The Archbishops' Certificate in Church Music (ACertCM)


The examinations leading to these awards are open to all who have a serious interest or involvement in the music of the Christian Church, whether as choir directors, organists or keyboard players, choir singers, instrumental leaders, instrumentalists, worship leaders (cantors/animateurs), or in any similar capacity.

Summary of Requirements

The Archbishops' Certificate in Church Music (ACertCM) consists of the following:

  • Part A Portfolio/Project File
  • Part B Practical Examination
  • Part C Viva Voce examination
  • Part D1 Extended Essay
  • Part D2 Extended Essay
  • Part E Written examination

Learning Outcomes

Holders of the Archbishops’ Award in Church Music will have demonstrated:

  • competence in musical performance in the candidate’s chosen role;
  • ability to engage with others in musical performance;
  • competence in the spoken parts of the service;
  • an understanding of the Christian year, and an appreciation of ways in which the liturgical calendar might be reflected in the choice of music for worship;
  • an understanding of the form and structure of worship in the candidate’s church, and a critical appreciation of the place of music in that worship.

Holders of the ACertCM will, in addition, have demonstrated:

  • a general understanding of the history of church music;
  • knowledge of a particular area of church music repertoire;
  • an understanding of the historical development of liturgy and contemporary liturgical practice in at least one denomination;
  • the ability to research areas of study related both to the history of church music and to liturgical development and practice;
  • the ability to develop a structured written argument, testing original ideas against the ideas of others.

This award is at level 4 (comparable to the standard expected at the end of the first year of a tertiary course of study) in the national framework of qualifications.

Conditions of Entry

All candidates for these awards must be current members of The Guild of Church Musicians. 

Applications should be returned, with the appropriate fee, by 31st January prior to the examination.

The Academic Board of The Guild of Church Musicians reserves the right to refuse or cancel the entry of any candidate for the Award or the Certificate without assigning a reason.

Candidates are strongly advised to consult the Guidelines which are published separately for Parts A to C, and Parts D and E.

Advice from Chief Examiner