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11 March 2024

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NEW Digital certificates for ABRSM. "Charity" that charges for paper certificates!!!

 ABRSM have announced that during 2024 they are introducing secure digital certificates worldwide with the option to order a paper certificate for a fee of £3 or the equivalent in the currency for your country.

The rationale behind this change is:

  • Tto ensure that results and certificates are valid and secure. Digital certificates will help to further safeguard certificates against fraud.

  • Digital certificates will be available more quickly than paper certificates. They will be easy to download, print, store and share, and the unique QR code on each certificate will provide online verification of the candidate and exam details.  

  • By reducing transport and paper use, the introduction of digital certificates will help to achieve  sustainability goals. 

There are some however who put a different point of view. The gold embossed paper certificates have an air of quality about them, something you can frame and hang on a wall. It feels like ABRSM are just again trying to save money as they did with the dumbing down of the theory exams a few years ago and more recently the online video exams. By the way the cost of a video performance exam is only marginally cheaper (£116 instead of £130 for grade 8) despite the fact that there is no venue and support staff to pay for.

The claim to reduce the impact on the environment falls flat when one considers that UK examiners are sent all over the world rather than use local examiners.

The exams themselves are very expensive and even prohibitive when one adds on the cost of lesson and books, so to start charging for paper certificates is frankly insulting. Although a registered "charity" because it donates some funds to music education such as  scholarships to the four Royal Schools of Music, in reality it is run more like a profit making business. There is more information on exactly how this "charity" is run on the government website HERE

Some have felt so strongly about this that a petition has been started which you can support HERE

1 comment:

  1. I will be paying for my students certificates if the ABRSM are going to charge for them. In the whole history of exams, GCSE, A levels, degrees etc the students have always been presented with certificates as part of the reward for their efforts and I am going to continue accordingly. I have signed the petition cheerfully.


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