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One of the main stays of the AGO is education. This achieved locally through informal workshops and forums for exchanging ideas and best practice.

Nationally the AGO also offers a full program of certification, as well as programs to encourage new organists and outreach to those who might be considering taking up the organ.

Professional Certification


There are five examinations available.


Service Playing Certificate

For the organist who can meet the performance requirements of the typical service of worship. 



For the organist of more advanced training and experience, whose work demands a broader range of musical skills than that represented by the Service Playing Certificate. For salary purposes this is regarded as the equivalent of a Bachelor Degree.


Choir Master

Skills specific to the role of choir master, including some playing plus extensive written test.



For the organist who must meet high standards in a church, synagogue, or academic position, in solo performance, accompanying, and other keyboard skills, and who can demonstrate on paper and at the keyboard a broad knowledge of music literature, history, and theory. For salary purposes this is regarded as the equivalent of a Masters Degree.



For leaders in the profession, organists of superior ability and accomplishment who direct or participate in a comprehensive range of musical activity in church, synagogue, school, or public venue; who perform in solo recital and in concert; and who are called upon to demonstrate a variety of keyboard skills at a high level of competence, as well as a broad knowledge of music theory, history, and literature. For salary purposes this is regarded as the equivalent of a Doctorate.

The national AGO website has PDFs which list brief certification requirements the full certification details and an introduction to the program.