At the EGM held 18th March 2017 the sad decision was taken, by a quorum of members who attended, that the Parchment Craft Guild should be wound up with the aim that this will be completed by 31st December 2017. A letter will be sent to all members outlining the decisions made about the realisation and disposal of the assets in the next few weeks.

There will be one more examination intake in September 2017 and anyone wishing to submit a paper for marking MUST inform the Registrar by 1st June 2017 of their intention to submit, so that a decision can be made. If no intent is submitted their paper will not be included for marking. If there are no papers to mark the Guild finances will be wound down sooner.

Guild Examinations

Affiliate, Associate, Graduate and Fellow Membership is achieved by work assessment in exams open to anyone wishing to gain recognition of skill. The examination pieces are carefully selected by acknowledged experts in the craft who are Guild members, to demonstrate a range of skills and use of tools available for the craft at different levels of achievement. Although there is a strong focus on traditional methods, as different techniques and tools are developed so the exam pieces have changed over time to reflect this, yet at the same time care is taken to avoid losing techniques that are no longer as popular as they were.

High quality work is required to progress through the various levels to the ultimate position of Fellow.

The four levels of achievement commence with the Affiliate, then Associate, Graduate and finally, the Fellow. The exam standard increases as candidates move up the scale. Fellows and Graduates are invited to become judges. Each set of work for examination is marked by a panel of judges and, to avoid any risk of bias or conflict, the process is anonymous with the identity of a candidate and the judges who have marked his/her paper known only to the Registrar. Full details of the techniques covered and worked samples are available to Guild members only in the Exam Gallery on the Members page.

Successful candidates receive a certificate and a badge. A display ribbon is also provided.

The Guild is independent of any commercial organisation and is non-profit making. All the Judges, the Registrar and Committee Members give their time freely.

Assessment and Membership

Work Assessment

Submitted work will be assessed in relation to:

  • tracing and embossing (white work)
  • lacework
  • colouring
  • presentation

Examination Entries and Assessment Levels

There will be four examination levels:

  • Affiliate
  • Associate
  • Graduate
  • Fellow

Submission Dates for Exam Papers

Monday, 4 September 2017.

Submission of Exam Papers

Guide to returning exam papers

Exam papers will only be accepted for a period of 48 hours after the closing date, with the prior agreement of the Exam Registrar. Entries postmarked after the final submission date will NOT be processed for marking until the following exam period.


All examination entries will be passed anonymously to the assessors by the Registrar.


Once an examination paper has been issued there is no time limit for its submission, providing annual membership fees have been paid. Should a paper be superseded, the original paper will remain valid for a period of at least six months from the date of notification in the newsletter. Replacement papers can be obtained from the Registrar free of charge.


Certificates and badges will be issued to those attaining Affiliate, Associate, Graduate or Fellow and the words Affiliate, Associate, Graduate or Fellow of the Parchment Guild can be added to their work or correspondence.


If an examinee does not gain a pass mark at their chosen level, they may either resit the same exam after a minimum period of 6 months, or they may apply to take an exam at a lower level, if applicable, at the next examination period. An additional fee will be charged for this (see below).


Instruction papers containing the requirements for each exam level, as well as sample judges marking sheets listing the criteria required, are available below in pdf format. Please download them and read carefully so that you are aware of the exact requirements of the level of exam you are about to take. One of the important changes is that embossed dots on all pieces must be done freehand and NOT on the grid.



Examination Fees

The cost of examination marking is charged as follows:

UK: £15 - Europe: £20 - Rest of the World: £25


Applications for exam papers are no longer available. Members already holding exam papers have until Monday, 4 September 2017 to submit them for marking.

Fees paid by cheque or postal/money order should be made payable, in Pounds (£) Sterling, to The Parchment Craft Guild.

All monies received for exam fees are placed in a separate trust account and used to pay exam related expenses.

I am an Affiliate Paper

A light-hearted piece about the life and times of an Affiliate examination paper, written by the Exam Registrar. Click here to download.