Syllabus, assessment and entry dates

The 2014 national syllabus (including regulations and marking criteria) for Dean’s Awards and Bishop’s Awards remains in force for 2018, and may be downloaded from this link: 2014 syllabus.

The supplementary repertoire list is also available from this link: 2014 repertoire list. This offers additional material beyond the Bronze and Silver collections, especially for lower voices at Bishop’s Award level.

The remaining 2018 assessment date is:

3rd November 2018 at St. Michael, Watford closing date for entries 6th October 2018

Please note that if we receive more entries than can reasonably be heard on any date, priority for appointments will be offered in order of receipt. Entries beyond this limit will be offered a later date (which will usually mean waiting until the next session). The same applies to requests for morning/afternoon only. All entries will be acknowledged on receipt, subject to checking; confirmation of appointments will normally be sent out as soon as possible after the closing date.

In addition to Adobe format, entry forms are also available as Word 2010 files, on to which entries can be keyed directly – though some printers may corrupt the format. The option remains to print out the pdf versions for manual completion.

Please use these forms, which are customised for use in this area, rather than the generic forms available on the main RSCM web-site.

Acrobat Reader is needed to view some of these files. If you don’t have this installed, you can download the free software from the Adobe web-site. If you find that the pdf files don’t open automatically from within your browser when you click on the link, save the file to disk (usually by right-clicking the file and selecting Save As), and then open the file directly using Adobe Reader.

The person completing page 1 is deemed to be the applicant, with whom the contract of examining is made, and we are able to correspond directly only with that person. If this is other than the choir trainer, the applicant is responsible for passing on information as required. Candidates under the age of 18 are not allowed to self-enter. For multiple entries in the same session from the same church by the same applicant, page 1 only needs to be completed once.

The Choir Questionnaire on page 4 of these forms is designed to help examiners in framing questions for section E appropriate to the local experience of candidates. Once submitted, it will be kept on file for future entries. It only needs to be re-submitted it if there is any material change from the previous submission, when any previous versions will be deleted from our file.

From the June 2018 session, this Area has moved to single-examiner operation.  This is in line with moves being taken to secure a uniform approach across all Areas, prior to approval being sought for Awards to be recognised for national validation purposes.  Fees are adjusted accordingly.  The price for medals and ribbons for successful candidates is however set by RSCM Music Direct, and may change at any time beyond our control.  It helps our stock control and our ability to supply these promptly after results are confirmed if they are pre-ordered when entering.  Delays may occur if they are only ordered after results have been issued, and we may have to pass on the additional postage cost levied by RSCM Music Direct for a small order.

Awards information

A summary of the presentation from the information workshop held on 27th January 2013 at St. John, Boxmoor, remains available and may be downloaded from this link. Please however read this in the light of the revised 2014 syllabus where appropriate, especially as regards specified detail for Dean’s Award on items of church furniture and their functions in Section E.

Sample sight reading tests and other materials are available in the new Voice for Life Guide to musicianship publication and the accompanying resources at

Gold Award training

We receive occasional enquiries about preparation for the Gold Award. We generally refer these on an informal basis to local colleagues who have proven experience in entering candidates. None of us is however authorised by Salisbury to lead a workshop at this level, and it is not viable for this Area to incur the fee of a visiting workshop director for just a handful of prospective applicants.

The London area, with its much wider catchment area, is better placed to mount these workshops. Please log in to their web-site, via the main RSCM menu, for further details.

2018 Area statistics

We congratulate the following successful candidates from our area:

Sasha Emelianova St Albans, St Peter Dean’s Award Merit
Christopher Godfrey Dunstable, Priory Church of St Peter Dean’s Award Pass
Cheryl Jeyakumar Hatfield, St Etheldreda Dean’s Award Distinction
Gracie Longworth Leighton Buzzard, All Saints Bishop’s Award Merit
Jonathan McFarlane Flitwick, St Peter & St Paul Dean’s Award Merit
Catriona Stewart Hatfield, St Etheldreda Bishop’s Award Distinction
Kath Unwin Bedford, St Paul Bishop’s Award Distinction
Alison Walker Kempston, All Saints Bishop’s Award Pass
Carol Yirrell Leighton Buzzard, All Saints Bishop’s Award Merit

Dean’s Award : 4 candidates, of whom 1 Distinction, 2 Merit and 1 Pass.
Bishop’s Award : 5 candidates, of whom 2 Distinction, 2 Merit, 1 Pass.

We also congratulate the following successful candidates from our Area for Gold Awards:

Neve Atkinson Leighton Buzzard, All Saints
Genevieve Pughe Leighton Buzzard, All Saints

Nicholas King
Awards Officer

11th July 2018

  • N.B., Acrobat Reader is needed to view PDF files. If you don’t have it installed, you can download the free software from the Adobe website. Also, if you find the PDF file doesn’t open automatically from within your browser when you click on the link, save the file to disk (usually by right-clicking the file and selecting ‘Save As’) and then open the file directly using Acrobat Reader.