PDQB

The Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board

The Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) is the certificating body for a range of qualifications offered jointly by The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, The College of Piping, The National Piping Centre, The Piobaireachd Society and The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).  Qualifications are currently available in Piping, in Pipe Band Drumming and in teaching these instruments.

The PDQB qualifications in Scottish Bagpipes and Scottish Pipe Band Drumming, which are validated and certificated jointly by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and PDQB, are available nationally and internationally through 5 PDQB Examinations Centres. Contact with the PDQB can be made through one of the approved Examination Centres.

The PDQB comprises two nominated representatives of each of the 5 partner organisations and its objectives are to:

  • set standards for a unified qualifications structure for playing, teaching and assessing the Great Highland Bagpipe, Pipe Band Drumming, Pipe Bands and Drum Majors;
  • jointly design, develop, quality assure, assess and certificate qualifications in the unified structure;
  • approve centres for awarding qualifications in the unified structure;
  • liaise with the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding national accreditation of some of relevant PDQB qualifications and alignment to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF); and
  • approve PDQB Assessors nationally and internationally.

History

The PDQB was formed in 2006 as a result of a project initiated in November 2004 by the RSPBA and the member organisations of the Institute of Piping (Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, College of Piping, National Piping Centre and Piobaireachd Society), to create a single structure of certificated qualifications in Piping, Pipe Band Drumming, Pipe Bands and associated areas.  The new structure, which has been introduced progressively since 1 January 2007, was achieved by integrating, and further developing, the qualifications formerly offered by the RSPBA and the Institute of Piping.

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)

The SQA is Scotland’s national awarding body, responsible for all Scottish qualifications within the national education system apart from university degrees and some professional body qualifications. The qualifications in Scottish Bagpipes and Scottish Pipe Band Drumming ,which are certificated jointly by the SQA and PDQB, fall within a group of SQA qualifications known as National Progression Awards and Professional Development Awards.  The National Progression Awards in Scottish Bagpipes and Scottish Pipe Band Drumming, and the higher level Professional Development Awards in Scottish Bagpipes are based directly on the Syllabi for the PDQB qualifications. All the awards have Levels and Credit Points within the SCQF.  These Levels differ from the recognised Levels of the PDQB qualifications.  SCQF Levels are a means of showing how qualifications relate to each other in terms of the amount of learning required.  There are 12 SCQF Levels, each of which provides an indication of the complexity of the qualification, SCQF Level 1 being the least demanding and SCQF Level 12 the most demanding.  SCQF Credit Points relate to the number of hours required to achieve a qualification. Each SCQF Credit Point equates to the learning outcomes achieved through a notional 10 hours of learning.   In certain circumstances SCQF Credit Points can assist learners by minimising the duplication of learning in similar subject areas, and it may be possible to transfer credit between qualifications with the same learning outcomes. A comparison between the former PDQB Levels and those of the SQA National Progression Awards and Professional Development Awards is as follows:

Former PDQB Level (Piping) Former PDQB Level (Drumming) SCQF Levels SQA National Progression Awards (Piping) SQA National Progression Awards (Drumming) Professional Development Awards (Piping) Total SCQF Credit Points (Two Units)
12
11
10
9
PDQB Level 6 8 PDA Scottish
Bagpipes SCQF 8
18
PDQB Level 5 7 PDA Scottish
Bagpipes SCQF 7
18
PDQB Level 4 PDQB Level 4 6 NPA Scottish Bagpipes SCQF 6 NPA Scottish Pipe Band Drumming
SCQF 6
18
PDQB Level 3 PDQB Level 3 5 NPA Scottish Bagpipes SCQF 5 NPA Scottish Pipe Band Drumming
SCQF 5
18
PDQB Level 2 (Bagpipes) PDQB Level 2 4 NPA Scottish Bagpipes SCQF 4 NPA Scottish Pipe Band Drumming
SCQF 4
18
PDQB Level 2 (Practice Chanter) PDQB Level 1 3 NPA Scottish Bagpipes (Practice Chanter) SCQF 3 NPA Scottish Pipe Band Drumming
SCQF 3
12
PDQB Level 1 (Practice Chanter) 2 NPA Scottish Bagpipes (Practice Chanter) SCQF 2 12
1

Please note that PDQB Certificates issued between 2007 and 2009 will be regarded by the PDQB partner organisations as equivalent to the new NPAs and PDAs, although they do not have SQA national recognition.