I do wonder how many children managed to ever achieve enough points in an I-Spy book to enable them to claim an Order of Merit? To do this you had to score a minimum 1,250 points. The full total per book was 1,500 points, but even Big Chief realised that was quite difficult to achieve and might put readers off.
Once the lower target was reached, the book had to be witnessed by a parent or teacher on a page at the back of the book, then posted off to the I-Spy wigwam (with a 2 1/2d stamp – later raised to 4 1/2d).
Whether they actually bothered to check anything seems very unlikely! The book was then returned along with your certificate. This was quite small, the same size as the book (to stop it getting bent in the post), but nicely printed in red and black. Carrying the News Chronicle name and a vaguely Native American decoration, it was filled in by someone at the wigwam. In the first few books, Big Chief promised to autograph the certificate, but he probably got writers cramp quite quickly and this pledge was quickly dropped. This example here has been awarded to a J. Steer for “Archaeologist 2nd Class” on Oct 12th 1955. If you did fill the whole book in, you got a certificate marked 1st class.
The certificate design was exactly the same as the “Tribal Certificate” which appeared on the back of the original I-Spy secret code books, inside the I-Spy membership packs (which we will look at later).
This is the only certificate design I have seen, if there are any others you know about please let me know.