Accrediting Teaching

Accrediting Teaching

The RCO recognises educational institutions and individual teachers through its Accredited Institution and Accredited Teacher schemes.


Accredited Institutions RCO Accredited Institutions

Through its Institutional Accreditation Programme the RCO validates and supports courses and tuition at its accredited institutions in order to:

  1. Share ideas and approaches to teaching and learning so that high standards in organ playing and choral direction can be maintained
  2. Help marketing and fundraising through co-branding
  3. Offer favourable access arrangements for students of accredited institutions to the RCO’s digital learning platforms and discounts for attending RCO events
  4. Provide RCO consultancy services (where appropriate and at additional cost)

Accreditation is the formal aspect of a wider, looser – but no less important – partnership arrangement. For its part, the College commits to engaging positively with its accredited institutions in arranging or helping to arrange where possible events, activities, on-site Certificate of Accredited Membership (CAM) examining and other tailored support for organ tuition and choral direction in the institution. In turn, the institution is expected to encourage engagement with the College, via Affiliate Student memberships, CAM and diploma accreditation, and through events participation.

Successful institutions receive formal recognition of RCO-accredited status, including an RCO logo which can be used in matters relating to the development and delivery of organ tuition and music (including recruitment, fundraising and other promotions), and are included on the RCO’s online register of accredited institutions.

Accredited institutions are able to offer their students (defined here as pre-tertiary students) a unique discounted ‘Affiliate Student’ membership of the RCO. Affiliate Students receive the full student membership package for just 50% of the current Student member rate. It may also be possible to agree a defined number of bursaries for an institution to allocate for such memberships, e.g. where a core objective such as widening state school engagement is applicable.

Click here for the requirements for accreditation and re-accreditation (every four years), and the processes and criteria for the validation process. The procedures accord with the principles contained in the QAA Code of Practice/Quality Code (March 2018) for the assurance of academic quality and standards.

Click here to read further background information from an article in RCO News May 2019.

You can view the list of current RCO Accredited Institutions

To enquire about, and apply for, RCO Institutional Accreditation, please contact the relevant RCO director, who will discuss the process with you and oversee the initial stages:

Director, RCO East, South and South-West England
Simon Williams

Director, RCO Midlands and Mid/South/West Wales
Andrew McCrea

Director, RCO North of England, North Wales and Isle of Man
Tom Bell

Director, RCO Scotland & RCO Northern Ireland
Andrew Macintosh


Accredited Teachers RCO Accredited Teachers

Through its Accredited Teacher programme the RCO recognises and supports a network of professional organ teachers across the UK.

From its inception the RCO has prided itself on operating a "gold standard" in all that it does, starting with its historical role in setting diploma examinations for organists, continuing with the library and, more recently, its training for organists at all levels. As with other subjects, teaching is a skill in itself, separate from fluency in the core subject. To maintain this gold standard of quality and consistency in our organ teaching we work to a well-established set of criteria (click here to view organ teaching criteria) in determining our teaching team, and we welcome applications from any prospective teacher who feels they are able to meet these criteria.

The benefits of becoming an RCO Accredited Teacher include:

Teaching applicants are assessed by experienced and trained existing accredited teachers. Successful applicants fulfil our criteria, are appropriately qualified (ARCO or equivalent), demonstrate excellent teaching skills, and work in a geographical area where there is sufficient demand to allow a viable number of students. Accredited Teachers retain their status as self-employed teachers, and pay for the services associated with RCO Accreditation on an annual basis as follows:

Combined assessment and first year accreditation£120.00
Teaching inside the M25£240.00 p.a.
Teaching outside the M25£180.00 p.a.

You can see the full list of current RCO Accredited Teachers

To express your interest in joining the RCO Accredited Teacher team, please complete the form below.

Please express your interest in joining the RCO Academy accredited teaching team by completing the form below.


Apply to become an Accredited Teacher

Simply click/touch the regions on the map for which you would like to be considered then fill out the form below

Scotland North East England Yorkshire & Humberside North West England East Midlands West Midlands Wales South West England London & South East England Eastern England Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland

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Accredited Institutions

Accredited Teachers