General Regulations

General Regulations


Candidates may enter for any Grade irrespective of age, and without having previously taken any other Grade.  The age or youth of a candidate is not taken into account by the examiner. Stress is, however, placed on the advantage of working systematically through the various grades.  Candidates are encouraged to take Theory examinations alongside their practical achievements from an early stage in their development.  Full marks are given for the theory questions at a practical examination to candidates who show that they have passed a Theory Examination of a certain corresponding Grade (see Regulation 17).


Candidates may enter at any centre unless otherwise shown in the syllabus. It is the policy of the College to set up examination centres wherever there is demand provided the expense of examiners’ time and travel makes it a viable undertaking.

The fees for all examinations are as shown on the Official Table of Fees current on the date of the examination obtainable from the College.  Fees are payable in all cases on submission of entry forms.

White entry forms are used for up to ten candidates below Diploma level.  The names of candidates entering a duet, duo or group examination should beb bracketed together.

Pink entry forms are used individually for each Diploma candidate.  Diploma candidates who are entering for the relevant paperwork requirement at the same session should complete both the pink form for the practical entry and a white form for the grade theory examination. Diploma fees include one free entry for paperwork requirements if taken at the same session.

BLOCK CAPITALS should be used throughout on entry forms and teachers completing them should check the spellings of names with candidates as certificates for successful candidates are printed according to the spelling on entry forms. Teachers are strongly recommended to keep a copy of entry forms for future reference.

Completed entry forms should be forwarded with the appropriate fees, to the Local Secretary (or where there is no Local Secretary, direct to the College) at least six weeks before the agreed date of the commencement of the examination session. 

LATE ENTRIES are permitted only in exceptional circumstances and then on payment of double fee.                   
Closing dates for the acceptance of entries are normally six weeks before the start of the examination session but this may be advanced in certain circumstances where local conditions dictate, particularly in non-UK centres.


Entries for examination can be accepted by the College only in accordance with these conditions and regulations, and on the understanding that in all matters the decision of the College is final.

The College reserves the right to refuse or cancel the entry of any candidate, in which case the examination fee is returned.  The College reserves the right to invalidate the examination of any candidate entered incorrectly and to withdraw the right to use post-nominal letters in cases where, in the opinion of the College, they have been used improperly.

Only candidates whose names have been submitted on the entry form and for whom a report form has been issued will be accepted for examination.  Examiners are not empowered to vary this Regulation. Substitution of a candidate in place of a candidate originally entered is not permitted.

Each candidate will receive a time form showing the date, time and place of the examination and the candidate’s name, subject and grade of examination. These details should be checked by the candidate and any alteration, particularly in the spelling of the name, clearly made in ink. It is advisable for the candidate to arrive before the time stated as the absence of another candidate may advance the time of the examination.

Candidates for Practical examinations are required to prepare the whole of the works they select from those in the syllabus, and to perform those portions selected by the Examiner. Where a choice is given, the whole of the works selected by the candidate (in consultation with their tutors) should be prepared.  The presence of any person other than the Examiner and the Candidate is not permitted in the examination room unless the syllabus requires an accompanist.  An interpreter or chaperone is admissible only if approved by the College in advance.

In Speech and Drama, and other spoken examinations, copies of the set pieces must be produced for the Examiner by the Candidate.  Actual texts or carefully typed copies are acceptable.

The decision of the Examiner is final and no correspondence on a result can be entertained, other than that covered by the Appeals Procedure (See regulation 19).


Candidates with physical disability or learning difficulties are expected to achieve similar standards grade for grade as all other candidates. The College will do all in its power to make reasonable adjustments to assist in this achievement if notified in good time.  Proposals for modified syllabuses e.g. the substitution of alternative exercises for aural tests in the case of a profoundly deaf candidate, will be given sympathetic consideration. See Equal Opportunities Policy Statement.

Candidates prevented by illness from attending examinations may re-enter in the same Grade at the following session on payment of the transfer fee (see fee table) only, but a fresh application form must be completed. If entering for another Grade as well as, or instead of the original Grade, the full fee must be paid. The College reserves the right to request a medical certificate in support of a transfer application. The Local Secretary and/or the College should be advised as soon as possible if a candidate will be unable to attend. In all other cases of absence, or in cases of failure to pass the examination, the full fee must be paid on re-entry.

In all cases whether for reasons of illness or not, where a candidate enters at a session or centre other than that originally shown on the entry form, the Transfer Fee shown in the current fee table is payable. The permission of the College must be obtained in advance in all cases of transfer, and a fresh entry form submitted.

Certificates are despatched via Teachers or Local Secretaries to successful Grade candidates as soon as possible after examinations. Diplomas are usually sent direct to candidates together with an authorisation for the purpose of purchasing the official robes.  The postal address used is that shown on the entry form, unless subsequently advised otherwise in writing.

Duplicate certificates and diplomas may be obtained at the prices quoted on the table of fees.  All relevant details should be quoted.  Checks are made on the accuracy of certificates and diplomas, but if an incorrect certificate is received, it should be folded and returned to the College for replacement free of charge. The error should be clearly indicated on the certificate itself rather than in a separate letter which could become detached.


Candidates for JUNIOR BRONZE MEDAL, JUNIOR SILVER MEDAL, BRONZE MEDAL, SILVER MEDAL GOLD AND PLATINUM MEDAL may be of any age. A higher Pass Mark of 75% is required of medallists than for ordinary grades.  The result is either “Medal Awarded” or “No Award”: there are no degrees of pass. Medals can be taken in both practical and theoretical subjects.

Successful candidates will be sent a certificate and a medal order form. All medals are of quality metals with a ribbon and pin attachment. Each medal is supplied in a box and can be engraved with the candidate’s name, subject of examination and the year. The prices of medals, which are shown on the form are determined by our suppliers and are therefore beyond the control of the College.  The price of a medal is not included in the exam fee as this would unduly penalise unsuccessful candidates.

Medal holders are not entitled to designatory letters after their names.


Candidates for Licentiateship must be Associates of the College, though not necessarily in the same subject.   Fellowship candidates must hold the Licentiateship of the College in the same subject unless they are approved direct entrants. Candidates may apply for approval of direct entry to the Fellowship examination without first taking AVCM and LVCM if they provide documentary evidence that they hold one or more of the following diplomas/degrees in  the same subject:

Licentiate of the Royal Academy/Schools of Music
Associate of the Royal College of Music
Licentiate of Trinity College London
Licentiate of London College of Music
Licentiate of Guildhall School of Music
Bachelor of Arts, Music or Education of a recognised UK University
or equivalent qualification

The minimum age for diploma candidates at the time of examination is as follows.
Licentiate (Teacher’s Diploma) (LVCM(TD))    17
Fellowship (Teachers) (FVCM(TD))                 18
Certificated Teacher (CT,VCM)                       18

Minimum ages for all other diplomas are no longer applied.  However, no allowance whatsoever will be given to younger candidates: the standards required will be the same regardless of age (see Regulation 1)

Successful candidates at Diploma examinations receive a diploma of traditional design.  They also receive an authorisation to purchase academical robes from the official robemakers.  They are entitled to appropriate designatory letters after their names.  Because possession of the Licentiateship implies possession also of the Associateship; and Fellowship implies possession of both Licentiateship and Associateship, it is superfluous for a Licentiate to show the letters AVCM in addition to LVCM after his or her name, or for a Fellow to show AVCM or LVCM in addition to FVCM.

Holders of the Certificated and Registered Teacher’s Diploma (CT,VCM) should, if they possess another VCM Diploma prefix the letters “CT,” thus: CT,AVCM or CT,LVCM or CT,FVCM.  This form of style is adopted by the College when showing the names of teachers on certificates etc., but there is of course no objection to teachers showing their diplomas in full separately on their letterheads etc.


15    MARKS
Unless otherwise stated in the syllabus, the Pass mark for all Grade examinations is 65%; with Merit, 80% and with Distinction, 90%.  In Ireland, Merit is shown as Honours.  Medal examinations (including Junior Medals) and Diploma examinations have a pass mark of 75%.  Diploma candidates gaining 85% or more are awarded Honours.

Candidates for Grade 8 in a practical subject must pass or have passed Grade IV Theory of the Victoria College of Music before the Grade 8 certificate is awarded. 

    Candidates for ASSOCIATESHIP must also pass VCM Grade V Theory.
    Candidates for LICENTIATESHIP must also pass VCM Grade VI Theory.  See Theory of Music or Theory of Speech syllabus for details.

There is no theory requirement for FELLOWSHIP Diploma.

Candidates who have passed similar level examinations of other bodies may apply for a certificate of exemption.  Such requests must be accompanied by a photocopy of the qualification concerned.  This may be claimed at any time.  If claiming by email, claimants must include a postal address for despatch of the exemption certificate.

AVCM and LVCM Diploma fees (though not DipVCM) include one free entry for the appropriate Theory examination if taken at the same session and entered on a separate white entry form. The Grade 8 Fee DOES NOT include the Grade IV Theory fee. 


Marked Theory papers are not returnable.


Candidates who have passed certain Theoretical Examinations are entitled to claim full marks for questions at Practical Examinations as follows:

Grade I  Theory exempts up to & including Preliminary Practical
Grade IA  Theory exempts up to & including Preparatory  Practical
Grade II  Theory exempts up to & including Grade 3  Practical
Grade III  Theory exempts up to & including Grade 5 Practical
Grade IV  Theory exempts up to & including Grade 7 Practical

In all such cases the theory result or certificate  must be produced for the Examiner at the beginning of the practical examination.

All Victoria College of Music and London Music Press publications are copyright.  It is therefore unlawful to photocopy music or other publications for examination without permission.  Candidates using unauthorised photocopies will be disqualified.


Notwithstanding regulation 8, the College will consider appeals, without prejudice, in certain circumstances, including:




  The decision of the appeal may be one of, or a combination of, the following:
  to uphold the original decision

  to alter upwards (or in some cases, downwards) the allocation of marks awarded

  to permit re-entry at transfer fee

  to permit re-examination at the next session at no fee

  to refund the examination fee

It is the policy of the College to enable all candidates an equal opportunity of success in its examinations.   The College requests the active cooperation of examiners, teachers and others concerned in achieving this goal.   Marks are awarded on the performance of the candidate at the examination only.

Where reasonable adjustments need to be made to fulfil this policy, every effort will be made to make the arrangements seamless and as far as possible candidates should not be made to feel that they are receiving special treatment.

We try to use premises that are independently accessible.  However, where it is necessary, examiners will relocate to alternative premises for the candidate in question, preferably having been notified in advance of this requirement.

See Regulation 9

All College publications are available in large print on request at no additional charge.

Where candidates need to use their own instruments, marks are awarded for performance and not the quality or price of the instrument concerned.

In some Speech and Drama examinations, marks are awarded for "Deportment, etc." This refers to matters of poise, smartness of appearance and body language.  It is not intended to imply a requirement for costly clothes, costumes or properties.

Where interpreters (including Sign Language) or Personal Assistants are essential in examination rooms, their role is restricted to that of facilitating the performance and must in no way affect the artistic performance or misrepresent the oral answers given by candidates to questions.

No account is taken of the age or youth of a candidate provided the age minima for diploma examinations is met (see regulation 14)  Questions will always be asked in terms that the individual candidate can reasonably be expected to understand.