Certificates of Competence

Society of Bookbinders > Education > Certificates of Competence

The Society of Bookbinders’ Certificates of Competence scheme has been established for two principal reasons: firstly, to set out the Society’s standards for hand bookbinding, and secondly to give members a target to work towards.

Rather than being a curriculum or syllabus for a course of tuition, the scheme is designed to assess the products of training, experience and hard work.

Applicants might include students on courses, tutors of books arts courses, or members who just want to prove something to themselves!  It is hopedthat, as well as providing a yardstick against which to measure one’s own abilities, the Certificates will become a recognized sign of assurance for prospective clients.

The scheme is modular and encompasses a range of different styles.  To date there are five Certificates:

  1. Cloth cased books
  2. Cloth bindings (incorporating cloth Library style)
  3. Part Leather (incorporating tight-back leather Library style)
  4. Full Leather
  5. Library style (incorporating tight-back leather and cloth bindings)

Once an applicant has registered for a Certificate, additional information and advice on the certificate will be sent to assist the candidate with the expected standard.  It is recommended that applicants register their interest early in the process.

View/download specifications (PDF)

View/download Submission Form (PDF)

Cert of cmp 1

Each of the modules will include a practical assessment during which the applicant will be given a suitable kit of materials and asked to complete a set task within a specified time. It is envisaged that these practical tests will be arranged by the Society’s Regions.  The completed task will become part of the portfolio of work for assessment.

Each item offered for assessment may be accompanied by a short written statement about the approach to the work.  Applicants will also be expected to sign a declaration stating that the work is their own and that it was completed within the previous twelve months.

There is a charge of £30 per Certificate to cover administration and assessment costs, payable at the time of submission not on registration of interest.

The assessors’ comments will be fed back to the applicants and names of successful applicants will be recorded in the Society Roll Book.

Cert of comp 3