* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)
* Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) or Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)
* Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
* Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
* Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Only the highest two ranks automatically cause an individual to become a knight or dame, an honour allowing the recipient to use the title "Sir" (male) or "Dame" (female) before their first name (though men can be knighted separately from this and other Orders of Chivalry). Honorary knighthoods, given to individuals who are not nationals of a realm where Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, permit use of the honour as a post-nominal but not as a title before their name. Awards in the Order of the British Empire in the Commonwealth Realms were discontinued with the establishment of national systems of honours and awards such as the Order of Canada, the Order of Australia and the New Zealand Order of Merit. Foreign recipients are classified as honorary members of the Order they receive, and do not contribute to the numbers restricted to that Order as full members do.
There is also a related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are not members of the Order, but who are nonetheless affiliated with the Order. The British Empire Medal has not been used in the United Kingdom or its dependencies since 1993, but is still used by the Cook Islands and by some other Commonwealth nations.
The Order's motto is For God and the Empire. It is the most junior of the British orders of chivalry, and the largest, with over 100,000 living members worldwide.