This is a Level 5 Ofqual occupational qualification.
The Worshipful Company of Farriers founded its modern examination process in 1890, with the Registered Shoeing Smith examination. It had been hoped that this would lead to compulsory registration. This was not to happen for 95 years! To avoid confusion, once all Farriers were required to register, the name changed to Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (DipWCF). In 1907 the Company realised that there was a need for a higher level examination that promoted a farrier's ability to use horse shoeing skills in the treatment of conditions of the foot and equine limb. This was called Associate of the Farriers Company of London (AFCL). It changed its title to The Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (AWCF) at the same time as the DipWCF.
In the mid 1990s the examination board saw that the AWCF examination needed reviewing to encourage more Farriers to take it and to promote the study and use of synthetic methods and materials. A complete overhaul of the syllabus took place. A continual review has now been built into the system so that the examination remains current. Encouragingly in recent exams the number of candidates has begun to rise.
What Are The Examiners Looking For?
They are looking for you to convince them that you have a depth of knowledge of anatomy, conditions and diseases of the foot, and how conformation affects the gait and the foot, and vice versa. You need to show traditional forging skills and be able to apply them to an individual horse. You need to show a range of shoemaking skills in different materials including fabricating. They are assessing your ability to think on your feet when confronted with a task that you might not have experienced. You need to be able to use and have an opinion on the synthetic materials listed. You need to be comfortable looking at x-rays and assessing a horse with a veterinary surgeon.
The above list of skills is quite wide ranging. However, it is only what one would expect a farrier engaged in remedial or consultancy shoeing to possess. The veterinary examiner is looking to see if you could partner him in treating farriery related conditions. The farrier examiners are looking to see whether they could refer a case to you. All parts of the syllabus are to be taken seriously.
If you acquire the knowledge and skills set out in the syllabus, you will become an Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.
-Dr Simon Curtis PhD HonAssocRCVS FWCF-
Check to see the official list of Associates
List of Associates
- An Associateship Certificate will be signed by the Master, the Members of Examinations Board, and the Registrar. The Certificate will be numbered and dated.
- Application to the Livery of the Worshipful Company with over a 40% fine reduction; full Quarterage as a Liveryman must be paid.
- Eligibility to become a Master Farrier
- Use of the post-nominals AWCF
Associateship Examination Dates
29th- 31st March 2023 (UK)
Applications must be received by Friday 6th January 2023
4th- 6th October 2023 (UK)
Applications must be received by Thursday 6th July 2023
23rd- 26th October 2023 (USA)
Applications must be received by Thursday 1st June 2023
The Company is always happy to consider and then accommodate reasonable adjustments where it can, but this needs to be done in advance. Prospective candidates must inform the Company of a reasonable adjustment request at the time of their exam application.
- The examination is open to those who have been Diplomates for a minimum of 24 months (at the time of application).
- Certified Journeymen Farriers who have gained 24 months farriery experience since passing the AFA CJF test may apply to be registered as a DipWCF holder. They can then apply to sit the AWCF examination.
Application form for the CJF-DipWCF certification
Application for the AWCF may not be made until the DipWCF application has been processed and this could take some weeks.
- Overseas candidates from who have had a minimum of six years gainful shoeing experience may apply to sit the AWCF exam via a unique fast-track route. Please contact the Company Registrar for further information.
Preparing for the AWCF Exam
AWCF Notes on Strikers
**Check the syllabus each year for updates and amendments**
The Company has a number of senior Farriers and veterinary surgeons appointed as Mentors. These individuals are available by mutual agreement with candidates for regular advice and assistance with both a reading list and preparation tips. A list of Mentors can be provided upon request to the Registrar.
How do I apply?
Application Form for a Past Paper. One set of past papers may be requested.
Application Form (for CJF candidates)
Application Form (for overseas candidates)
You can help the WCF support inclusion by completing our optional Equality and Diversity Monitoring form:https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/equanddiv
The examination may be taken in either order. The AWCF must be achieved within three years after the first module has been passed.
AWCF examinations for DipED(Farriery) graduates
All those graduating with the DipED(Farriery) will be allowed to sit the take the relevant WCF Associateship examination on one occasion at 50% of the Examination Fee, providing the exam is taken within 12 months of graduation. Please contact the Company Registrar for further information.
AWCF Award - Military Training Farrier
Army Farriers who hold the Advanced Military Farriers Certificate (AMFC) qualification may register for an AWCF.
Formerly known as the Class I, the Military Training Farrier is achieved after the completion of the Advanced Military Farriery Course. The Class I qualification is issued following training as a farrier in the British Army and is equivalent to the Associateship. In the case of Army Farriers, the Farriers Registration Council recognises the Army Class I or AMFC as a prescribed examination that is equivalent to the WCF Associate Award.
December 2023 - AMFC Examination
How do I apply?
Complete the application to be entered onto the register of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and recorded as achieving the Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.
You can submit the application form by post or by email. The fee is normally £250 but for serving personnel who apply within 6 weeks of their Army Trade Test, this is discounted to £125. Payment can be made online here.
For further information about the Associateship process, please contact the Registrar.
For further information about becoming a member of the Company, please contact the Clerk.