House of Lords Appointments Commission

House of Lords Appointment Commission

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Frequently Asked Questions   

Section 1: The Nomination Process


1.1. How do I apply for a non–party–political peerage?

By completing a nomination form – available on this website [opens a new page] or from the Commission’s office [opens a new page]– and returning it to the Commission.


1.2. Can I nominate someone else for a peerage?

Yes. To do so you should contact the Commission’s office, which will then either send a nomination form to you to pass on to the nominee or send a form directly to the nominee, whichever you prefer. 


1.3. Who is eligible for nomination?

To be eligible you must be over 21 years of age and a citizen of the UK, another Commonwealth country, or Ireland. You must also be resident in the UK for tax purposes and accept the requirement to remain so.


1.4. Can I nominate myself?

Yes. See 1.1, above.


1.5. Can I return my nomination form electronically?

Yes. The Commission welcomes the return of forms electronically. Please email them to [opens your default email editor]. Please note if you do use email we will accept a scanned signed declaration on page 6 in PDF format.

1.6. Should I provide references?

Please provide details of at least three referees (with a maximum of six) using the space provided on the nomination form and continuing on a separate sheet if necessary. Please note that the Commission only requires contact details for each referee, not full written references.


1.7. Who should my referees be?

Referees should include a work-related referee (where relevant) and one from your personal life. They should be able to enlarge on any information you provide as to how you could contribute to the work of the Lords.


1.8. What should I do if I can’t provide a work-related referee?

Please provide details of someone who can comment on your ability to contribute to the work of the House of Lords.


1.9. Should I provide a CV?

Yes. Please send one with your completed nomination form. It would help the Commission if it were set out in a way that related to the Commission’s criteria for assessing nominations [opens a new page].


1.10. Should I provide supporting letters with my nomination form?

This is not necessary. The Commission may contact referees for written references later on as part of the assessment process.


1.11. My previous nomination was unsuccessful; can I apply again?

Yes. If your circumstances have changed since the Commission informed you that your earlier nomination was unsuccessful you might wish to send us a new, updated, nomination form.


1.12. Does party-political membership or activity disqualify my nomination?

Not in itself. However, you will need to satisfy the Commission that you can bring a perspective and contribution to the work of the House that is independent of party-political considerations.


1.13. Does a party-political donation disqualify my nomination?

Not necessarily. See 1.12, above.


1.14. I have been named as a referee; what should I do?

If the Commission requires a written reference from you it will write to you, setting out the areas it would like you to cover in the reference. It is not necessary to submit a reference with a nomination form. All references supplied to the Commission will, of course, be treated in confidence.


1.15. What qualities is the Commission looking for in nominees?

Building on its remit, Commission will consider all nominations on the basis of merit, guided by the assessment criteria [opens a new page] it has published.


1.16. How long will it be until I know whether my nomination has been successful?

The Commission will acknowledge nominations within 15 working days of receipt. However, the assessment process might take some time to complete. Please be patient in following up your nomination. You will be informed of the outcome as soon as possible.


1.17. What is the closing date for receipt of nominations?

There is no closing date. The nomination and assessment process is continuous. In the context of discussion about reform of the House of Lords, the Prime Minister has said that he would like the Commission to recommend no more than two individuals for appointment over the course of a year.


1.18. Does the Commission interview short-listed candidates?

Yes. The Commission will invite you to interview if you have been short-listed. Please note that it interviews many more people than it is able to recommend.


1.19. If I am unsuccessful, will the Commission retain my nomination to assess again in the future?

No. Unsuccessful nomination forms will be destroyed, in line with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. All nominees are welcome to submit further nominations in the future, particularly if they have developed skills and experiences relevant to the published criteria.


1.20. Does the Commission provide feedback to unsuccessful nominees?

The Commission does not undertake to provide feedback to unsuccessful nominees.


1.21. Does the Prime Minister always accept the Commission’s recommendations?

The Prime Minister has indicated that he would only intervene in the most exceptional circumstances.


Section 2: The Commission


2.1. Who are the Members of the Commission and how were they chosen?

The Commission has seven members [opens a new page]. Three were appointed to represent the main political parties and to ensure expert knowledge of the Lords. The others, including the Chairman, are independent of Government and the political parties. They were appointed after an open recruitment competition run according to the procedures set down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.


2.2. What is the Commission’s remit?

To recommend people for appointment as non-party-political peers and to vet nominations for membership of the House – including those put forward by the political parties - to ensure the highest standards of propriety.


2.3. How long has it been in existence?

The Prime Minister established the Commission in May 2000 to assist with the transitional phase in reforming the Lords, as set out in the White Paper, Modernising Parliament, Reforming the House of Lords [External website], published in January 1999. 

2.4. How is it funded?

As a public body sponsored by the Cabinet Office [External website], the Commission is funded from that department’s budget.


Section 3: The House of Lords


3.1. Are members of the House of Lords paid?

Members of the House of Lords, who are not paid a salary, may claim a daily allowance of £300 (or may elect to claim a reduced daily allowance of £150) per sitting day - but only if they attend a sitting of the House and/or committee proceedings. This flat fee replaces the former system of members' expenses, and is designed to cover members' costs. You can download a guide to the members' allowance scheme from the Parliament website [External website].  

3.2. How long do peers serve for?

Once elevated to the Lords, peers sit in the House for life.


3.3. How often does the House meet and for how long?

The House sits at 2.30 pm from Mondays to Wednesdays and at 3 pm on Thursdays after party group meetings. If it sits on a Friday it usually starts at 11 am. The House normally has a recess of two to three weeks for party conferences in September / October; two to three weeks at Christmas / New Year; about a week at Easter; and a week at Whitsun. The summer recess normally runs from late July to early September. You can find out when the House is sitting presently on the Parliament website [External website].


3.4. Where can I find out more about the Lords?

For more information about the House of Lords, an illustrated brief guide and briefing papers are available  [External website].