HOW LONG DOES THE SUBMISSION PROCESS TAKE?
(Information on Submitting Names & Armory and the Time-Frame for Registration)

by Modar Neznanich, Volk Herald

While no one is required to register their name and device, most people feel that it is courteous to do so. By recording the information in the official SCA Armorial and Ordinary listings, it helps to reduce the chances of confusion or offense caused by inappropriate names and armory, and will hopefully prevent others from using the same name and device as you. In some kingdoms, members are restricted from receiving scrolls for awards or fighting in Crown Tourney unless they have registered a name and/or device.

The SCA has organized a registration service through which members may submit their proposed names and armory for approval, and when achieved, be officially recorded. This service structure is known as the College of Arms.

There is a small submission fee to utilize the service. (Check with your local or kingdom heralds concerning the appropriate amount for your kingdom.)

Here's how the submission process currently works in the Kingdom of Calontir. 
This process can and does vary from kingdom to kingdom.


Local Level

A member of the populace, working with their local herald, determines a name and/or device they would like to register.

Appropriate submission forms are filled out, copied and prepared as needed. The local herald can provide the appropriate information for the requirements on submission forms. Some groups/kingdoms may ask for more copies than others as they need/keep extra copies.

Currently the Herald's Office in Calontir requests that submitters make the follow number of copies:
Four (4) colored device forms
Three (3) line-drawing only [non-colored] device forms
Three (3) name forms

Out of these, the Kingdom Submission Herald will need two color device forms, one line-drawing-only uncolored device form and one name form.
The local herald will keep one of each and the submitter should keep one of each.

After the forms are completed, the following is turned in to the local herald:

A) the submission forms

B) 2 copies of any needed documentation (one for the local office, one for the Kingdom Herald's Office...who will send upload an electronic version for the Society/Laurel Herald's Office).

C) a check written out to the local group in the appropriate amount (to cover the submission fee)

NOTE: Ask the local herald for a receipt of payment. {This way if there is a need for resubmission, or records get lost, etc. then you have proof of what you have paid.}

The local group/herald's office gets to keep $2 (per element) of the submission fee to cover the cost of photocopies, postage, etc.
The rest of the fee will be sent on to the Kingdom Herald's office.

The local herald will then turn your check over to the local exchequer, then have the exchequer write a group check to the Kingdom office in the appropriate amount. This amount will depend on how many submissions are being sent in at the same time, because the group can write one check to cover all the submissions they are sending in at this specific time. It could be one submission, or several. Checks from local groups to the Kingdom Office are made out to:  SCA, Inc. Kingdom of Calontir - Heralds

The local herald will keep the following in the local files, sending the rest on to the Kingdom Office:

A) one set of your submission forms

B) one copy of any documentation

C) a record of payment

Note that the reason a local group should keep an uncolored line-drawing-only version of device submissions on file is that it is useful if a scribe or other artisan needs to get a copy of a device to make a scroll or other item. Copies made from colored forms can be difficult to work with. It is also nice to have a "back-up" copy, just in case something happens to a submission.

NOTICE!!! Be sure you keep a copy of the submission (and documentation) for yourself. For devices, also keep an uncolored line copy. {This way, if anything should happen to your submission, you do not have to start from scratch.}


Sidenote:
It is possible to submit directly to the Kingdom Office.
The Calontir Herald's Office would prefer that you go through your local office whenever possible.
However, with the current ruling by the SCA Board of Directors that groups below the status of Barony are not required to have a local herald, some groups do not have a herald and hence members of those group's populace must submit directly to the Kingdom Office. Additionally the Kingdom Heraldic Submissions Officer and/or their staff may run a consulting table at an event or war, where they will take submissions directly.

If you are submitting directly to the Kingdom Office, make checks to pay for the submission fee out to:
SCA, Inc. Kingdom of Calontir - Heralds

When submitting directly to the Kingdom Office, the Kingdom Office gets to keep the $2 normally taken by the local office.

Be sure that you include the correct number of copies needed by the Kingdom Office. 
[For devices: two color device forms, one line-drawing-only uncolored device form. For names: one name form.] 


Kingdom Level

The Kingdom Office (Saker Herald) collects all the submissions received from the local groups. Their job requires them to review all submissions, check for conflicts or other problems and, where possible, add additional documentation to assist in a submission's registration. Because this is a large number of items, the office has a staff of volunteers, knowledgeable in heraldry, who help review the submissions. These staff members are known as Commenters. On a regular basis (ideally once a month - but various factors can cause this to be a once every two months function), the Kingdom Office compiles what is known as an ILoI (Internal Letter of Intent). An ILoI is a list of all the submissions the Kingdom Office has received <since its last ILoI> and intends to register if possible. It is posted to a website for the staff of commenters within the Kingdom to review. Hence, it's name, Internal Letter of Intent. The commenters have 1 month to review the submissions, find conflicts, locate additional documentation and send comments on the submissions to the Kingdom Office. At the end of this month, when the Kingdom Office has received info from the commenters, the submissions are reviewed. Submissions with problems are noted, and a letter explaining the problem is sent to the local office that originated the submission. The submissions that are accepted as ready to send on, are prepared into a packet of forms to be sent to the Society Office and a listing known as an ELoI (External Letter of Intent) or just LoI (Letter of Intent) that lists the submissions the kingdom is sending to be registered if possible is created.  The packet of forms and a copy of the ELoI are sent to the Society Herald's Office. An electronic copy of the ELoI is posted to SCA Heralds webpage that the Herald Offices of the other kingdoms, plus those the Laurel-Sovereign-of-Arms has designated as staff and commenters can review .

The Kingdom Office will keep part of the forms it receives in the Kingdom files, sending the rest on to the Society Office (either physically or electronically). This includes:

A) one set of your submission forms

B) one copy of any documentation

The Kingdom Office gets to keep a portion of the submission fee to cover their cost of photocopies, postage, etc., and the rest is sent to the Society Office, when the submission is sent on. (If the device is returned at Kingdom level, the money stays at Kingdom level until the resubmission is sent in. It is then sent on with the resubmission. This is why you do not pay for a resubmission, IF THE RESUBMISSION IS MADE WITHIN ONE YEAR OF BEING NOTIFIED OF THE SUBMISSION RETURN.)


Society Level

The Society Office (also known as the Laurel Office) collects all the submissions received from the Kingdoms. These submissions will be reviewed further, checked for any missed conflicts or other problems and, where possible, additional documentation will be located to allow the submission to be registered. Because there is a tremendously large number of items, the office has a staff of volunteers and a wide number of commenters, very knowledgeable in heraldry, who help review the submissions. These staff members and commenters, with the Laurel Officers, make up the SCA College of Arms. On a monthly basis the Laurel Office compiles the submissions (from the Letters of Intent of the various kingdoms) and lets the Society staff  and commenters know which letters will be decided on during a particular Laurel Decision Meeting. The staff and commenters have 3 months to review the submissions, find conflicts, locate additional documentation and send comments on the submissions to the Laurel Office. This much time is needed because of the number of submissions that are reviewed. At the end of 3 months, when the Laurel Office has received information from the staff, the submissions are reviewed. Submissions with problems are noted and a letter explaining the problem is sent to the Kingdom Office, which in turn sends a letter explaining to the local office that originated the submission. Submissions which are accepted as free of conflicts and problems are registered and recorded in the official SCA Armorial and Ordinary listings. A letter is sent notifying the Kingdom Office which devices have been registered. These letters of notification both for accepted and returned devices are called LoARs (Letters of Acceptance and Return). Kingdom Offices, upon receiving these LoARs, in turn notify the local offices. [The archive of LoARs can be found here.]


Synopsis of Submission Timeframe

Once a submission gets to the Kingdom Office, it usually takes 6-8 weeks for the Kingdom process to be completed. This includes processing the submission into an internal letter, the Kingdom Commenters checking it over and sending their comments to the Kingdom Office, then the submission being prepared into an external letter. Why the wide range of time? The process time is shorter if the submission arrives in time to go out with the current internal letter and the process is a little longer if the submission arrives just after the current internal letter has been sent out. 

Once a submission gets to the Society Office, it usually takes 4-5 months for it to go through it's checks and balances at that stage. Again the time is shorter or longer depending on when it arrives at the Laurel Office. If it arrives in time to be placed in the current Laurel Decision Meeting listing, it is sooner, if it arrives just after the listing it will take placed on the next listing.  

After the Laurel Decision Meeting on a particular Letter of Intent, it can then take 4-6 weeks for the results to be prepared and sent to the Kingdoms.  Why so long?  With 19 Kingdoms sending in submissions, this results in several hundred devices to be decided on each month. It takes time to prepare the letter of results, have it checked for any errors then produced.

So how long should it take for your submission to processed?  It depends.
If everything goes exactly right at every stage, it can be done in six and a half months. 
If it just misses all the stages in the process, it can take about 9 to 10 months. 

How good is this?  Well, the SCA College of Arms every month processes several hundred submissions at an approximate cost of $10 or less per submission element. Compare that to the English College of Arms which takes almost 2 years to process a submission, plus they process only a few dozen devices during that time span and the fee for each device is around $2000.00


Submission Fees

NOTE: This information is date sensitive. As prices can and do change, it can be difficult to quote them in an article and keep it timely. Always check with your local or kingdom herald to verify the amount of submission fees.

At current time, in Calontir the fee is $9 per element. Each of these is a separate element: name, device, badge.


Helpful Hints Concerning Forms

General Advice

Please make several copies of the blank submission forms before starting on your submission. Never use up your last blank form.

Before sending a submission in to Kingdom level, have it checked for conflicts and in the case of a name, for proper formation. This can save a lot of time and frustration.

Be sure you keep a copy of the submission (and documentation) for yourself. This way, if anything should happen to your submission, you do not have to start from scratch. For devices, be sure to keep a line-drawing uncolored copy of the design. 

Name Form Advice

If registering an unusual name that you have found documentation for, be sure to copy the pertinent pages of the source book and notate the title, author and publisher. This can best be accomplished by copying the title page of the source, if published.

By indicating that you will allow changes in translation or spelling of names you may save yourself the trouble of having the entire submission returned. If there is a problem with the name and Laurel doesn't have your permission, everything is sent back, even if the device is clear.

Device Form Advice

Create a line-drawing-only of your device then make the copies you need from this "master copy". It's okay to start with pencil lines to draw up the design but once it's finished, go over the outlines in black ink. (Think "coloring book" drawing.) This will make for quality copies of your design.

Once the copies are made, you are ready to color in the number of color copies you need. When coloring a device, avoid neon colors or pastel shades. The colors should be as close to true as possible. Do not use crayons and colored pencils. And because ink colors from printers can shift/change with time, many heralds recommend to not use a color printer. HOWEVER, you are currently allowed to use color printer copies if you so choose...but know that if the color shifts to a non-heraldic color or if the shades used are not within the range of heraldic tinctures, the submission will be sent back, thus losing you time and effort in the registration process.  The best thing to use are markers that don't smear or run. A good, inexpensive set of markers, called Crayola Classic Markers is excellent to use. Make sure it is NOT the washable variety.


Submission Forms can be found: HERE


1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Ron "Modar" Knight
Baron Modar Neznanich, OPel, Volk Herald
e-mail:
modar@everestkc.net

Permission to Print.

 



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