This paper examines the changing relationship between origins, education and destinations in mobility processes. The meritocracy thesis suggests the relationships between origins and education and between origins and destination will weaken while the relationship between education and destinations will strengthen. Comparing data from the 1991 British Household Panel Survey and the 2005 General Household Survey, we test these associations for men and women. We find that the relationship between origins and education and origins and destinations has weakened for both sexes. While these findings are supportive of the meritocracy thesis, they are not, however, evidence of a secular trend towards merit-based selection. Contrary to the thesis, we also find the association between education and destinations has weakened for men and women. The relationship between education and destinations is more complicated than is often assumed and the role of meritocratic and non-meritocratic factors in occupational success needs to be better understood. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.