Forms & general information

Candidates should take the examinations in numerical order, though there is some flexibility within Part 1. There are limits on the permitted interval between some Units and on the number of re-sits allowed. Candidates should have attained an appropriate level of dancing proficiency and knowledge before undertaking the course and must be over 16 and a member of the RSCDS.

Part 1: Candidates successfully completing Units 1, 2 and 3 are awarded the Teaching Certificate Part 1.

Part 2: Candidates must gain Part 1 before taking Part 2. Those successfully completing Units 4 and 5 are awarded the Teaching Certificate and are said to be ‘fully certificated'.

The supporting documents you will need for each Unit of the Teaching Certificate have been collated below.

Please choose the name of the Unit you are taking to view a full list of relevant documents and more information on each Unit. Click on the required document to download the file.

Forms and general information for all Teaching Certificate units

Please click on each document to view and download. 

Teaching Scottish Country Dancing - Guidelines: This document is intended for all those interested in or involved in the teaching of Scottish Country Dancing. It sets out information about the RSCDS examination system, addresses the fundamental principles of teaching and gives guidance on good practice.

X1-01 (b) Information for Prospective Candidates: Practical details (forms, courses, deadlines) for Part 1 (Units 1-3).

Guidance Notes for TC Candidates: Practical details about Units 1-5, including advice on advance preparation.


This contains:

  • Introductory details, including disability policy
  • Details of the syllabus for, examination of and other information about Units 1-5
  • Details of examinable Manual sections (Unit 1) and formations (Units 3 and 5) and prescribed dances (Unit 2)
  • Sample lesson plan templates
  • Unit 4 guidance

Preparation for Unit 1 may be undertaken by self-study, although it is strongly advised that at least part is undertaken by supervised instruction.

Unit 1: Written Paper

Unit 1 tests knowledge of many aspects of dancing: history; technique, including steps, use of hands and the general appearance of the dance; formations; and aspects of music related to dance. While some of this information may be acquired through dancing, all the questions relate to material covered in the Manual and specifically to the areas listed here. (Syllabus: pages 2-4)

Samples of past questions and of past papers and their mark schemes are also available for candidates to consider and can be found below

Examiners / Tutors / Translators

It is necessary to attend courses of tuition for Units 2 and 3. A regular schedule of courses and examinations is offered annually at the RSCDS Summer School.

Unit 2: Practical Dancing

Unit 2 assesses both candidates’ knowledge and personal dancing capabilities and the quality of their interaction with other dancers, through their performance of the prescribed dances. The criteria used to judge these are shown on the assessment form. The exam is proceeded by at least 15 hours’ course tuition. (Syllabus: page 4-5)

Unit 3: Teaching Level 1

A 25-hour course prepares candidates for the Unit 3 exam, which assesses their ability to teach a 25-minute lesson to a class of inexperienced dancers, introducing a step and two formations, linked over a 16-bar phrase. During the course they learn how to present these elements, observe and manage their class in a pleasant, positive and enthusiastic manner, use their voices well and make good use of the music. As the Unit 3 assessment form shows, the quality of their personal dancing is judged alongside their teaching performance. (Syllabus: page 5-7)




Form X3-28 provides guidance on the requirements of Unit 4 and advises candidates on guidance they may seek in advance from their Unit 3 tutor. It offers considerable advice on the use of live and recorded music in teaching.

Although Unit 4 (the Record of Teaching Practice) is assessed at least six months in advance of taking the examination for Unit 5, it is integral to the process leading to Unit 5 and must be taken in conjunction with preparation for that Unit.

Unit 4: Teaching Practice

After achieving Part 1, candidates must spend at least a year gaining experience of teaching a class in real life, with guidance from a mentor who will, ideally, visit the class at least twice. Candidates keep records of their teaching, including self evaluation and reflection on ways to improve, and make more detailed lesson plans for six hours of their teaching. This record is the basis for assessment of Unit 4. (Syllabus: pages 8-9)

Unit 5: Teaching Level 2

The Unit 5 course lasts at least 25 hours and builds on the candidates’ experience at Unit 3 and in their teaching practice. It hones their skills in planning, presentation, observation, use of voice, class management and use of music, and bolsters their rapport with those they teach. These skills are assessed in an exam where the candidate teaches a dance to an intermediate class, revising the class’s knowledge of relevant steps and teaching relevant formations and transitions. (Syllabus: pages 10-12).


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