Badges of merit
A badge or medal of merit is a valuable acknowledgement for meaningful work.
In addition to the official honours of the orders, other official and semi-official badges and medals, as well as memorial crosses and badges, are awarded in Finland. There is a specific criteria for awarding these badges. The badges of the Association of Finnish Municipalities and Finland Chamber of Commerce can be requested through the organisations themselves according to their criteria. With these badges, a distinguished individual can be awarded for their significant career, or respect can be shown for their contribution in the local government or private sector.
Career merit badges of the State corresponds to the previous badge for impeccable service. It is awarded by the President for a service to the State that has lasted at least 30 years. Proposals are handled by a special committee working in connection with the Ministry of Finance.
Organisations, associations and companies also have their own badges for awarding purposes. A significant and respected issuer of crosses of achievement in the private sector is Suomen Yrittäjät (Organization for small and medium-sized enterprises) which has its own classes for entrepreneurs and individuals working for its business members. The entrepreneurship organisation also awards Yrittäjäpatsas (entrepreneur statues) designed by Mauno Honkanen as acknowledgements.
Many trade unions have their own practices relating to badges and crosses of merit. With them, the unions acknowledge their distinguished members and significant representatives of their stakeholders. Practices and award criteria vary according to the needs and guidance of each union.