Grading FAQ

What are the grades and what do they mean?

Here are some guidelines for interpreting your grade :

P  Has won Gold Medal / A grade light music at NM or AG.
A+ 2018 prize winner at AG / NM– should be accepted for the Gold Medal / A grade light music as appropriate.
A  High likelihood of acceptance for the Gold Medal / A grade light music.
A- May be accepted for the Gold Medal / A grade light music, failing which, will be accepted for the Silver Medal / B grade light music.
B+ 2018 prize winner at AG / NM – should be accepted for the Silver Medal / B grade light music.
B  Standard considered to be eligible for consideration for the Silver Medal / B grade light music.
B- Performance not considered to be sufficiently consistent at the standard required for the Silver Medal / B grade light music.
C  Entry level grade for Open professional piping.
J  Junior member, aged under 18 years. Will not be graded.
S  Support member, any age. Will not be graded.

How is a grade allocated?

o At the grading meeting the information that you have supplied online, in your own members area will be discussed by the grading committee. The Grading Committee will be looking for consistent performance levels over a season in assessing standards. An occasional placing above that of higher graded pipers does not constitute good reason for awarding a comparable grade – everyone has an occasional fantastic or disappointing day.

What happens if I am based outside of Scotland?

Exactly the same process applies. The Grading Committee will actively consider results attained at contests held internationally, and in addition will consult with P graded players and other expert pipers around the world to ensure that a fair grade is awarded.

There are a large number of overseas based pipers actively competing and winning prizes in Scotland. The Grading Committee will use these competitors as benchmarks in assessing for gradings where another piper of that country has applied for a grading. These benchmark players, in addition to information provided by overseas based Senior pipers familiar with current performance levels in Scotland, should provide a sound basis for the grade awarded.

What happens if I miss the deadlines?

If you miss the formal grading deadline (1st December), or you apply within the competition year, we will apply this rule of thumb :

  1. If you have held an A grade at some stage over the last three years, you will be allocated an A- grade for the 2014 competition season.
  2. If you have held a B+ grade at some stage over the last three years, you will be allocated a B- grade for the 2014 competition season.
  3. In most other cases you will be allocated a C grading.
  4. The Grading Committee reserves the right to examine each case on an individual basis and allocate a grade as they see fit.

This is because the Grading Committee is the only Committee within the CPA with the authority to issue grades. The commitments of its members and the international communication involved mean that we only go through the process once a year. This may mean that if you are late, or if you don't already have a grade, you may not get a grade that accurately reflects your playing ability. For your own benefit and that of your fellow competitors, we ask you to work to the deadlines.

What if I've had a break from competing?

You can submit your online application for Grading by 1st December including major piping achievements, and the Grading Committee will assess your grade. If you apply within the competition year, the rules of thumb described above will apply.

I've not really competed in solos before, do I need a grade?

If you are happy to compete around the games in Scotland and play in Open (non-graded) events against all-comers, it is not imperative that you have a CPA grading. However, to be able to play in specific events and competitions that are graded, you do need a grade. These competitions include :

Competition

Venue

Month

Grades

Duncan Johnstone Memorial

Glasgow

March

B and C grades Piob and LM

Highlands and Islands Music Festival

Oban

May

Open, B and C grades Piob and LM

Blair Atholl Gathering

Blair Atholl

May

B and C Piob

Rosneath Peninsula Highland Games

Rosneath

July

Open, B and C grades Piob and LM

Inveraray Highland Games

Inveraray

July

Open, B and C grades Piob and LM

Perth Highland Games

Perth

August

B and C Piob

Cowal Gathering

Dunoon

August

Open, B and C grades Piob and LM

Blairgowrie Highland Games

Blairgowrie

September

B and C Piob

Scottish Piping Society of London

London

November

All grades – Piob and LM

Details of these events are provided in the CPA's publication, The Guide to the Games, which is published annually in April. This is made available to members of the CPA regardless of their grading, and is an invaluable tool for solo competitors.

Please note that most major competitions in Scotland consult closely with the CPA and will have access to our official list of grades to confirm your eligibility to play in their graded events.

If you are an adult learner or unsure about playing in Open competition it may be worth looking into the Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP). This is an organisation which offers amateur solo competitions around the world. Further information can be obtained at www.theclasp.co.uk .

 

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