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Conditions of Engagement


The following are the minimum terms and conditions members of the Guild are required to observe. Fees are always a matter for negotiation between the Festival organisers and the adjudicator.


It is expected that the importance and responsibility of the later rounds of a festival will be reflected in the fee offered, particularly when such a booking would preclude an adjudicator accepting an earlier round within that festival, or work of a longer duration. Members of GoDA are provided with advice on this subject.


1) No Member of the Guild is permitted to accept engagements for lower fees than the following, although individual members may charge a higher fee:


          a. Full Members – a minimum fee of £90 per session for either one full-length play or no more than three one-act plays or excerpts, and £30 for                     each additional play or excerpt.


          b. Associate Members – a minimum fee of £75 per session for either one full-length play or no more than three one-act plays or excerpts, and £25                 for each additional play or excerpt.


          c. Adjudicators must be prepared to supply written reports if these are asked for before the Festival commences. The fee for such written reports is                 to be negotiated with the original contract and should be not less than £35 for a full-length play and £25 for a one-act play.


              Adjudicators’ fees and expenses should be paid within 7 days of the completion of the engagement.


2) The above fees provide for a public adjudication at the performance. Public adjudications will normally be of approximately 10 minutes duration per one-act play and approximately 25 minutes for a full-length play. Organisers should advise the adjudicator if they have concerns over the duration of public adjudications. 


3) When an adjudicator is asked to undertake additional work in connection with the Festival such as judging entries in play-writing competitions, an additional fee is payable, which should be agreed beforehand.


4) Motor, rail and other travelling and subsistence expenses are to be paid, and hotel accommodation or hospitality is to be provided for the whole period including any vacant dates. Hospitality is to be provided within a reasonable distance of the Festival venue.


5) In the event of a performance being cancelled in respect of which an engagement has been entered into with an adjudicator, 70 per cent of the fee is payable unless 21 days’ notice of the cancellation is given to the adjudicator. The same length of notice should be given by adjudicators if they are unable to fulfil an engagement, unless a specific arrangement has been made to the contrary.


6) No member may accept an engagement for adjudication on less than these minimum conditions without having first referred the proposal to the Council of the Guild. The permission of the Council for any departure there from will be given only under exceptional circumstances.


7) In entering into a contract for any adjudication, every member of the Guild undertakes to observe the Rules under which the particular Festival is held.


8) It is the duty of members when their personal interests appear to be involved which might be considered to bias their judgment, to give this information at once to the sponsors of any Festival at which they may be invited to adjudicate.

No adjudicator may adjudicate a team of which they are a  current and active member.


9) Members of GoDA are prohibited from tendering for engagements. When issuing an invitation to adjudicate, Festival Organisers must always state the fee offered which may be the subject of negotiation above the GoDA minimum rate.


10) Festival Committees may occasionally feel that their adjudicator has given cause for complaint. They are invited to make an official notification to the Council immediately so that the matter can be investigated in the interests of the Festival, the adjudicator and GoDA. It will be appreciated that it is very difficult to deal with delayed complaints. In no circumstances will Council entertain complaints from participating teams or individuals.


11) If members of GoDA are approached by Festival Organisers in Ireland, including organisers of Finals Festivals, the fee will be negotiated bearing in mind the current minimum rates applicable to the Association of Drama Adjudicators and GoDA.


12) Festival Organisers must provide the adjudicator with a script of each play to be presented, in the version in which it is to be performed, i.e. with any amendments clearly indicated, not less than three weeks before the start of the Festival. All amendments must be authorised in writing by the author or his/her agent.

Only hard copies of plays are acceptable i.e. scripts sent by email are not acceptable. 

Photocopies of published scripts are acceptable only with written permission of the publisher. Each script should include a list of characters and indicate if any parts are to be doubled.


13) A member of the organising committee should be appointed to take charge of arrangements for adjudicators, to see that they are met, have what they need at the performance, and to conduct them on to the stage at the end. The adjudicators may at their discretion, and by arrangement with the organisers of the Festival concerned, also talk privately with the acting company or companies whose performance they have observed. In such cases a member of the Committee holding the Festival should invariably be present. 


14) Adjudicators should be given a seat from which they can have an uninterrupted view of the stage.


15) Adjudicators must be provided with a suitable table upon which to write. He or she must have sufficient room in which to work and be allocated an empty seat on both sides of them so that they are not crowded. A private room with a writing table and chair must be provided for the adjudicator’s use when finalising marks and award winners following the final session of the Festival.


16) Adjudicators must have a shaded light, which they can turn on and off. If possible, a dimmer switch should be provided. A torch is not sufficient unless it is fixed and not hand held.


17) Adjudicators must be provided with a copy of the programme at each performance.


18) Adjudicators should be allowed to inspect the stage, lighting equipment, etc., before the first performance.


19) It is preferable that all adjudications be given at the end of the evening and not at the end of each play.


20) Recordings of adjudications, whether audio, video, film etc. may be made only if prior permission has been obtained from the adjudicator, who must be given a copy of the recording and who may require a royalty.


21) In all publicity material and programmes. Festival organisers are asked to print the words ‘Guild of Drama Adjudicators’ after the name of the Adjudicator.

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