The Association offers the only professional qualification in electoral administration in the UK. Since its launch in 1998, it has become regarded as an essential criteria for the majority of electoral administrator posts.
The qualification is generally offered on a progressive route from Foundation Course to Certificate to Diploma. Candidates must be members of the AEA at the time of registration and remain so at all times throughout the qualification process.
To register for the Certificate programme in England and Wales, candidates must be able to demonstrate three years relevant experience in both electoral registration and elections administration or have completed, or are due to complete, the Foundation Course before 31 December of the year of registration.
In Scotland, candidates must be able to demonstrate three years relevant experience in either electoral registration or elections administration or enclose with their application a letter making a case to be exempted from the above requirement endorsed by their line manager.
Details of the Foundation Course can be accessed here.
In England and Wales, candidates unable to demonstrate three years relevant experience in both electoral registration and elections administration must compete the course.
AEA Certificate in Electoral Administration
The “Candidate’s Information Pack”, which includes links to the registration application forms, can be accessed here.
The Certificate syllabus consists of two modules. In England and Wales, they are ‘Electoral Registration’ and ‘Elections Administration’. In Scotland, they are either ‘Electoral Registration’ or ‘Elections Administration’ and ‘Scottish Public and Electoral Administration’. The full syllabus can be accessed here.
Certificate candidates will be required to submit four work-based assignments throughout the year and sit two examinations (answering three questions from a choice of five on each) at an assessment day.
Once pass marks for all four assignments and both parts of the assessment day have been achieved, candidates will be entitled to use the designatory letters AEA (Cert) or AEA (Cert-Scotland), provided they remain in membership of the Association.
Registration for the Certificate closes on 1 September each year. Early registration is recommended as entries are accepted on a first come first served basis.
AEA Diploma in Electoral Administration
Candidates may only apply to register for the Diploma after they have been awarded the Certificate.
The “Candidate’s Information Pack”, which includes links to the registration application form, can be accessed here.
The Diploma syllabus consists of three modules; ‘Electoral Law’, ‘Public Administration, Electoral Arrangements and Electoral Systems’ and ‘Management and Finance’. The full syllabus can be accessed here.
Diploma candidates will be required to submit a dissertation on a subject approved by the Examining Board and subsequently attend an oral examination linked to it. Where a pass mark is confirmed, the candidate will then be required to sit two examinations (answering four questions from six on the first, and three from five on the second) at an assessment day.
Once pass marks for the dissertation and both parts of the assessment day have been achieved, candidates will be entitled to use the designatory letters AEA (Dip), provided they remain in membership of the Association.
Registration for the Diploma closes on 1 October each year.
Other relevant information
The Qualification Rules can be accessed here.
For each programme, an induction course and an examination techniques course are provided free of charge. Otherwise, the costs of any training courses or research materials are not included in the qualification fees, although discounts are generally offered on AEA training courses and events for candidates.
If you require any further information, contact the Qualifications Team at AEAQualifications@sunderland.gov.uk.