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  1. ITV Report

What do the New Year's Honours actually mean?

The New Year's Honours list recognises the achievement of extraordinary people Photo: PA

Companion of Honour This is awarded to people who have a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government over a long period.

Knight or Dame This is awarded to those who have had a big contribution in any activity, usually at national level.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) This is awarded to those who have a lesser role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. It's also for any innovative contribution to an area.

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) This is awarded for having a major local role in any activity, where work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) This is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community - as well as for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people.

More than 1,200 people have been recognised this year Credit: PA

British Empire Medal (BEM) Reintroduced in 2012, this medal rewards a sustained, local contribution or innovative, high-impact work over a short period.

Overseas Territories Police and Fire Service Medals is given for service in British Overseas Territories.

Royal Victorian Order (RVO) An award given by the Queen - usually to people who have helped her personally, like members of the Royal household staff or British ambassadors.

The George Cross is awarded for acts of heroism and courage in extreme danger.

The George Medal is for acts of great bravery.

The Queen’s Gallantry Medal is given for special acts of bravery.

The Queen’s Commendation for Bravery and The Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air is awarded for risk to life.

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