominate you.

Can I nominate a team?

Yes! We accept nominations for teams, but will ask you to designate one, two or, at most, three people who will represent the entire team at recognition events, in media coverage and in published materials.

Who is eligible for the Service to America Medals?

All career civilian federal employees of the executive branch of the U.S. government are eligible.
For special employee categories, we often ask the following to determine eligibility: “Is the employee covered by or eligible for the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) programs, or similar agency retirement and health programs?”

May I nominate…

 Foreign Service employees?

 Yes, Foreign Service employees are eligible.

 Government contractors?

 Private-sector employees are not eligible but may be part of a team led by a civilian federal employee.

 Military personnel?

 Active duty military personnel are not eligible but may be part of a team led by a civilian federal employee.

 Foreign nationals?

 Foreign nationals are not eligible but may be part of a team led by a civilian federal employee.

 Non-appropriated fund employees?

 Non-appropriated fund employees are not eligible but may be part of a team led by a civilian federal employee.

 Former federal employees who recently retired or passed away?

 Our goal is to publicly recognize current federal employees and their achievements on behalf of the American people. Former federal employees who left government service after September 1 are still eligible to receive an acknowledgement of their nomination.

May I submit the same nomination for multiple categories?

Yes, but you must repeat the nomination process for each category. Be sure to open the nomination form in a new browser window to begin each new nomination. Do not simply click the back button, which could cause the new nomination to overwrite your previous nomination. We also encourage you to tailor the accomplishment description to justify why the nominee should be recognized in the selected category.

Is there a limit to the number of nominations a particular nominator or agency may submit?

No. The more, the merrier!

Does the Partnership for Public Service require agency approval of nominations?

No. While some agencies or divisions may conduct their own internal review process, we do not require advance sign-off by a particular office. However, we request that each nomination includes the nominee’s supervisor or higher level official as a nominator or reference so we may verify that the nomination is endorsed and/or supported by the agency.

Who chooses the finalists and winners?

The finalists are determined by the Partnership for Public Service staff following careful review of the nominations and vetting of the potential finalists, including interviews with the potential finalists, their nominator and references and additional sources.

The award recipients are determined by the Partnership based on the votes submitted by a Selection Committee consisting of national leaders representing government, business, entertainment, media and the nonprofit/foundation community.

What recognition do nominees receive if not selected as a finalist?

Most nominees appreciate learning that a supervisor or colleague has recognized their hard work and achievements and took the time to submit a nomination. The Partnership for Public Service will send a congratulatory letter to each nominee to say thank you for their service. In addition, we are always looking for opportunities to showcase nominees in other Partnership programs or in media coverage about government service.

I just submitted a nomination! When can I expect to hear from you?

Nominators, nominees and submitters (if applicable) will receive emails by the end of April letting them know the status of the nomination.

What happened to the Call to Service, Citizen Services and Promising Innovations categories?

In 2017, we changed the Call to Service Medal category, which was limited to federal employees who are 35 or younger, to a new category called Promising Innovations, which is open to federal employees of all ages who are leading innovative solutions that are still in progress. We continue to encourage nominations for young people whose achievements early in their federal career will help inspire a new generation to serve.
We further consolidated award categories by moving Citizen Services and Promising Innovations Medal nominees to other categories where they also aligned. Excellence in customer service and innovation remain important focus areas for the Partnership, and we see these as underlying qualities that should be exhibited by all our finalists and award winners.
See past Call to Service, Citizen Services and Promising Innovations honorees here.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

For additional information, contact Nola Tolsma at (202) 775-9111 or [email protected].