Letters after your name (post nominals)
Being qualified, and having an education is important. In many parts of the world, this is more important than anything else. The use of post nominal letters after our names on documents and cards is a way of telling the world we are qualified.
His title and post nominal letters included:
Prof. Dr. John Smith MBA, PGDTD, BEd, MEd, MPhil. PhD, MIfL, MCIPD
I am sure this individual has worked hard… but when using pre and post nominal letters there is an etiquette or code of behaviour. And judging by his initial this individual has two, maybe three PhD’s as well as three different Masters degrees !!
Now I’m not convinced that is true.
Post nominal letters and how to use them
According to Debretts the order of post nominal letters is:
1. Orders and Decorations conferred by the Crown (Crown Honours).
2. Appointments in the following order, Privy Counsellor, Aide de Camp to HM, Honorary Physician to HM, Honorary Surgeon to HM, Honorary Dental Surgeon to HM, Honorary Nursing Sister to HM, and Honorary Chaplain to HM. Thus PC, ADC, QHP, QHS, QHDS, QHNS and QHC.
3. Queen’s Counsel, Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant. Thus QC, JP and DL.
4. University Degrees.
5. (a) Religious Orders (b) Medical Qualifications.
6. (a) Fellowships of Learned Societies, (b) Royal Academicians and Associates, (c) Fellowships, Memberships, etc, of Professional Institutions, Associations, etc, and (d) Writers to the Signet.
7. Member of Parliament.
8. Membership of one of the Armed Forces
It is usual for a person with a BEd and MEd to drop the lower status, i.e. only to show the MEd. When a person has two different masters qualifications, it is accepted practice to include both.
What is interesting is to see an individual with so many PhD’ss and Masters qualifications, only to me a Member (not Fellow) of two professional bodies.
Titles and post nominals
If you have a doctorate you can use Dr or PhD, not both
If a non medical person working in a clinical environment, then it is good practice to use PhD, rather than Dr to avoid confusion with members of the public.
The writing is on the wall
In one company I used to work in, it was customary for managers to have their certificates framed and mounted on the wall (yes they had offices!), Some had as many as 11 or twelve adorning their walls.
The more certificates each person had, the more respect they commanded. many even had 2 or three lines of post nominals on their business cards.
One manager had just one lonely certificate on his wall. It was framed in what looked like a hand made frame of rough cut timber, hung in the centre of the largest wall in his office.
The certificate was a dull yellow in colour with what looked like gold printed text. No fancy calligraphy seals or wax stamps. When you got close to read what it said, in bold letters it said:
25M Swimming – Breast Stroke
The interesting this was, that this was the only certificate in the office. Awarded when this manager was just 7 years old.
This individuals had more degrees and post graduate certificates and diplomas than anyone else in the building…. says a lot about both the individual, and his attitude to his first ever award.
Using your post nominal letters
Do you use your “letters” (post nominal letters) to show how clever you are or as a selected set to show relevance to the people around you? Do you use them in the format prescribed by your professional or awarding body?