A discussion on the Avacal A&S facebook group lead me to think about levels of skill. These are only my thoughts, and I’m not a Laurel, so feel free to take this with a grain (or barrel full) of salt.
Updated: Master Thorvald gave some advice on this that I’ve added as an addendum. I agree that I’m putting too much emphasis on research while someone can definitely be at master level based on their artistic merits alone.
When considering levels of skill I like to think in the context Novice/Intermediate/Proficient/Mastery. These have nothing to do with SCA granted awards, but I think A&S awards frequently line up with them.