Examinations, Courses and Awards

The Guild offers the following examinations to all its members:

The Preliminary Certificate:

To encourage younger members in the rudiments of church music.

The Archbishops' Award in Church Music:

The Award was introduced in 1994 as a separate practical examination, although it is identical in substance to the first three parts of this Certificate. Candidates are required to have a minimum competent standard in practical musicianship, prepare a portfolio and undertake a viva voce examination.

N.B. Please note the following revision (2012) to the first paragraph of the syllabus under the heading Part A - Portfolio/Project File:

Candidates are required to prepare a written Portfolio or Project File on the place of liturgy and music within the worship of their church. This substantial dossier should take the form of a critical commentary on, and analysis of, any continuous six month period between 1 October and 31 May.

The Archbishops' Certificate in Church Music:

The administration of this Certificate was entrusted to the Guild in 1961 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury. It was the expressed wish of His Grace that it should be seen to provide a standard as a basic minimum acceptable level for musicians involved in leading the worship of their church. The examination consists of the three practical sections of the Award, plus two prepared essays and a written examination on the history and general knowledge of both worship and church music. Successful candidates may wear the academic hood and append the letters ACertCM to their name.

N.B. Please note the following revision (2012) to the first paragraph of the syllabus under the heading Part A - Portfolio/Project File

Candidates are required to prepare a written Portfolio or Project File on the place of liturgy and music within the worship of their church. This substantial dossier should take the form of a critical commentary on, and analysis of, any continuous six month period between 1 October and 31 May.

The Archbishop's Certificate in Public Worship:

This Certificate is designed for those who lead Public Worship, both Clerical and Lay.

The Fellowship Diploma:

The Fellowship diploma (FGCM), which is taken via modular, distance learning, is the highest qualification awarded by the Guild. It is intended for all musicians who work within the Christian Church, regardless of denomination. The Fellowship course aims to train and develop church musicians to be able to work with understanding and at a high standard. This is achieved by studying liturgical and pastoral aspects of the Church and its music, extending knowledge and understanding of church music in its historical and liturgical contexts, and by learning, developing, and enhancing skills relevant to church music in general and to the candidate’s own denomination in particular.

The annual presentation takes place in London during an act of worship, alternating between Lambeth Palace and Westminster Cathedral, at the invitation of our joint patrons.

About Examinations And Awards

Further details about the examinations & awards administered and examined by the Guild of Church Musicians, and useful contact details.