The Guild offers the following examinations to all its members:
The Archbishops’ Preliminary Certificate is open to anyone actively involved as a singer or instrumentalist in Christian worship, younger or older. The aim is not only to develop practical work, but to encourage attentive listening and reflection on the role of music in worship.
The Archbishops’ Award is a qualification designed to follow on from the Archbishops’ Preliminary Certificate. (It is, however, possible to enter for it without having worked for the APC.)
The Archbishops’ Award is open to all, regardless of age, if you are involved in Christian worship. There are separate pathways for musicians and for worship leaders.
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.
This award is designed particularly to encourage and assist those with responsibility for public worship in all Christian denominations. It is open to any current member of the Guild who has, or who seeks, responsibility for animating and presiding at public worship within the Church.
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.