For nearly a year, The RCM has been developing and testing remote exams. Offering exams online provides a viable digital solution to address circumstances in which candidates and examiners cannot be in the same location. Since the implementation of the emergency measures associated with COVID-19, we have been working through the operational considerations of a rollout of this solution and have concluded that we are able to deliver our promised annual examinations through this method. We are not suggesting that the experience and sound quality is the same as would be experienced during an in-person session, however members of the RCM College of Examiners who have participated in beta tests have concluded that a remote exam using Zoom provides everything needed to offer an informed evaluation.
There has also been widespread agreement among teachers that an online solution is preferred to canceling examinations and denying the students the completion of an entire year of music study. The RCM has also offered postponement in certain circumstances where the necessary evaluation simply cannot be made using the digital solution.
The RCM refund policy regarding examination registrations has been in place for many years and is included in our syllabi (e.g. page 96 in the Piano Syllabus, 2015 Edition).
Examination credits and fee refunds are granted only to students who are unable to attend an examination because of:
- Medical reasons; or
- Scheduling conflicts with a school examination.
Only in these two specific situations are students eligible to request either an examination credit for the full amount of the examiner fee or a 50 percent refund of the examination fee. Examination credits offer students to use their examination fee for a future session, whether at the same grade level or a higher level.
In light of the extraordinary circumstances that might affect the circumstances of certain candidates due to measures invoked in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, this policy will be temporarily extended, as follows:
Since we are providing an adequate means by which to conduct our examinations for most candidates, we will be maintaining our longstanding refund policy, except in circumstances where families find it difficult to follow through with remote exams or to plan for a future session. In these circumstances, we will consider refunds on a case-by-case basis.
Requests for Spring 2020 examination deferrals or credits can be made at rcmusic.com/Spring2020form. Requests for refunds can be made by calling Candidate Services (Canada) at 1.800.461.6058 or Account Services (US/International) at 1.866.716.2223.