It is the responsibility of a serving High Sheriff to nominate a successor for office three or four years hence, and to pass that recommendation to the Privy Council.
The selection process for candidates varies from county to county. In Buckinghamshire names are put forward to a consultative committee, which usually includes the serving High Sheriff, the Under-Sheriff, the Lord-Lieutenant and a number of responsible advisers.
Despite the prestige of the office, candidates are not always easy to find, as the work of the High Sheriff is unpaid, and the associated expenses can be high (eg for entertaining etc). The Shrievalty is always grateful for suggestions or names of suitable candidates within the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, which, of course, includes Milton Keynes.
Candidates must own property within the County "sufficient to answer the Queen and her people." There are no rules governing the size of the property, nor is the sheriff obliged to make a public statement regarding his personal wealth.
lt is important to note that there is no bar to any suitable person becoming a High Sheriff, whether it be from social standing, sex, colour, or creed.
Once a candidate has accepted nomination, his or her name is forwarded to the office of the Privy Council. Once a year, on 12th November or the closest working day to that date, the names of all the High Sheriffs in nomination are read out by the Queen's Remembrancer in the Court of the Lord Chief Justice in the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London. Presiding at that ceremony are the Lord Chief Justice and two other Privy Councillors. The names of all those nominated are published in the London Gazette and announced in the Court Circular columns of the press.