Friday, March 23, 2018

CGA Fellowship


Fellows of the Canadian Gemmological Association are gemmologists with a strong grasp of both theory and practice who have demonstrated their mastery of the field through their success on standardized qualifying examinations. In the absence of government regulation of gemmologists in Canada or elsewhere, qualifications from reputable, recognized gemmological institutions worldwide are the primary means by which a potential customer or employer can identifypractitioners with sound, scientifically based training.

The CGA's professional gemmology training is offered directly by the CGA as an Ontario government-approved Private Career College program, and elsewhere by affiliated schools. Regardless of the setting in which the program is delivered, whether as a certificate program or non-credit education, core content is standardized, and qualifying examinations provide screening to identify candidates for Fellowship. Fellows must be accepted by the Board of Directors, and Fellowship provides qualified individuals with professional credentials that have long been recognized within the gemmological community.

The field of gemmology is constantly changing, and gemmological skills become rusty. Fellows are required to renew their status annually, and are encouraged to keep up with news in the field, participate in the community, and attend conferences and training workshops to keep their expertise up-to-date.

Only current Fellows in good standing may use the FCGmA credentials or display their Fellowship certificates in a public place. The public is invited to contact the CGA office to verify the current status of those advertising FCGmA credentials.

Fellowship Qualifying Examinations

Examinations provide a standardized objective assessment of a candidate's grasp of gemmology and demonstrate that course material has been retained well enough to be applied under pressure and in the absence of the internet and reference texts.

Examinations are divided into two levels which correspond to the two portions of the part-time professional gemmology program. Candidates who have completed either the part-time or full-time programs with the CGA or an affiliate are eligible to write these exams.

The exams are structured as  follows:

  • Preliminary-level exam 
    • consists of two written papers, each of three hours duration 
    • written the morning and afternoon of the same day
    • a certificate is awarded to acknowledge a pass of 67% or higher.
  • Professional-level exams 
    • Theory
      • consists of two written papers, each of three hours duration
      • written the morning and afternoon of the same day
    • Practical
      • normally scheduled for the day after the theory papers

Examinations are written in Toronto and at affiliate sites in January and June of each year. VCC may schedule an August session in Vancouver for their accelerated summer program.  

Examination Fees
Preliminary-level Theory:    $500.00
Professional-level Theory:   $500.00
Professional-level Practical: $500.00

Registration forms may be downloaded from the Course Forms page.

Pre-Exam Lab Course 

An optional 5-day Pre-Examination Lab Course is often offered in Toronto prior to each examination session, based on demand. This lab session in gem identification and instrument use is primarily intended for CGA registered students who wish extra practice in preparation for the professional-level practical examination, but other qualified individuals may be accepted.  

The focus of the week is to give students as many gemstones as possible for viewing and identification, to become comfortable with the instruments and to devote extra time and support to areas of weak understanding. A qualified gemmologist with teaching experience will supervise.

Schedule: 5-days, 9 am - 4 pm
 CGA student $675.00/non-student $845.00

Registration forms may be downloaded from the Course Forms page.

More About Fellowship

The Canadian Gemmological Association's structure is in part modeled on the British system that recognizes fellows as "members of a group of learned people who work together as peers in the pursuit of mutual knowledge or practice" (Wikipedia). Fellows form the highest grade of membership in many professional and learned societies, such as the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Royal Society of London.

Fellowship with the CGA is earned in several steps:
  • candidates must complete the CGA's professional gemmology program as offered at the CGA or a registered CGA affiliate. Delivery of course material is standardized between sites.
  • candidates must pass the CGA Fellowship Qualifying Examinations
  • candidates must be voted in as Fellows by the CGA Board of Directors

The designation FCGmA (Fellow of the Canadian Gemmological Association) verifies that the holder has met the standards of the Association and demonstrated a mastery of the theory and practice of gemmology as delivered in the professional program. Unlike a degree from an educational institution, Fellowship must be renewed annually to retain the right to use the FCGmA designation.