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.
The College of Arms is seeking to recruit a research assistant (trainee) for a period of six to twelve months. 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 appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will be able to run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income.
The successful candidate will work with a number of officers of arms and other College staff 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 as a research assistant (trainee), the candidate will be formally assessed with a view to being recommended to the Earl Marshal for appointment as an officer of arms. If appointed, he or she will be able to run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating his or her own income. In the early years after appointment, he or she will need an additional source of income to supplement his or her remuneration as an officer of arms.
The role would suit a self-sufficient candidate with excellent research and communication skills and with a strong interest in heraldic and genealogical matters.
- Good academic credentials
- 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
- Knowledge and experience of heraldry and genealogy;
- Some professional experience;
- Knowledge of British and Commonwealth history, languages and legal matters.
The College is open to flexible working arrangements and the successful candidate may work on a full-time or part-time basis (minimum of two days per week). The role will be based at the College of Arms. The work will be remunerated at a rate of £15 per hour (minimum £10,000 per year).
The successful candidate must have permission to work in the UK by the start of their employment.