SQAThe Scottish Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) new National Progression Awards(NPA’s) and Professional Development Awards(PDA’s) in Scottish Bagpipes and Pipe Band Drumming cover the skills and knowledge pipers and drummers need for performing on Scottish Bagpipes and Scottish Pipe Band Drums. The awards have been developed by the SQA in partnership with the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB). They are based on National standards of design, teaching assessment and certification. They will enable a consistent approach to the study of Scottish Bagpipes and/or Scottish Pipe Band Drumming in Scotland and internationally.

The examinations are credited in line with the national qualifications framework known as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). This framework provides a means of comparing the level of qualifications and amount of credits they carry which can contribute to other awards offered by the SQA. Entry to the NPA or PDA is at the discretion of the delivering centre or organisation. Beginners would enter the NPA (SCQF level 2) and advance through each level to SCQF level 6. For pipers there is the opportunity to progress to PDA’s in Scottish Bagpipes (SCQF levels 7 and 8).

Piping students will be given the opportunity to sit examinations up to SCQF level 7. The syllabus can be viewed here.

Advance notice by intending candidates is vital so that the relevant support pack information can be provided. Students should indicate whether they wish to do so by ticking the relevant box on the booking form or they can purchase them at any time before the school at our online shop (link to shop). Advance notice must also be given to allow scheduling of exams. Please note an additional charge will be made to students who wish to sit exams.

Fees are listed beside the examination below.

  • SCQF Level 2 (old PDQB Level 1 ) – £30 ($50)
  • SCQF Level 3 (old PDQB Level 2 Practice Chanter) – £30  ($50)
  • SCQF Level 4 (old PDQB Level 2 Bagpipes) – £30  ($50)
  • SCQF Level 5 (old PDQB Level 3) – £30  ($50)
  • SCQF Level 6 (old PDQB Level 4) – £30  ($50)
  • SCQF Level 7 (old PDQB Level 5) – £60 ($100)