UFBA consultation with members on Alternative Gold 25 Year Gold Star

In April 2020 following notification in the rise of gold used in our service honours, we consulted with members on an alternative 9ct gold-plated Gold Star option.

In April 2020 the UFBA was notified by our service honours manufacturer of a 13% increase in the cost of gold. Previous lesser fluctuations had been absorbed by Blenheim-based Badges and Medals. However, this substantial rise would need to be reflected in the costs of the medals charged to members. Recognising the financial impact, particularly on smaller brigades or those with multiple recipients, we proposed to offer the option of a 9ct gold-plated 'alternative gold' version of the Gold Star.

After an initial consultation with the UFBA Service and Ceremonial Committee and Membership Advisory Panel, we consulted broadly with membership. Nearly 400 recipients to an online survey helped inform a decision with a clear majority in favour of maintaining only the solid gold version. Respondents spoke of not diminishing the sense of achievement of such an award. While many noted the obvious financial benefits of alternative gold version and the ability to choose, concerns were raised around inconsistency of the award and potential risk that some recipients may not be consulted in what they receive. Subsequently it was decided to maintain the status quo and recognise the cost increase.