The UK government has announced that from 8th March 2021 new guidance will be in place to aid music, dance and drama teaching to resume in school settings, including extra-curricular activity, and out of schools settings.

At RSL Awards, we are aware of the different approaches being taken across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that you will be working out what the latest guidance means for you, your colleagues, parents and students.

As an educational activity, RSL graded music exams are set to continue where possible. Please see our Exam Safety Guidelines for details of how we run exams in a safe environment.

Some exams are conducted in third-party venues, and it is possible that certain exam sessions may have to be postponed. Candidates will be contacted if their exam is affected and alternative solutions will be made. Please check this page regularly as the situation may change.

Teaching in Schools

We are delighted that students at schools in England can continue progressing with their Music and Performance Arts Awards grades, whilst building their confidence in performing and supporting their general wellbeing.

The scheduled and phased reopening of educational and live music settings means that RSL Awards are in a good position to book exam days at your venue and would love to allocate an examiner for your students as soon as possible!

We are also very pleased to announce that we are now able to offer Live Video Exams at Home or a Virtual Private Day for music schools / teachers where it is not viable for an examiner to visit your venue in person. This is available exclusively for venues looking to run exam days for their own students.

To discuss your exam options in more detail, contact

For VQ COVID-19 updates, please click here...

Private Teaching

From 8 March 2021 private face-to-face teaching can resume under certain circumstances. Please head to the advice pages from the ISM for detailed advice relevant to you. Peripatetic teachers, including staff from music education hubs, can continue to engage with schools as part of the school’s music, dance and drama provision and are able to move between different schools.

Please keep this page bookmarked, as we will update it if any guidance changes.

Face-to-face Exams

Join us at your local public exam centre! All RSL Awards face-to-face graded music exams continue to be subject to strict safety guidelines. Our thorough safety protocols and procedures are here to stay as the safety of our examiners, candidates, staff and parents remains our number one priority.


Recorded Video Exams

RSL's digital exam solution! Rockschool and RSL Classical Performance Certificates or Graded Certificates (available at all grades: Debut – Grade 8) can be assessed as a video exam. Wherever you are and however you feel most comfortable, our digital solution shows our commitment to providing the most accessible exam experience possible!


For more information about our Live Video Exams, please email

Free Choice Piece Expansion

We are still accepting music from other recognised exam boards so your students can get the grade that they deserve. Music in genres other than popular music, including classical, which is set for exams of other recognised boards will be automatically accepted as free choice pieces for the equivalent grade (applicable for Piano, Keyboard, Vocals and Acoustic Guitar). These performance pieces will be assessed in the same way as our own repertoire using the published RSL Awards assessment criteria, thus maintaining our high academic standards.


How to book your RSL Awards Graded Music exam...

Our online exam entry process is extremely simple. Whether you are taking an exam face-to-face or via video, you just need to fill out the online booking form which you can find here...


Rockschool and RSL Classical 2021 exam dates for your diary:

  • Exam Entry Deadline: 14th March 2021
  • Exam Period: 15th March to 2nd May 2021


Don’t forget that if you would prefer to book a private exam visit or a virtual private day through our Live Video Exams at Home option, contact us at

RSL Awards have led the charge in supporting music teachers’ transition to online teaching in the face of challenging circumstances. From our supporting blog on “How To Teach Music Online” to the revolutionary RSL Learning Platform, free teaching resources via our “Teach Today, Shape Tomorrow” programme to our Digital Exam solutions, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that your students can fulfil their potential and achieve an internationally-recognised, academically rigorous qualification.

PAA Video Exams

You can learn more about our COVID-19 guidance for PAA here...

PAA graded exams from RSL Awards can be assessed via video across its suite of qualifications thanks to Live Video and Recorded Video exam solutions.

Available for all PAA Musical Theatre, Jazz Dance, and Street Dance qualifications, Live Video Exams (LVE) are applicable for schools and exam centres.

Recorded Video Exams can be submitted by schools or venues from Premiere – Grade 8 in Music Theatre. Individuals, schools, venues or exam centres can submit Recorded Video Exams for Premiere to Grade 3 in Jazz Dance and Grades 1-3 in Street Dance.

These digital solutions are our commitment to making PAA graded exams as accessible as possible. Please flick through the tabs below to find out more about our range of video assessments.


Alternatively, for more information and enquiries, please contact

If you have any queries and would like to get in touch with a member of the RSL Awards team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!

Cancelled Graded Music Exam Days

  • 6th March – Long Row Audio, Pontypridd
  • 6th March – Zebra Express Events, Lincoln
  • 13th March – Lisburn Music Centre, Lisburn
  • 27th March – Lisburn Music Centre, Lisburn