Frequently Asked Questions
Section One: The Horse Owner
If you require any further details please contact the FRC: https://www.farrier-reg.gov.uk/contact
Master Farriers must hold either the Associateship (including the AFCL) or Fellowship. Honorary Fellows may not apply, unless holding an AWCF or FWCF by examination.
In order to legitimately claim to be a ‘remedial’ farrier the farrier must be able to substantiate that competence if challenged. Holding a qualification or examination pass certificate should constitute evidence of the competence. For the ‘self-taught’ farrier a minimum of teaching notes, study notes, records of cases and a well maintained and detailed CPD record is probably the minimum requirement. Not being able to satisfactorily substantiate the competence when challenged – perhaps where a course of treatment has failed or an animal has been damaged – would place the farrier at risk of legal action, for example from an owner or an insurance company, and if findings were made against the farrier in such proceedings the matter may, dependent upon the circumstances, be considered to be professional misconduct. Farriers are therefore advised to be accurate, and perhaps circumspect, in describing any competence they advertise or claim, including ‘remedial’ or other specialist farrier, and not exaggerate their levels of knowledge, skill and experience.
The Company promoted The Farriers (Registration) Act of 1975, which was further amended in 1977 and in 2002. The Act was introduced to prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses arising from the shoeing of horses (and other equines) by unskilled persons. It also prohibits the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons. Farriery is defined by the 1975 Act as "any work in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe thereon, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot or the finishing off of such work to the foot". The Farriers Registration Council (FRC) was established as a result of the 1975 Act to register persons engaged in farriery and the shoeing of horses; and to prohibit the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons.
A person is entitled to be registered in Part 1 of the Register held by the FRC if he/she satisfies the Council that they: (i) Have completed an approved apprenticeship or approved course of training and passed a prescribed examination. (ii) Hold a qualification obtained in another European Economic Area (EEA) State, which demonstrates a level of knowledge and skill corresponding to that at (i), or demonstrate any shortfall by training with an ATF or successfully completing a prescribed examination. (iii) Hold a Certificate of Experience, issued in accordance with EC Directive 99/42 which shows that he/she has appropriate professional experience in farriery in another state of the EEA (note: this equates to a minimum of six years experience). (iv) Are registered in Part II or IV of the Register and possess appropriate experience in shoeing horses in accordance with EC Directive 99/42 or pass a prescribed examination. (v) Have completed a course of training in the British Army and passed a prescribed examination. (vi) Hold a qualification recognised by the Council from outside the EEA and have two years subsequent experience in the shoeing of horses.
The Council recognises the Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (Dip WCF) as a prescribed examination for the purposes of (i), (ii) and (iv) above. In the case of Army Farriers, at (v) above, the Council recognises the Army Class II or IMFC as the prescribed examination. With regards to (vi) the WCF has reciprocal recognition of certain qualifications. The Diploma examination is also recognised as a Technical Certificate by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)(now OFQUAL). The award requires candidates to meet the standards of competence set by the WCF together with the Apprenticeship framework including the attainment of the NVQ (level 3) in farriery.
Section Two: Career Opportunities/Apprentices
Further details about the apprenticeship scheme are available from the Colleges (https://www.farrier-reg.gov.uk/farriery-school-contacts). To train as a farrier, an apprentice must be employed by an Approved Training Farrier (ATF). The ATF is a farrier who is able to fulfil the criteria laid down by the Farriers Registration Council in the apprenticeship framework. The role of the ATF is central to the concept of the apprenticeship in that he/she is responsible for the greater part of the apprentice training.
Apprenticeship training consists of two parts. Firstly, the "on-the-job" training with the ATF which takes up the majority of the time, and secondly the "off-the-job" training at a college. The Diploma Examination is then taken towards the end of the final apprenticeship year.
On passing the Diploma, a person is entitled to hold the Company's Diploma certificate, to be recorded in the Company's Register and to use the letters DipWCF after his/her name. Overseas candidates can make an application to the Farriers Registration Council on the grounds of specific qualifications achieved and/ or a minimum of two years regular and gainful farriery experience in another country. Those without recognised qualifications or experience will be required to complete a short period of training or an apprenticeship and obtain the necessary qualifications for registration purposes.
An ATF is an Approved Training Farrier. The Approved Trainer Farrier (ATF) is a Registered Farrier who is approved by the Farrier's Registration Council to deliver the workplace training element of the apprenticeship; this will include employing and supporting apprentices throughout their apprenticeship. The ATF is responsible for the education, training, mentoring and broader development of the next generation of farriers. As an employer the ATF is bound by the rules of employment law under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Equality Act 2010 and the Health, Safety and Welfare Act 2005 and, on employment of an apprentice, an ATF will be expected to sign an apprenticeship learning agreement with the associated farriery college. To be on the ATF List, farriers have to meet the minimum technical qualifications and educational requirements as prescribed by the FRC at the time of application. At the time of publication applicants must hold an accepted qualification, e.g. AWCF, Dip HE or Foundation Degree in farriery. Applicants must also have completed the Train the Trainer Farrier Award (TTFA), a programme delivered by the farriery colleges that teaches a prospective ATF training techniques.
ATFs are required to maintain professional development through the attainment of annual Continuous Professional Development (CPD). They are also required to attend annual training events organised by the farriery colleges. Interested applicants will need to complete the FRC’s Approved Training Farrier application form, provide four credible references (i.e. client, veterinary surgeon, farrier and accountant) and pay an application fee. Lists of those ATFs seeking apprentices are available from the Farrier's Registration Council.
Section Three: The Farrier
In order to practice farriery in GB it is necessary to be registered with the FRC. Generally speaking, it is a criminal offence for anyone other than a registered farrier, veterinary surgeon or approved farriery apprentice to carry out farriery.
Farriers from overseas who have at least two years regular and gainful experience as a farrier ( ie it is their occupation but this can include time employed on a formal farriery apprenticeship) may apply for entry into the Diploma examination.
To receieve further details please contact theFRC.
Since 2014, it has been mandatory for Approved Training Farriers (ATF)s to complete a minimum of 10 CPD points each year; from January 2016, all newly Registered Farriers were also required to undertake CPD. More information may be found in the Continuing Professional Development section of the website.
New members must be proposed by Liverymen and supported by a member of the Court, and the Clerk can assist with introductions where necessary. If you would like to know more, please contact the Clerk.
Section Four: General