Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about the RSCDS examination system
My Branch would like to run an examination class, but we have no musicians living in the vicinity. Can we run a class and have the examinations using recorded music?
Many branches and centres have done this very successfully in the past.  While it is a good idea to develop the skill of working with a musician, this is sometimes not possible because of a shortage of skilled musicians in a particular area.  In such cases, candidates should be encouraged to increase their knowledge of the recorded music available and to develop the skills necessary to select the most appropriate music for their lessons.  In the examination, the candidate should not be expected to operate the recorded music, but there should be a person appointed to do this for all the candidates.  That person should have had no say in the choice of music for any of the candidates.
We would like to use a local musician for our examination class, but she is worried that some of the dances set in Unit 5 might have very tricky original tunes and she does not want to disadvantage the candidates by not being very proficient in playing them. Should we use recorded music for the exam?
If you have been using a musician for the course, it may then be quite demanding for candidates to have to adjust to teaching with recorded music just for the exam.  It would be better for the musician to choose a suitable alternative tune which she can play with confidence.
Our examination class has been using recorded music during the candidate course. Although we have a substantial library of music, we do not have all the music for all the RSCDS dances. What should we do if a Unit 5 dance is set for one of the candidates in the examination and we do not have the original tune?
If you do not know what the original tune sounds like, it is obviously difficult to choose a tune of a similar type.  However, if, for instance, the dance is a strathspey which requires  long strong steps and powerful turning, a slow air tune would not help the dancers, so a strongly dotted traditional tune would be a good choice.  If you have an original tune but the recording is too fast, or unsatisfactory in any another way, you should substitute a similar, but better recorded tune.
This is the first time I have tutored candidates and am not quite sure what to tell them to expect in the forthcoming Unit 2 exam. I understand from talking to another tutor that candidates can “get in a huddle” and remind each other of the dance before the dancer at the top of the set has to do the re-cap. Is this the case? Secondly, how detailed should the re-cap be? Is it like you would give at a dance, or should it contain the sort of level of detail as in the written instructions?
It is now agreed good practice amongst examiners that candidates are allowed to confer before one of them has to give the re-cap.  The re-cap should be clear, audible and brief. The candidates should be very familiar with the dances and need only a swift reminder.  Use of hands and expression in the voice is to be encouraged.
I am tutoring an examination class at the moment and one of my candidates is really not improving at all. In fact I do not think she will pass either the dancing assessment or the teaching exam. I am quite worried that if she continues the course and enters the exam, failure will be inevitable and will undermine what confidence and enjoyment she has left in dancing. What can I do?
Tutors have a responsibility to counsel failing candidates to leave the course, but the final decision must be the candidate’s own.  On the website, the Guidance notes for tutors say, “In any examination course, but particularly in residential courses, candidates need to realise that failure is a possibility and that they may be advised by the tutor to withdraw. The tutor should give this advice where necessary.”
Licensing of your event
Who is responsible for applying for a PRS for Music licence? Who pays the licence fee?
The proprietor of a premises will normally be responsible for arranging a PRS for Music licence to cover all music use at a premises. This could be a local authority hall, hotel, pub or a community building.

The holder of a PRS for Music licence would be responsible for paying the relevant royalty charges; although, at their own discretion, they could pass these charges on to groups hiring the premises.

However, there are occasions where music is performed at premises and in open spaces that should not otherwise be licensed to the proprietor, or are not covered by the PRS for Music tariff applied to the premises (for example a school). We can issue a licence to a visiting group in these limited circumstances.

If a RSCDS member is unsure whether they require a licence, please contact PRS for Music on 0800 068 4828.
Do you require a PPL licence?
A PPL Licence is required for any public broadcast of recorded music, PRS deal with live music performance.
If the RSCDS hold a PPL licence who does the licence cover, and in what venue?
If you are an RSCDS branch you are covered under a central licence for your Branch Class.
What forms are required to be filled in to apply for a licence?
If a group needs to apply for a PRS for Music licence, you are recommended to contact PRS for Music on 0800 068 4828 so that the details needed to issue a licence can be provided.
Does it matter what tunes are played at the event?
APRS for Music licence is needed when music controlled by PRS for Music is played.
What is the pricing structure for Licensing?
Tariffs applicable to the premises/event would be applied, often based on the type & number of events, and the capacity of the venue, although exceptions to this may apply.
Are the rules the same throughout the UK?
In practice, yes.
Are the rules the same in Europe?
Please contact the collection agency for the country in question.
Are the rules the same in the USA?
Please contact the local collection agencies.

Depending on your situation, you may need to speak with representatives from BMI or ASCAP.
Are the rules the same in Canada?

Please contact the local collection agency.

Depending on your situation, you may need to speak with representatives from SOCAN or MROC.

If you are looking for a specific organisation please follow this link to a list of international copyright organisations:

If the class/Audience numbers are below a certain level do we still require a licence?

There is no statutory minimum of people required to constitute an audience.  However, in some cases, PRS for Music does not charge a licence fee to workplaces with a single (lone) worker.

(Information provided by PRS for Music, September 2012)

Logging In
How do I get my login and password?
You will be sent a login and password for the new website to your known e-mail address. There is no need to register. If you are a member of the RSCDS then you can use the ‘Reset Password’ link if you did not receive the e-mail and another e-mail will be sent (but please check your junk email folder just in case).
I don’t have an email address
All members and registered users of the website must have a unique e-mail address. If you do not have a personal e-mail address, then you can arrange to get a login and password using your RSCDS membership number.

To get this login, please complete the ‘Contact Branch’ form that you will find by clicking the link below. Enter your name (first name and last name), enter the subject as “Request User Account Letter”, enter your postal address in the Message box, and a letter will be sent out to you containing your membership number and password. Click here for the ‘Contact Branch’ page:
I don’t have an e-mail address and have forgotten my membership number
If you do not have a personal e-mail address you can request a password from the RSCDS Head Office so you can login with your membership number. If you have forgotten your membership number, please contact the RSCDS Head Office to receive a reminder. Please note:  the RSCDS Head Office can only issue you with a new password; they cannot view your previous password.