Defence Employer Recognition Scheme awards

An overview of the Ministry of Defence-led awards programme which recognises organisations for their support to the Armed Forces Community.
Ministry of Defence

9 January 2020

The Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) aims to encourage organisations across the UK to publicly demonstrate their commitment to support members of the Armed Forces Community. The awards recognise positive actions taken by organisations which help to ensure that members of the Armed Forces community are not unfairly disadvantaged during recruitment and are supported in the workplace. The different award levels are indicative of different levels of commitment, with the ERS Gold award being the highest level of recognition an organisation can receive.

There are three levels of award you can enter.


Employers can self-nominate for the Bronze Award via the ERS website. For the bronze award, you must:

  • have signed the Armed Forces Covenant
  • promote being a forces-friendly organisation that is open to employing reservists, veterans & service leavers (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet forces adult volunteers and military spouses/partners.

As a bronze award holder, you will receive an electronic certificate and bronze award logo to add to your organisation’s website and communications.


For the silver award, you must:

  • have received the bronze award and continue to meet the bronze award criteria
  • employ at least one individual from the Armed Forces community
  • proactively demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that members of the Armed Forces community are not unfairly disadvantaged during recruitment
  • actively communicate and uphold your support of employees from the Armed Forces Community
  • demonstrate or provide a framework to show that your reservist employees are well-supported, and provide at least five additional days of paid or unpaid annual leave for training commitments
  • have not received any negative PR or media activity.

Silver award certificates are distributed during a regional awards ceremony. After receiving the silver award, you will be able to add the silver award logo to your website and communications.


You must be nominated by a third party to receive the gold award, which recognises advocates of recruiting from and supporting members of the Armed Forces community. To meet the gold award criteria, you must:

  • have received the silver award and continue to meet the silver award criteria
  • have an existing relationship with your local regional employer engagement director (REED) or relevant defence representative
  • engage with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and be registered to advertise vacancies on the Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) portal, if possible
  • advocate support of the Armed Forces community
  • offer reservist employees at least 10 additional days of fully paid leave for training commitments.

Gold awards are distributed during a prestigious national event. Once received, you will be able to display the gold award logo on your website and communications.