Proficiency Testing 

Lace Proficiency Assessments are open to any member of the Guild of Irish Lacemakers who wishes to take them. The purpose of the assessments is to encourage individuals to achieve a high standard of proficiency in each of the lace disciplines, thereby ensuring the passing on of valuable skills from one generation of lacemakers to the next.

Currently, Proficiency Assessments are available in the following disciplines: Bobbin Lace, Carrickmacross Lace, Irish Crochet Lace, and Mountmellick Embroidery. Other lace disciplines are under consideration and may be available for assessment in the future.

Levels of Assessment: In each discipline, there are three levels of assessment available:

Level 1: Foundation

Level 2: Intermediate

Level 3: Advanced

The assessment procedure was designed by masters in their field, Ann Keller, our Irish expert for Bobbin Lace, and internationally recognised specialists, Mary Shields for Carrickmacross Lace, Kathie Earle for Irish Crochet Lace, as well as Maree Maher for Mountmellick Embroidery.

Candidates are expected to complete lower levels before moving on to the advanced levels. In exceptional circumstances, an individual can request to be allowed to complete Intermediate or Advanced levels without completing the previous level. In this case, the candidate will be asked to fully demonstrate (through the submission of completed practical work for review, and additional written work), that they have already attained all of the skills required at the lower level(s). There will be a charge for this review. Permission to skip lower levels must be given in writing by GOIL before the candidate submits their portfolio for assessment.

NB. The facility to skip lower levels will not be available until 2023/24

Fees: The fee for each proficiency assessment is €50. €10 must be paid to receive the Assessment Instruction for the discipline and level requested. The €40 balance must then be paid when submitting the portfolio for assessment. Each student who achieves the required standard will receive a certificate. For those who do not, the fee is non-returnable, however, no fee will be charged if the student decides to complete the assessment again.
Assessment Instructions and Guidance for Candidates can be requested from