The Higher Certificate level of assessment is a public examination open to all.
Candidates may have completed the Correspondence course in Genealogy (which prepares students for this examination) or have obtained their expertise through experience as well as other formal tuition. Candidates do not have to have submitted themselves for examination at the Certificate level. The Higher Certificate in Genealogy is required for a candidate to proceed to higher professional qualifications.
A basic understanding of social and economic history at local and national levels, historical geography and demography will be required. Students should have a good knowledge of the main record repositories and principal record sources, and should have developed a sound technique in genealogical research. At this stage, the student must be capable of accurate extraction of data from original documentation covering a wide range of record sources. This will require a knowledge of palæographical hands as well as basic Latin as found in record sources, and the ability to read documents quickly and accurately to abstract the relevant material.
Those on the Correspondence Course do not need to sit the Higher Certificate paper 2 but can choose instead to have the overall mark from their assignments on the course to be submitted. Correspondence Course Students must sit paper 1 to obtain the Higher Certificate.