Equivalence of Programmes of Study

The following table illustrates possible reference points to the Regulated Qualifications Framework and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, graded music examinations, and various other music qualifications encountered in UK secondary schools and colleges. This is included in order to give a broad indication of the expected standard for each Programme of Study. Examinations assess the attainment of certain benchmark standards and do not necessarily capture the full range of musical progress that a student makes. As noted in the section on differentiation, learners may be working at different levels for different aspects of their musical development.

A Common ApproachRegulated Qualifications Framework (England and Northern Ireland) and Credit and Qualifications Framework (Wales)Scottish Credit and Qualifications FrameworkEuropean Qualifications FrameworkGraded Music Examinations*School/College QualificationsArts Award
Programme of Study 1Entry1-31Prep Test Initial GradeScottish National 1-3Explore - Entry Level Award in the Arts (Entry 3)
Programme of Study 21: Foundation42Grade 1Scottish National 4Bronze - Level 1 Award in the Arts
Programme of Study 31: Foundation42Grades 2-3GCSE Grades D-G and 3-1

BTEC Level 1

RSL Level 1 Awards

Scottish National 4
Bronze - Level 1 Award in the Arts
Programme of Study 42: Intermediate53Grades 4-5GCSE Grades A*-C and 9-4

BTEC Level 2

RSL Level 2 Awards

Scottish National 5
Silver - Level 2 Award in the Arts
Programme of Study 53: Advanced64Grades 6-8AS and A level

BTEC Level 3

RSL Level 3 Awards

Scottish Higher
Gold - Level 2 Certificate in the Arts

* From exam boards such as:

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
Trinity College London
Rockschool (RSL)
London College of Music Examinations (LCME)
Music Teachers Board (MTB)

ABRSM Music Medals are not RQF-accredited, but for reference purposes their standards are as follows:

Music MedalEquivalence to ABRSM
Graded Examinations
A Common Approach
Programme of Study
CopperPre-Prep Test1
BronzePre-Grade 11
SilverBetween Grades 1 and 22
GoldBetween Grades 2 and 33
PlatinumBetween Grades 3 and 43