Titles and names


A word on capitalisation

We try to avoid capitalisation as much as possible.

Capital letters should be used at the beginning of sentences, the beginning of proper nouns (words that refer to a unique entity, such as 'London' or 'Michael'), and when covered in the sections below.


The following words should not be capitalised:

  • accident and emergency (unless referring to a specific facility)
  • ambulance (unless part of ‘St John Ambulance’)
  • area
  • care
  • course
  • department
  • district
  • doctor
  • first aid
  • healthcare professional
  • leader
  • Names of our forms, sheets, policy documents. For example: ‘refer to our data protection policy for information’ or ‘complete the event medical form (SJF26)’
  • paramedic
  • region
  • unit
  • volunteer
  • vufoils
  • youth (unless referring to the Youth department).


Use upper case initial letters for all awards when referring to them specifically. For example, ‘the First Aid Award for Education.'

Do not capitalise the initial letter of the word ‘award’ if it is used without the full name of the award.


For example

Correct Incorrect
Joe hopes to be awarded the Sovereign's Award. The award is very prestigious. Joe hope to be awarded the Sovereign's Award. The Award is very prestigious.


Bodies and organisations (including St John Ambulance)

Use upper case initial letters when referring to bodies and organisations, unless the organisation’s branding suggests otherwise (eg. innocent):


Correct ways to refer to St John Ambulance and associated organisations

  • St John Ambulance (not St. John, St John’s Ambulance, or the St John Ambulance Brigade or Association)
  • Order of St John
  • Priory of England
  • Johanniter International
  • the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, or St John Eye Hospital for short.

Legislation and governing bodies

When referring to legislation and governing bodies, follow the organisation’s style, ie. Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


Also bear in mind that external audiences may not know what the HSE is, therefore, when writing for an external audience use a phrase such as ‘changes to health and safety regulations’ instead of ‘HSE changes’, to explain your point.



The names of our training courses take an initial capital letter only. When referring to a course in prose, italicise the full course title. For example, ‘Sign up for our Emergency first aid at work course’.


Divisions and departments

Commercial Training Division (CTD) always takes initial capital letters.


The names of our departments take an initial capital letter. The word department’ never does. For example, ‘the Fundraising department’.


Initial capitals should be used when referring specifically to a department, but not when using those words to refer generically to the activity the department manages.


For example

Correct Incorrect
The Ambulance Services department is responsible for ambulance services The ambulance services department is responsible for Ambulance Services.


Events and campaigns

Event titles and campaign names should take initial capitals when referred to in full. For example: ‘The St John Ambulance First Aid Awards’, ‘the National Schools’ First Aid Competition,’ or ‘Save a Life September’


However, do not use initial capitals when referring to ‘the awards,’ or ‘the competition,’ or ‘the event.’


Job titles and roles

Use initial capital letters when referring to a specific person by name and title, but not otherwise.


For example

Chris Thornton is Regional Director for the East Midlands region.

 St John Ambulance has seven regional directors.
 The regional director said, ‘I am encouraged by the commitment shown by our employees and volunteers.’


When referring to the chairperson of a group, use the term ‘chair’ in a general sense, always lowercase. In specific circumstances, use the individual person’s preference, for example ‘chairman’, should they have one.



Only capitalise the initial letter when referring to a specific trustee, not when using the term generally - the same principal as for job roles.


St John Ambulance programmes and initiatives (including Badgers and Cadets)

The names of St John Ambulance programmes take initial capital letters.


Examples include:

  • Badgers
  • Cadets
  • Carer Support Programme
  • Cycle Responder (although individual cycle response units would be lower case)
  • Community First Responder.

The names of our student programmes, LINKS and RISE always appear in full capitals.


Organisational structure

As of 2012, St John Ambulance is divided into regions, districts, areas and units. None of these terms take initial capitals.

For example:

West Midlands region


Publications, policies and presentations

Names of published works take an initial capital letter. For example, Medicines on duty or Upfront magazine.


The exceptions are forms, worksheets and policy documents that have self-explanatory generic names, and therefore, when referred to in prose, have no need for capitalisation. For example, you would write ‘refer to our data protection policy’ rather than ‘refer to our Data protection policy’. With forms, please use the reference in brackets after the title. For example, ‘please use the St John Ambulance event medical form (SJF28)’.


Don’t use capital letters throughout headings and titles in documents; only begin the first word with a capital letter. This goes for all kinds of publications, including PowerPoint® presentations and headings in tables.


For example

Correct Incorrect
Tips for managers on conducting the interview Tips for Managers on Conducting the Interview


Initial capital on 'Queen', and always use 'the Queen' not 'The Queen'. 



The following venues take initial capital letters:

  • National Headquarters
  • Shared Accounting Centre
  • National Distribution Centre
  • National Telesales Centre
  • McBeath House.




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