Awards and Certificates in Musical Development

Available in the UK and Ireland

Industry-first, innovative qualifications which set a new standard for fully-accessible, inclusive music assessments, available to all music learners

The Awards and Certificates enable those with learning difficulties across the whole spectrum of needs to achieve a fully regulated qualification via any music-making context.

Developed in association with Sounds of Intent, these teacher-assessed qualifications can be delivered in any school, organisation or private music teaching setting.

  • If you are interested in undertaking these qualifications, register your interest by completing the form on this page. 

For more information on the Sounds of Intent learning and progression framework, visit 

Ground-breaking, fully-accessible, regulated music qualifications 

Open to all learners from those with profound learning difficulties to those on the autism spectrum with advanced musicianship skills, these qualifications enable everyone to have their musical achievements and progress formally recognised. Preparation for the assessments can be made during regular music sessions, with achievement and progress continually assessed by the teacher or music leader. 

A fully inclusive understanding of musical progression based on over 20 years of research 

The Awards and Certificates for Musical Development are designed to recognise even the smallest steps in musical progression, and the assessment framework is based on Sounds of Intent’s robust research over the last 20 years into musical development. 

Designed for a variety of music education settings   

The Awards and Certificates in Musical Development are suitable for learners working individually, in the classroom or any other music-making context. Learners' musical achievements can be recognised through any type of music-making activity within the context of their regular music learning sessions. 

Sounds of Intent music-makimg

Continual assessment 

Learners are assessed by their music leader through a process of ongoing observation within regular music-learning opportunities. 

The Awards and Certificates in Musical Development are Externally Quality Assured qualifications, and any school or organisation wishing to deliver them are welcome to apply for validation as a Trinity course provider. For a limited period we are waiving the usual centre validation fee, saving you £300 / €350. Register your interest via the form on this page for further information.

Alternatively, you can request assessment through the National Sounds of Intent Centre. Find out more.

Set of fully regulated qualifications 

The qualifications are mapped to the Sounds of Intent Framework (levels 2-6) and are regulated from Entry Level 1 through to Level 3, with Level 3 carrying UCAS points.

No access criteria or prerequisites 

Although geared towards learners with SEND or additional support needs, the Awards and Certificates of Musical Engagement are designed to recognise how everyone engages with music and is open to all learners working with the Sounds of Intent Framework, with no age restrictions or other limitations.

“We are really excited to be using the ACMD qualifications to help deliver our inclusive Mini Musicians project across a mix of mainstream Primary and SEND schools in Merton. Every one of the 300+ children in the programme will be able to access ACMD at their own level and come away with a certificate to celebrate their music making over the 2 years of the programme. ACMD is a regulated qualification and this has helped to ensure that parents and schools are on board and value this opportunity for their children.”

David Rees, Operations Director, Merton Music Foundation



Further information

Find out more and apply

If you are a school, or other setting interested in delivering these qualifications, or would like a copy of the centre validation application form, please register below for further information.

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