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Heraldry Proficiency Program - Examinations

1. Examination Process (Levels 1 & 2)

Each student will determine when he or she is ready to take the examination. Everyone learns at a different pace and there is no set time limit. There are three ways in which the examinations will be conducted.

  • You study the reference material for as long as you feel is necessary

  • When you feel you are ready for the examination, you let the Chief Examiner (CE) know with about two weeks notice. The examination itself will be an open-book one (you may refer to any reference materials you choose, but no other help), with a strictly enforced time limit.

  • At the same time, you select a suitable invigilator from the list below and provide the CE with his/her full coordinates, including postal address, email address and telephone number. The Invigilator must be approved by the CE. His/her primary job will be to enforce the time limit.

    Minister, priest, physician, surgeon, dentist, lawyer, pharmacist, registered nurse, certified accountant, professional engineer, university instructor (M.A. and up), school principle or vice-principle, senior police officer (Sgt. and up), Fellow, Honorary Fellow or Licentiate of the RHSC. If no one on that list is available, a candidate may request consideration from the CE for a suitable person from their community.

  • You agree with the Invigilator as to a suitable date, time and location for you to take the examination.

  • Shortly before the selected date, the CE will email the exam as an attachment to the Invigilator. At this point, there are two alternatives:
    1. The Invigilator prints out the exam in hard copy and presents it to the cadidate at the time and place established. The cadidate writes it by hand in the Invigilator's presence and returns it to him/her at the end of the time limit. The Invigilator mails it to the CE for marking. The current postal address is: Dr. K.W. Greaves, 622 Upper Ottawa St., Hamilton, ON L8T 3T5, Canada; OR
    2. The candidate attends the Invigilator's home or office as appropriate, where he writes the exam on the latter's computer and in his/her presence. At the end of the time limit, the Invigilator saves the written exam to his/her document file and send it to the CE as an email attachment.

  • The CE marks the exam in whichever form it was transmitted and sends the results to the candidate.

  • Those candidtes passing the examination will in due course receive a certificate attesting the Level attained.

2. Question Types

The questions on the Level 1 (Introductory Heraldry Course) and Level 2 (Intermediate Heraldry Course) examinations are primarily multiple-choice. There is one correct answer in each case. In addition to the multiple-choice questions, candidates will be asked to blazon correctly one or more achievements of arms. The blazonry tasks in level 2 will be more difficult and candidates may be asked to blazon badges and heraldic flags as well.

3. Sample Examination Questions - Level 1:

An old method of impalement whereby two coats of arms are joined the dexter half of one to the sinster part of the other.
a. diapered
b. demembered
c. devisal of arms
d. dimidiation
In heraldry an ordinary such as the white area in our national flag is called:
a. a Canadian bend
b. a pall
c. a Canadian fess
d. a Canadian pale
A fish swimming horizontally is said to be
a. hauriant
b. naiant
c. urinant
d. flotant

Blazonry - Level 1:

Candidates will be required to blazon correctly relatively simple heraldic shields. There are in some cases several alternative correct blazons. The shortest (number of words) blazon is generally considered the most elegant but any correct blazon following the principles described in Greaves's Basic Blazonry will be accepted.

Blazonry - Level 2:

Candidates will be required to blazon correctly full achievements of arms, including crest, supporters, compartment and motto, and may be required to blazon badges, banners and standards. As above, latitude will be provided to allow for acceptable differences in blazoning.

How would you blazon the following arms granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority?

Arms of Rory Henry Grattan Fisher  Arms of Warren Peter Tracz   Arms of John Joseph Pope

You may click on the arms to link to the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges where these armorial achievements are properly blazoned. These are relatively simple achievements.


4. Qualification Process for Level 3

There are no examinations as such for Level 3. The requirements for this level are included in the Level 3 sub-menu section.