Frequently Asked Questions

Notes for Regional Committees  

What is ‘Arpeggio’?

Some years ago the ‘Crescendo’ scheme was introduced for young ringers and the WHMF Achievement Award had also been perceived as being specifically for young ringers. We received repeated demands for something that would challenge and recognise the achievements of adult ringers – at all Stages. This scheme has been called Arpeggio.

What do I have to know?

The award scheme is in three Stages or levels, each with a practical ringing element and a demonstration of your increasing knowledge of the whole subject of handbell ringing. The scheme workbook lists a number of topics for you to choose from. You can research these at your own speed, either all at once or one after the other, as you prefer.

Note that Arpeggio itself does not provide the information you require it is simply a ‘map’ for you to follow but the workbook does contain some hints as to where you can go to obtain the information you need.

Do I have to be an HRGB member to do Arpeggio?

No, you don’t need to be an HRGB member to gain the Arpeggio Stage 1 Certificate but it is unlikely that you would be able to achieve Stage 2 unless you were because you will need access to all sorts of information and people within HRGB to do so.

You must be a fully paid up member to be awarded the prestigious Stage 3 Certificate. This is because we would expect these ringers to be the ambassadors for HRGB; to be able to speak with authority on handbells and handbell ringing (perhaps to schools, social groups, church groups etc) and to be available to assist new teams and ringers – even to help with assessing other ringers in the scheme.

Who says that I have reached the required standard?

To qualify for Stage 1 you will have to show that you fulfil the basic ringing requirements and also select a topic from each of the sections in the workbook for discussion with your team leader. If this is a problem (for either of you) you could seek an alternative – perhaps the leader of another nearby team or, if you are an HRGB member, your Regional Committee should be able to help you identify someone. You will find it more convenient to keep things local because you should be able to do most of the assessment verbally – keeping written work to a minimum.

What happens when I’ve got the Stage 1 Certificate?

On completion of Stage 1, you select a further topic from each category in the workbook and again research these at your own pace; but this time we ask you to nominate one as your ‘specialist’ subject. Regional HRGB Committees will be running courses or workshops on some of the study topics so by attending these you will be off to a flying start. The same happens at Stage 3 – again you select a new topic from each category. In this way Arpeggio will prompt you to broaden your knowledge but enable you to discover more in depth about a particular area that interests you.

How will I actually be assessed?

For Stage 1 you will agree with your team leader (or nominated alternative) how you will present your findings. Normally you should be prepared to chat about each of your chosen topics for about 10 minutes, and answer any questions he or she has.

The Stage 2 practical ringing skills are also signed off by your team leader or the nominated alternative but your research into other topics will be discussed with an independent person appointed by your Regional Committee. We call this person a Moderator; an independent person who is recognised by HRGB as having the necessary experience to be able to appreciate the Stages of knowledge you have gained and to ensure that a common standard is applied
throughout HRGB.

The Moderator will normally assess, by means of discussion, whether you have achieved the required level of knowledge generally and specifically in your chosen ‘specialist’ subject. If there are significant areas where it is felt that you should 'dig' a bit deeper, you may be given a conditional pass – to be confirmed when you supply the remaining information.

Finally, at Stage 3, your Regional Committee will nominate a Moderator (possibly the same person who you saw at Stage 2) who will watch you ringing in a public performance or rally situation and discuss your final topics with you – and particularly the ‘specialist’ topic that you chose.

You must also write an article on the topic (about 1000 words), backed up by photographs or other artwork, for publication in Reverberations. The Editor will judge the piece for content so try to be original, informative and interesting. If you pass the other hurdles in Stage 3 and your article is selected for publication you will be awarded a ‘Distinction’.

N.B. If the article you submit for publication in Reverberations is thought appropriate, HRGB may wish to issue it as one of a series of information sheets. You will be contacted about any additions or changes thought necessary and, by submitting the article for publication, you agree to transfer Copyright on the article to HRGB.

What if we can’t find a local Moderator?

If your Regional Committee have difficulty finding a Moderator they can call on the assistance of other Regions through the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Be warned though; because of distances involved, this will probably mean that you will have to write out your findings and post or e-mail them to the Moderator – who may then phone you to discuss them and ask questions.

Do I have to stick to the topics in the workbook?
No – you may have other aspects of handbell ringing or specific targets that you would like to work toward – but you need to agree these in advance with your Regional Committee so that they can confirm that the topic is appropriate and find a suitable Moderator.

Are leaders and conductors excluded from the scheme?

No, definitely not – it just makes things a bit more difficult!

In your case the practical assessment could be on your conducting skills rather than ringing and it means that you will need an outside Moderator even for Stage 1. But don’t let that stop you; discuss the matter with your Regional Committee and they will do everything possible to help. Can I appeal against the Moderator’s decision? It is regretted that the scheme organisers, HRGB Regional and National Committees are unable to enter into discussion about a
Moderator’s findings. There is no appeals procedure; the Moderator's decision is final.

Is it very difficult to achieve Stage 3?

Yes! We expect people who achieve Stage 3 to participate actively in the development and promotion of handbell ringing in the UK. We would hope that they would be regular contributors to the organisation of Educational, Regional, National and even International events. A register of people with Stage 3 will be kept as a resource for HRGB to draw from. As one of the leading exponents of our art, don’t be surprised if you are asked to help out with Rallies, Educational events, demonstrations, being a Moderator and so on.

How do I get started?

Order your Arpeggio pack from HRGB Sales (see address below). The pack costs £20 to Members – and that includes the cost of each of the three certificates and lapel badges as you work through the scheme. We will send you a pack and we will advise your Regional Secretary that you have embarked upon the Scheme.

Within the pack will be your workbook, a note sheet for your team leader and some pre-printed cards that you can use to order your certificates and badges.

I already hold the WHMF Achievement Award – do I have to start all over again?

No, this automatically qualifies you to start at Stage 3 – send a copy of your Award when purchasing Arpeggio and you will only be charged £10 – unless you would like the Stage 1 and 2 badges, in which case the full £20 is payable.