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Heraldry Proficiency Program - FAQ


1. How difficult are the courses? How long will it take? When are the exams?

The Level 1 course does not require or assume any prior knowledge of heraldry. It is an introductory level course that provides a general survey of the language, history and concepts used in heraldry. The difficulty level of the course is such that the material can be mastered by an individual with a high school education. The courses are taken by self-study.

Individual self-study requires some self-discipline and commitment. You should plan to set aside several hours per week for reading and review. As it is a self-study curriculum you can pace yourself and take as much or as little time as you require. The syllabus has been arranged with 15 topic areas in each of Level 1 and 2. Each topic can be covered in approximately 2 to 10 hours of study and preparation.

Examinations can be scheduled by you with a minimum of 30 says notice. It has been our experience that a majority of candidates successfully complete examinations on their first attempt. It is of course possible to re-register for a course and re-take the the Level I or Level II examinations.

2. Are there lectures I can attend? Study groups?

The curriculum is designed for self-study. The various RHSC Branches (BC & Yukon, Prairie, Ottawa Valley, Toronto and Laurentian) may be able to assist through mentoring, locally established study groups or local lectures. Please join the Society, your local branch and meet others interested in heraldry.

The RHSC also maintains an e-list where it is possible to ask questions and get to know others interested in heraldry. The education committee also provides two Forums on these pages that allow you to post questions either about a) the courses, examinations, and study resources, or b) any heraldic topic related to the materials your are studying, While education committee members will be monitoring these posts we also encourage you to answer each others questions and assist each other in your study. Over time these questions and answers will serve as an additional resource.

3. I notice a lot of things are changing and that some materials are not yet available. When will this be finished?

The RHSC has been offering Heraldic Proficiency Courses for a number of years. Based on this experience the Education committee has undertaken the task of revamping the curriculum and syllabi to improve the experiences of our students and to make the courses even more useful and relevant to the needs of our students and members. Each resource that is being developed to assist students is a new resource that is being written by one of our education committee volunteers  or by one of the senior members of the Society.  These things take time and we will make them available here as soon as we can. Until that time students can access the information, as before, through the list of recommended readings on the Bibliography page. If you are have trouble locating the information you need please post this on our Forums or contact the Chief Examiner.