College of Piping and Drumming

Functions of the College

  1. To develop, review, authorise and publish syllabuses and associated resources for bagpipe and drum in consultation with College Members.
  2. To receive entries from candidates for College Certificates.
  3. To provide guidance when requested to tutors and candidates who are preparing for examinations.
  4. To arrange and oversee examinations for College Certificates.
  5. To appoint examiners and maintain a Register of Examiners..
  6. To award certificates and maintain registers of College Certificates.
  7. To provide advice to the Association and its Education Group on matters relating to music and the appointment of personnel for Association and Education Group programmes (e.g. National Summer School).

General Information

Changes to the College Syllabuses

In 2012 the College decided that it was time to review its curriculum and various matters associated with examinations for qualifications. The reviews included updating the College Membership and Examiner registers, and the guidelines for their roles. The registers will continue to be updated from time to time.

Revised Syllabuses

Revisions of all of the College piping syllabuses and the drumming syllabuses for Preliminary and Elementary levels have been completed and take effect from the beginning of 2015. They are available for downloading and printing from the College section of the RNZPBA website. Certificate Levels

Each certificate has been designated a level, beginning with Level 1 for Preliminary and going to Level 5 for the Senior certificate. It is important to understand that these levels refer only to the RNZPBA College qualifications and do not necessarily relate to or have equivalence to other qualifications.

Examination Entries

A revised entry form for examinations is also available on the RNZPBA website. It includes all of the information needed for making an entry and an outline of the examination process. The College is flexible about when entries may be made, although examinations are usually conducted during the months July to November. Entry fees, which have not changed in over 20 years, have been revised. They are listed on the entry form. Before any examination is arranged, candidates must complete all sections on the entry form and post it (not email) with the examination fee to the College registrar. The entry form takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

The Roles of College Members and Examiners

The roles of Members and Examiners are described in the College section of the RNZPBA website. Further Information Inquiries about the workings of the College, examinations, etc. can be made to the College Registrar/Convenor: or 027 557 1715.

Inquiries concerning interpretations of the College syllabuses can be made to:
Greg Wilson. Principal, Piping:
Adam Alexander. Principal, Drumming:

College Curriculum

The following syllabuses have established by the College. Click on the appropriate link to retrieve the required curriculum PDF file. Please note Preliminary and Elementary curriculum for bagpipes are in a combined document:

Register of Certificate Holders

Certificate Information and Entry Forms
Download HERE

Roles of College Members and Examiners
Download HERE

College Officers

Convenor/Registrar: Lester Flockton
25 Moana Crescent, Dunedin.
P: 027 5571715

Principal – Piping: Greg Wilson
Associate Principals – Piping: Brian Switalla
Principal – Drumming: Adam Alexander