Probationary Officer of Arms

Organisation
The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of the Commonwealth realms. It is responsible for the granting of new coats of arms and the recording of pedigrees. The College also maintains official registers of arms and pedigrees. The officers of arms, in addition to their ceremonial duties, advise on matters relating to dignities, honours, precedence and official symbols, and undertake genealogical, historical and other research.

The College consists of up to thirteen officers of arms, also known as heralds, individually appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Earl Marshal.

Brief description
The College of Arms is seeking to recruit a new probationary officer of arms subject to a twelve-month training period. This role would suit someone with a genuine interest in British and Commonwealth history. The successful candidate will learn how to deal with heraldic and genealogical enquiries arising from members of the public and various organisations, how to process applications for new grants of arms and about other work undertaken by the College. Upon completion of this training period, the candidate will be assessed with a view to formal appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income.

Detailed description
The successful candidate will work, until appointment, for a number of officers of arms and learn about the following types of work:

  • Professional work undertaken by the officers of arms such as dealing with heraldic and genealogical enquiries from members of the public and organisations, processing applications for new grants of arms, undertaking genealogical, historical and other research, and establishing rights to arms and the descent of dignities by inheritance;
  • Work undertaken for the College such as cataloguing various collections of manuscript and printed volumes and updating registers and pictorial indexes for research purposes;
  • Official work undertaken by the officers of arms on behalf of the Royal Household and the Government.

The candidate will work under the supervision of an officer of arms and be subject to periodic performance reviews.

Upon satisfactory completion of his or her training period, the candidate will be formally assessed with a view to being recommended to the Earl Marshal for formal appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income. After appointment, the officer will be self-employed and it may take time to develop a remunerative practice. In the first year after appointment, some paid work can be provided by the College.

Requirements
The role would suit a candidate with excellent research and communication skills and with a strong interest in heraldic and genealogical matters.

Essential

  • Good university degree;
  • Post-graduate employment experience (minimum of 5 years)
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills;
  • First-rate communication skills (oral and written) and approachability;
  • Enthusiasm, adaptability and ability to learn quickly;
  • Professionalism, proactive nature and ability to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to deal directly with members of the public;
  • Ability to establish a wide network of contacts.

Highly desirable

  • Knowledge and experience of heraldry and genealogy;
  • Knowledge of British and Commonwealth history.

Useful

  • Languages and legal matters.

Other
This is a full-time role based at the College of Arms. The successful candidate will be offered a fixed-term contract for an initial period of 6 months, which may be extended by a further 6 months. The work will be remunerated at a rate of £19.00 per hour (equivalent to approximately £35,000 per year).

Applicants must send a covering letter of no more than two pages in length explaining how he or she meets the requirements of the role and a CV to bursar@college-of-arms.gov.uk.

The application period will close on 29 March and interviews will take place on 5-7 May 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide the names and contact details of two referees and to submit a recent short piece of written work on any subject. The successful candidate must have permission to work in the UK by the start of their employment.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Edward Jones
Bursar
College of Arms
130 Queen Victoria Street
London EC4V 4BT

Tel/Fax.: 020 7236 7708
Web: www.college-of-arms.gov.uk