College of Heralds
I Have Sent My Submission To The Heralds,
How Long Will It Take Before It's Registered?
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Submitted ... Now What?
Now that you've submitted your items to the West Kingdom's College of
Heralds, what can you expect, how long does it take, and what do you
do if something is returned by the College?
At the quickest, it will take approximately 6 months for the processing
of your submission to go through the College of Heralds and through the
SCA's College of Arms. However it can take 7 months or more. Why so
long? It goes like this:
- Your item is submitted either to: a local branch herald, a Principality
herald, or you mailed it to the West Kingdom
College of Heralds.
- The West Kingdom College of Heralds reviews submissions once every two months
(on the current schedule).
This process includes checking for conflicts and checking name research.
At the fastest, this process will take approximately 1-2 months after you
submit your item(s) depending on when the next meeting is (you can see
the meeting schedule here: Heralds Meeting Schedule.
If you submit just after the monthly meeting, it
will take almost 2 months. If you submit via a local or Principality herald,
it should take only 2 months at the most. That herald should pass the submission up
to the Kingdom level within a month. You may want to check with the web page
How to Track Your Submission to follow up
with where your submission is.
- If the West Kingdom College finds a problem with your submission, you
will get a Letter of Return sent to you after the meeting.
- Once the West Kingdom College has reviewed the submissions, all items that
the College finds acceptable are placed in a Letter of Intent, and placed in the
online system called OSCAR and presented to the College of Arms.
The review process continues at the inter-Kingdom
level, with heralds in each of the SCA's Kingdoms checking for errors,
missing information, conflicts with other registrations, and so on. This
stage usually takes about 3-4 months. In some cases, if
paperwork gets mishandled, an item gets pended to another meeting,
etc., this process can go up to as much as 6-8 months, but this is rare.
- The Laurel Sovereign of Arms holds a monthly meeting to review submissions
that have passed through the commenting process described above. At this meeting,
a final determination is made either to register an item, or why it is
not to be registered. A Letter of Acceptances and Returns is sent out to the
College of Arms, which includes the Vesper Principal Herald of the West. The LoAR
will get published on the Laurel Website and sent to the Kingdom Heralds
anywhere from 1 to 3 months after the meeting,
depending on the Laurel Sovereign of Arms.
- The Vesper Principal Herald (or a designated deputy) is then able to write
or have written Letters of Acceptance, and/or Letters of Return. These are
usually sent out within a month of receipt of the LoAR.
So, 1-2 months for decision by Kingdom, 4-7 months for decision by Laurel:
total 5-8 months, or longer if delays occur, between submission and
registration with the SCA.
NOTE: -- If your submission appears in the
Herald's Minutes on this website as having been passed, please be sure
that the place you see it listed under is the section noted as "EXCERPTS
FROM THE LOAR" -- this is the Letter of Acceptances and Returns from
the Laurel Sovereign of Arms. If the section you are looking at says "MINUTES-"(followed
by a date), and on the next line it says "ACCEPTANCES", this is from the West Kingdom
Herald's Meeting, and all that it means is that the Kingdom Herald's Office
has decided to pass this on to the Laurel Sovereign
of Arms for final consideration and processing. Another way to tell which part you are looking at --
the West Kingdom Herald's Minutes section tends to have a lot more detail about the
submission, and if armory is included, a copy of the picture. If it was accepted
by the Laurel Sovereign of Arms (and therefore is now official) -- in the Minutes
you will see this listed as noted under the "EXCERPTS FROM THE LOAR", but even more
importantly, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance from the West Kingdom College
of Heralds, which tells you when it was registered, etc.
Don't Panic. It sometimes takes longer than 6 months. If, however, you do not
hear after 8 months or more, then check with the heralds (specifically
contact the Matins Herald, check the Contact Information
page for current contact information). Sometimes something
happens ... letters get lost by the Postal Service (not often, but it
does happen), someone put it in a stack of "to do" items and forgot about it
(human nature), etc.
You don't have to do anything, except start using your new name or device or
badge. It's now yours and is protected throughout the SCA -- meaning that
no one can have exactly the same thing registered in the SCA (There is
nothing to prevent someone from displaying the same item(s) in the SCA -
although it's bad form to do so. On the other hand, nobody else will be
able to have your registered armory on a Kingdom-issued award scroll. )
There are several reasons why something can be returned:
- Administrative: this means that usually it's a case of not enough forms,
or not enough money, not on the correct forms, forms not properly
filled out, or something of this nature.
- Not acceptable for some reason. The reasons are usually spelled out clearly
in the LoR. "Not acceptable" is not the same as "conflict" -- see below.
- Not acceptable could mean that the documentation for a name is
not good enough (or incomplete)
- The name is simply not documentable as a name used in the SCA
period (other reasons may occur as well)
- If the submission is armory, the reason could be "bad style" (modern
rather than medieval, etc.), rules violations (color on color, etc.),
the drawing is confusing (hard to tell what it is), and other reasons of
- Conflict: A conflict means that by the rules of the SCA College of Arms, a
conflict of some sort exists between your submission and someone else's
registration (or a protected non-SCA item). The Letter of Return
usually will explain what the problem is, and may offer suggestions on how to
correct it. In some cases the "how to correct it" is a recommendation to talk
to the heralds directly, visit the consultation table, etc. If the conflict
is with an SCA person's arms or badge, you may be able to get permission to
conflict, depending on how close the arms or badge are (normally the LoR
will tell you the degree of conflict). If you are not sure, ask the heralds.
- The Letter of Return normally will explain what the problem is, and how
to correct it, although in some cases the "how to correct it" is to talk
to the heralds directly, come see the consultation table, etc.
The Laurel "Letters of Acceptance and Returns" Archive
Note that the Laurel Sovereign of Arms has started keeping an archive of
LoARs available online. The website for this is:
of Acceptance and Return' (LoAR) Archive
This is aimed at heralds, but can be useful for those who want to see
all the nitty-gritty details ...
Main Herald's Page