National gallantry awards are considered by the independent George Cross Committee and recognise the bravery of those who have put themselves in danger to save, or attempt to save someone’s life. The committee makes recommendations based on the degree of risk and how aware the nominee was of the danger.
The Committee only considers nominations for actions that took place within the previous five years. This reflects a need to ensure awards are timely, can draw on the judgement and knowledge of those involved at the time and can benefit from assessment against other contemporaneous actions. The only exception to this is where it is necessary to wait for the outcome of judicial proceedings, for example an inquest. Even in those circumstances, it is generally expected that the actions meriting an award would have taken place within, or only very little beyond five years.