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College Archives Now Online
September 18, 2019
By: Lorne Swan
The RCCO archival holdings have now been successfully transitioned to Wilfrid Laurier University...
Examination Requirements for 2020-22
September 13, 2019
By: Lorne Swan
New requirements go into effect for the 2020 examination year.  Complete details are available...

Examination Information 

Click on the links below for details.



Examination Dates



Hymn Requirements

Examination Study Materials




1. All candidates for College examinations must be members in good standing at the time of application, when the examinations is conducted, and at the time diplomas and certificates are awarded.

2. The Worship Accompanist and the Service Playing examinations consist of a Practical section only, which may be taken live at the time of the annual College examinations, or at other times of the year by a recording made by the candidate and submitted to the Board of Examiners for marking. A completed application form must be submitted in advance. The candidate’s playing must be recorded in a single session under the supervision of two invigilators, one of whom must be an officer (Centre, Regional or National) of the College. Recordings must be submitted in high quality MP3 or WAV format, or on CD, and must be accompanied by a certification form signed by the invigilators. The necessary forms are availabe here, or may be requested from the National Office.

3. All other examinations must be taken at the annual examination session, and consist of three sections: Practical, Written, and Ear Tests. Only candidates who have successfully completed all sections at the same session are eligible for scholarships. Supplementary Ear Tests are offered for candidates who have passed the Written section of an examination but not the ear tests. Supplementary Ear Tests may be administered in January or June of each year.

4. At the request of the local examination supervisor, candidates for organ exams may be asked to provide a single legal copy of each selection they are performing for the examiners.

5. For Colleague and Choir Training Certificate examinations, all sections must be taken initially at the same time. When a candidate has passed either the Practical or Written section but failed the other, credit for the section passed may be carried forward for a period of four years, during which time the other section must be passed in order for the diploma or certificate to be awarded. College membership must be maintained throughout this period.

6. For Associate, Fellow and Choral Conducting examinations, the Practical and Written/Ear Test sections need not be taken in the same session. Credit for one section passed may be carried forward for a period of four years, during which time the other section must be passed in order for the diploma to be awarded. College membership must be maintained throughout this period. To be eligible for a scholarship, a candidate must pass all requirements at the same session.

7. Candidates for Fellowship must already hold the Associate diploma. The AAGO and ARCO diplomas are also valid for this purpose; likewise, the ARCCO diploma is accepted by the American Guild of Organists as a prerequisite for the FAGO diploma and by the Royal College of Organists for the FRCO diploma.

8. All written papers become the property of the RCCO. All marks, once sent to the candidate, are considered final and no appeals against the examiners’ decision will be considered. In the rare case of procedural problems in the conduct of an examination an appeal may be made to the Board of Examiners.

9. Only one certificate or diploma examination may be taken at one session.


REQUIREMENTS - 2017-2019:

To view the requirements for a specific examination, click on the diploma or certificate name below.



Organ Choral Conducting Organ  Choral Conducting
Colleague (CRCCO) Choral Conducting (Ch.RCCO)  Worship Accompanist  Choir Training
Associate (ARCCO)    Service Playing  
Fellow (FRCCO)      



Diploma and Choral examinations take place once a year.

Written exams take place on the following dates:
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Practical exams are held in late May or early June. Following the close of applications on March 15, the Board of Examiners will select Examination Centres for the current session according to the number of applicants and their locations. Candidates will be informed of the time and place of their examination. Candidates may be asked to travel to a nearby centre. Dates for Worship Accompanist and Service Playing examinations not submitted in recorded form will be arranged following receipt of application.


ARCCO/FRCCO/Ch.RCCO Complete diploma at one session $400
  One section of diploma only (including repeated exams) $300
CRCCO Complete diploma at one session $150
  One section of diploma only (including repeated exams) $120
Worship Accompanist Certificate   $100
Service Playing Certificate   $100
Choir Training Certificate Complete certificate at one session $125
  One section of certificate only (including repeated exams) $120
Supplemental Ear Test   $50
Marking Sample Papers (per paper)   $35


Payment for examinations may be made by credit card in the RCCO Store or by cheque payable to the Royal Canadian College of Organists and mailed to the National Office. Examination fees are not refundable but may be carried over for one year in the event of illness documented by a medical certificate. College membership dues must be paid prior to application. Candidates who are not already members are expected to pay a discounted rate of 50% of the fee for the College year in which the application is submitted plus the full fee for the following year in which a certificate or diploma would be awarded to a successful candidate.


Applications may be submitted online using the links below, or application forms may be downloaded or obtained on request from the National Office. Applications for Worship Accompanist and Service Playing examinations to be submitted by recording may be made at any time. For all other examinations, the completed form together with the appropriate fee must reach the National Office by March 15. Examinations are available in English and French. Special arrangements can be made for visually impaired candidates. To apply for a January Supplemental Ear Test, a letter of application must reach the National Office by October 15.




Organ Choral Conducting Organ  Choral Conducting
Colleague (CRCCO)-Perf Choral Conducting (Ch.RCCO)  Worship Accompanist  Choir Training
Colleague (CRCCO)-SP    Service Playing  
Associate (ARCCO)      
Fellow (FRCCO)      

To download application forms, right mouse click on one of the links below and select the "Save" option.

Application form for Service Playing Certificate

Application form for Worship Accompanist Certificate

Application form for Colleague Diploma in Service Playing

Application form for all other examinations



The Associate, Colleague, Service Playing and Choir Training examinations include testing in proficiency in playing/conducting hymns.  The hymn selections for each are contained in documents which may be downloaded below by right mouse clicking on a link below and selecting the "Save" option, or they may be requested from the National Office.

 Associate Hymn Leaflet                        Colleague Hymn Leaflet    

 Service Playing Hymn Leaflet             Choir Training Hymn Leaflet


A list of Reference Material is provided to assist candidates wishing to take an examination.  Previous year's examination papers and "Preparing for RCCO Ear Tests" are available for sale.  Full details are available in the Other Resources department of the RCCO Store.  Complete papers from previous examination years may be submitted to the Examinations Committee to be graded with comments.  There is a charge of $35.00 per paper for this service.


A Recording Certification Declaration form must accompany the recording when examination for Worship Accompananist and Service Playing Certificates is submitted by recording. These can be downloaded by right mouse clicking on one of the following links and selecting the "Save" option:

Service Playing         Worship Accompanist



Scholarships and prizes are awarded each year for high standing in the examinations. Full details are available here.


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