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New PDQB Qualifications

New qualifications in Piping and Pipe Band Drumming have been developed by amalgamating and further developing the qualifications offered previously by the RSPBA and the Institute of Piping (IoP).  The new qualifications were introduced on 1 January 2007 and the same qualifications are now offered by the 5 organisations involved in the project, namely the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, the National Piping Centre, the College of Piping; the Piobaireachd Society; and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association

All courses offered by the partner organisations now lead to certification within the PDQB qualifications structure. Individuals wishing to undertake directly a PDQB examination with any of the partner organisations (i.e. without participating in a course) will also be certificated within the new structure if successful.  The former RSPBA Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Certificates are no longer available.

All qualifications in the new structure will be certificated by the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) on behalf of the 5 partner organisations.

The New Qualifications Structure

The new structure of qualifications will comprise:


The detailed Syllabus for each Level of the new Piping and Pipe Band Drumming qualifications can be downloaded by clicking here.  Development of the Syllabus for each of the Pipe Band Studies Certificates is nearing completion and it will be published as soon as possible.

All qualifications certificated under the former RSPBA and IoP systems will have parity of esteem with the equivalent level in the new PDQB structure.  The former RSPBA Elementary Certificate will be regarded as equivalent to PDQB Level 2; RSPBA Intermediate Certificate to PDQB Level 4 plus Pipe Band Studies 1; and RSPBA Advanced to PDQB Level 4 plus Pipe Band Studies 2.

Examination Centres

The RSPBA; College of Piping; National Piping Centre; and Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming (the latter for Armed Forces personnel only) will all be approved PDQB Examination Centres.

National Accreditation

A project to have the new qualifications nationally accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and credit-rated and levelled under the new Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) is also now underway. The project will extend into 2007 and further details will be published in due course.

Alistair Aitken OBE
RSPBA Adjudicator Panel

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