What are post nominals?

Post nominals are letters placed after a person’s name to indicate education qualifications, title of office, and honours.

For education qualifications, including honorary degrees the abbreviation of the institution should also be included in accordance to the guidelines below. Post nominals can be used on items such as business cards and resumes to exemplify qualifications.

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Guidelines for use of Postnominals

1. Governing Policy

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the ACU Policy on Nomenclature of Awards and the Honorary Degree Regulations under Statute 6.

2. Purpose

These guidelines provide direction as to how postnominals should be represented in ACU publications.

3. Definition

Postnominals are letters placed following a person’s last name to indicate education qualifications, title of office, decoration or honour. Postnominals include abbreviations of an award or awarding institution.

4. Order of Postnominals

4.1 Postnominals should be listed in the following order:

  1. For Religious Persons: letters denoting the religious congregation to which they belong.
  2. National Honours, such as the Order of Australia (AO, AM, AC).
  3. Academic qualifications from lowest to highest, except qualifications awarded by the same institution which are listed together.
  4. Where another university is the awarding institution, include the abbreviation of that institution’s name (in brackets) after the abbreviation of the award. In some  instances the name of an awarding institution may not have an abbreviation, so the name should be used in full.
  5. Fellowships, then Memberships (professional institutions and learned bodies, by election or for scholarship).

5. Abbreviations

5.1 To find the appropriate postnominal for an ACU course, please refer to the Postnominals list for the reference year.

5.2 Academic awards may be cited either in full or in shortened form, but not in a mixture of both forms.

5.3 Postnominals should not include full stops, but should include commas to separate the different types of award or membership, and to separate academic awards from different institutions.

5.4 The name of the awarding institution is shown following the listing of the last qualification awarded by that institution.

6. ACU Honorary Awards

Recipients of honorary awards from ACU are permitted to use the following postnominals as appropriate:

DUniv(HonorisCausa) (ACU)

DLawsUniv(HonorisCausa) (ACU)

MA(HonorisCausa) (ACU)

7. Example

An example of postnominal use is as follows:

Professor Nair  Wall AM, BA(Hons) PhD(UNSW), GradDipEd(Sec)(ACU), MA(Macq), FACE

The postnominals indicate that Professor Wall is a Member in the General Order of Australia, received a BA(Hons) and a PhD from the University of NSW, a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education from ACU, an MA from Macquarie University, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Education.

8. Further information

For further information, please contact the Graduation Office.

9. Acknowledgement

ACU acknowledges the Oxford University Calendar: Notes on Style (2015)



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