The name of the Society is The Society of Heraldic Arts.
- To serve and represent the interests of heraldic artists and craftsmen.
- To encourage the pursuit of excellence in the heraldic arts.
- To encourage research and development of the heraldic arts.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.
- To act as a ‘shop window’ for Craft Members’ work and to respond to enquiries from members of the public.
There are five classes of membership:
- Associate Membership
- Associate Craft Membership
- Craft Membership
- Honorary Fellowship
- An eligible member is one who has paid all outstanding subscriptions and registration fees.
- Associate Membership is available to those persons wishing to support the objectives of the Society. Application should be made on the prescribed form and submitted to the Hon. Membership Secretary together with payment of the annual subscription.
- Associate Craft Membership may be offered by the Appointments Board to those artists and craftsmen who aspire to become Craft Members of the Society and are able to demonstrate an aptitude for their craft.
- Associate Craft Members may describe themselves as ‘Associate Craft Member of the Society of Heraldic Arts’ and use the post-nomial ASHA.
- Craft Membership Candidates for admission as Craft Members should be artists or craftsmen whose work comprises a substantial element of heraldry and is of a sufficiently high standard to satisfy the requirements of the Appointments Board. A candidate for Craft Membership is required to submit a letter of application to the Hon. Membership Secretary together with photographic evidence or a portfolio of their work and payment of the registration fee and annual subscription. Candidates will be informed of the Board’s decision by the Hon. Membership Secretary. In the event of an unsuccessful application the annual subscription will be refunded but the reasons for rejection will not be given.
- In exceptional circumstances the Council, acting on a recommendation from the Appointments Board, may offer Craft Membership to an heraldic artist or craftsperson of merit without the need for a formal application.
- Craft Members may describe themselves as ‘Member of the Society of Heraldic Arts’ and use the post-nomial ‘SHA’.
- Fellowship of the Society is awarded by the Appointments Board in recognition of outstanding work in the field of heraldic art and/or craftsmanship. Two or more Fellows may nominate a person for admission to the Faculty of Fellows by letter to the Hon. Membership Secretary, the letter setting out the reasons for so doing. The person nominated does not have to be a member of the Society but, if elected, would be expected to pay an annual subscription equivalent to that of a Craft Member and to undertake the responsibilities of a Craft Member. The Hon. Membership Secretary will forward nomination papers to the Appointments Board for determination. The Appointments Board may require examples of a candidate’s work to be provided together with details of his/her qualifications. If the nomination is confirmed, the Hon. Membership Secretary will invite the nominee to join the Faculty of Fellows. If not, the Hon. Membership Secretary will inform the Fellows who nominated the unsuccessful candidate but the reasons for rejection will not be given.
- The Faculty of Fellows will not exceed in number one quarter of the number of Craft Members.
- Fellows of the Society may describe themselves as ‘Fellow of the Society of Heraldic Arts’ and use the post-nomial ‘FSHA’.
- Honorary Fellowship of the Society will, on rare occasions, be awarded to a Craft or Associate Member in recognition of outstanding service to the Society. The granting of Honorary Fellowship shall be proposed by the Society’s Council and confirmed by a majority of eligible members, both Craft and Associate, present at the Society’s Annual General Meeting.
- Honorary Fellows may describe themselves as ‘Honorary Fellow of the Society of Heraldic Arts’ and use the post-nomial ‘Hon. FSHA’.
- Responsibility for the administration of the Society shall be vested in the Council, comprising the officers of the Society (the Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Editor and Hon. Membership Secretary) and no more than two co-opted Craft Members. A quorum shall be three or, in the absence of the Chairman, four. The Council will be elected at the Annual General Meeting (see below) and will meet at least once in each Society year. At the first meeting of the Council following the Annual General Meeting no more than two Craft Members may be co-opted to serve on the Council until the date of the next Annual General Meeting.
5. Appointments Board
- Responsibility for the appointment of Fellows and Craft Members shall be vested in an Appointments Board comprising four Fellows elected every three years by the Faculty of Fellows, the election to be administered by the Hon. Membership Secretary (see below). The Board will appoint a Chairman from among its number. At the beginning of each three-year term of office, the Appointments Board will publish the criteria by which applications for Fellowship and Craft Membership will be assessed. Honorary Fellows are not eligible for membership of the Appointments Board, neither may they participate in the election of Board members.
6. Election of Officers
- The Society’s Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Editor and Hon. Membership Secretary shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Members of all classes are eligible to serve as officers of the Society. Nominations should be forwarded to the Hon. Secretary by post or email, or tabled in person at the Annual General Meeting: each candidate to be proposed and seconded by eligible members of the Society (all classes) and to indicate their willingness to serve, either in writing or in person at the Meeting. Serving Council members are eligible for re-election with the exception of the Chairman who shall not serve for more than three successive years. Where the number of nominees exceeds the number of vacancies a secret ballot will be held of members (all classes) present at the Annual General Meeting. Where the number of nominees is equal to, or fewer than, the number of vacancies, the nominated members shall be deemed to have been elected.
7. Election of the Appointments Board
- The four members of the Appointments Board shall be Fellows nominated and elected by the Faculty of Fellows to serve for a period of three years from the date of the preceding Annual General Meeting. Nominations should be forwarded to the Hon. Membership Secretary by post or email, each candidate to be proposed and seconded by Fellows of the Society and to indicate their willingness to serve. Only Fellows may vote to elect members of the Appointments Board. Where the number of nominees exceeds the number of vacancies a postal ballot of Fellows will be held. Where the number of nominees is equal to, or fewer than, the number of vacancies, the nominated Members shall be deemed to have been elected.
8. Duties of Officers
- The Chairman will chair meetings of the Society and of the Council and in matters of dispute his/her decision will be final. (In the absence of the Chairman the meeting will elect one of its number to perform the Chairman’s duties.) He/she will present a report of the Society’s activities for approval at the Annual General Meeting. The Chairman will respond to media enquiries subject always to the best interests of the Society.
- The Hon. Secretary shall convene meetings of the Council and of the Society and will maintain minutes of all such meetings. He/she will be responsible for maintaining records and copies of correspondence, including enquiries from the public which have been forwarded to Craft Members. The Hon. Secretary will table a report of his/her activities for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Hon. Treasurer will be responsible for the financial affairs of the Society and for maintaining records of the Society’s income and expenditure. He/she will prepare financial accounts as at 31 March each year and these will be presented, together with an annual financial report, to the Annual General Meeting for approval. The Hon. Treasurer will maintain records of subscriptions paid and will report on these at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Hon. Editor will have responsibility for editing the Society’s publications, preparing them for publication and arranging for their distribution. He/she will table a report of his/her activities for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Hon. Membership Secretary will record and maintain details of members (all classes) and will report on the Society’s membership at the Annual General Meeting. He/she will administer the appointment of Fellows and Craft Members and will ensure that membership records comply with current legislation.
- All officers will be reimbursed for any expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their responsibilities and will maintain for inspection records of such expenses.
9. Financial Matters
- 9.1 The income and expenditure shall be applied solely to the objectives of the Society and in accordance with its non-profit-making status.
- 9.2 The financial year of the Society shall be from 1 April to 31 March, subscriptions becoming due on 1 April. A member whose subscription is not received by 1 July of the financial year shall cease to be a member of the Society and cease to receive the benefits of the Society.
- 9.3 At the discretion of the Council, lapsed members may be reinstated on payment of the appropriate subscription(s) together with a registration fee.
- 9.4 The Council may from time to time recommend that the rate(s) of the registration fee and annual membership subscriptions be amended. Such a recommendation may only be determined by a majority of eligible Members (of all classes) at the Annual General Meeting and must be made explicit in the agenda.
- 9.5 Under exceptional circumstances, the Council may waive payment of the annual subscription for those who are unable to meet the costs of membership.
10 The Annual General Meeting
- 10.1 An Annual General Meeting shall be convened by the Hon. Secretary each year within eighty days of the last day of the Society’s year.
- 10.2 Notice of the Meeting and Agenda will be forwarded by the Hon. Secretary to all eligible members not less than twenty-one days before the date of the Meeting.
- 10.3 A quorum at a General Meeting shall be eight eligible members (all classes).
- 10.4 All members eligible and present at the Meeting may speak and vote on all matters except for membership of the Appointments Board (see 7 above).
- 10.5 Motions may be tabled for determination at the AGM. These should be in writing and proposed and seconded by eligible members (all classes). Motions should be received by the Hon. Secretary at least thirty days before the date of the AGM.
- 10.6 Other matters may be considered under item (k) providing due notice is given in writing to the Hon. Secretary at least seven days prior to the AGM.
- 10.7 Matters will be determined by a majority of eligible members present and voting.
- 10.11 In the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
- 10.12 The Agenda to include:
(a) Receive Apologies for Absence.
(b) Approve the Minutes of the previous AGM (or EGM).
(c) Consider matters arising from the Minutes.
(d) Receive and approve the Chairman’s report.
(e) Receive and approve the annual accounts and financial report for the year ending 31 March preceding the date of the AGM.
(f) Receive and approve the Hon. Secretary’s report.
(g) Receive and approve the Hon. Membership Secretary’s report.
(h) Receive and approve the Hon. Editor’s report.
(i) Election of Officers.
(j) Consideration of any motions tabled with due notice.
(k) Any other business (with written notice).
(l) Agree a provisional date for the next Annual General Meeting.
11. Extraordinary General Meetings
- 11.1 Any five eligible Craft Members may corporately require the Hon. Secretary to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting, such a requisition to be made in writing, signed by all five members and stating the purpose for which the meeting is to be convened.
- 11.2 Notice of the Meeting and Agenda will be forwarded by the Hon. Secretary to all eligible Members not less than twenty-one days before the date of the Meeting.
- 11.3 A quorum for an EGM shall be eleven members (all classes) including the Chairman and at least two other Council members.
- 11.4 Matters will be determined by a majority of eligible members present and voting, the Chairman exercising a casting vote if required.
12 Electronic Communication
- At the discretion of the Council, electronic methods of communication may be used, thereby allowing members to participate in the proceedings of General Meetings without attending in person.
13 The Constitution
- This Constitution may only be amended by means of a written requisition submitted to the Hon. Secretary by the Council or by five Craft Members acting together. The Hon. Secretary will forward the proposed amendment(s) in writing to all Craft members together with a ballot paper to be returned or emailed to the Hon. Secretary within thirty days of the date on the paper. A two-thirds majority of positive responses is required in order that the amendment(s) be implemented.
- The Council may recommend the appointment of a President of the Society, such a recommendation to be approved by the unanimous support of those members (of all classes) present at the Annual General Meeting. Such a recommendation must be made explicit in the agenda.
15 Winding-up of the Society
- 15.1 The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those Craft Members returning their ballot papers before an Annual General Meeting or present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which the required period of notice specified in preceding paragraphs shall have been given to the members.
- 15.2 Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Society, provided that, if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such properties shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Society but shall be given or transferred to such other institutions having objectives similar to those of the Society as agreed by the members.
February 2017 / amended