Worshipful Company of Farriers
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The Worshipful Company of Farriers
Promoting the welfare of the horse since 1356

Farriery and the Horse

The Well Shod Horse

The leaflet describes how to achieve the Well Shod Horse.


Farriery Examinations and Qualifications

The Company has for more than 100 years been the examining body for farriery. Its professional examinations are administered by the Examinations Board, which is an entirely independent body within the Craft and is responsible only to the Court of the Company. There are three levels of qualification provided by the Company’s examinations:

  • Diploma ‘DipWCF’, formerly RSS: This exam is taken by students at the end of their apprenticeship. It is the prescribed examination for admission to the Register of Farriers. It comprises a live horse-shoeing test, a written paper and an oral assessment to establish that the candidate has the knowledge and practical skill to shoe horses to a safe and acceptable standard.
  • Associateship ‘AWCF’, formerly AFCL: This exam, for candidates who already hold the DipWCF, concentrates on therapeutic and remedial farriery as required by the equine veterinary surgeon in everyday practice. A very high standard of technical competence is required, and the syllabus is detailed. Candidates are required to undertake a searching written test, make and fit a therapeutic shoe and to carry out advanced farriery procedures as required when working with a veterinary surgeon.
  • Fellowship ‘FWCF’: The Fellowship recognises the highest level of ability. Candidates who already hold the Associateship are required to submit a thesis, prepare and present a lecture and also undertake a practical shoeing test.

The Company concentrates its resources on the above mentioned exams and continuing professional development (CPD) training. High standards of farriery are encouraged through the medium of awards for Best Shod Horse classes as well as the presentation of Silver and Bronze Medals at live horse-shoeing competitions.

The Company also promotes research and encourages the education of horse owners, veterinary surgeons and farriers on all aspects of farriery.


The Farriers Registration Council

The Farriers Registration Council (FRC) was established by the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 as amended by the Farriers (Registration) Act 1977, to register persons engaged in farriery and the shoeing of horses, and to prohibit the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons. It is a criminal offence for any person to shoe a horse (including their own) or otherwise engage in farriery in Great Britain whilst not registered on the Register of Farriers, and to do so may render that person liable to prosecution.

The Council is responsible for the annual registration of all farriers, and once registered each farrier receives confirmation by way of a registration card and car window sticker showing the current year. Copies of the full Register or a particular postcode area list of farriers are available from the Council offices or their website, www.farrier-reg.gov.uk.

The Council also has the statutory duty of the consideration of possible cases of serious professional misconduct. This is a two stage process involving an Investigating Committee and a Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee has the power to direct that a person be suspended or removed from the Register of Farriers. Anyone with a serious concern about the conduct of their farrier should contact the Council for details of the complaints procedure. All initial enquiries are dealt with on a completely confidential basis.

The Council also considers applications for registration from overseas farriers, and again, details of the procedure can be obtained from the Council offices at Sefton House, Adam Court, Newark Road, Peterborough, PE1 5PP, telephone 01733 319911.


The (National) Farriery Training Agency (Disbanded October 2014)

The Farriery Training Agency (FTA) was a Managing Agency established by the FRC to oversee the training of Farriery Apprentices in Great Britain. The FTA is responsible for the administration of the Terms and Conditions set by the FRC for the training of Farriery Apprentices.

All apprentices must complete a four year apprenticeship with an Approved Training Farrier, during which they must successfully complete a National Vocational Qualification Level 3 in Farriery and the Diploma Examination in the last year. The FTA welcomes applications from Approved Training Farriers and apprentices worldwide.

Amongst other responsibilities are the induction and approval of candidates for apprenticeship, obtaining funding for such Apprenticeships and discharging the responsibilities set by the funding agencies, arranging an adequate level of supervision of the Apprenticeship training both on and off the job, liaison with the Worshipful Company of Farriers on examinations and acting as arbiter for all matters relating to the training of farriery apprentices.

For further details on the Farriery Training Agency please visit www.farrierytraining.co.uk.


The National Association of Farriers, Blacksmith and Agricultural Engineers (now British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA))

The National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers (NAFBAE) was formed in 1905 to ensure the future of the respective Crafts. The Association helped to set the wheels in motion, together with the Worshipful Company of Farriers, for the introduction in Parliament of the bill for the registration of all farriers.

The Association encourages CPD by holding seminars, demonstrations, lectures, shoeing and shoemaking courses for all qualified farriers and apprentices. The Association aims to bring together farriers, veterinary surgeons, horse owners and horse related organisations at special events, thereby providing information and a wider understanding of the Craft, thus forming a good basis for working relationships.

The Association also awards Certificates, Medals, books and prizes for the competitions organised and run by its members at various venues around the country. Forge Magazine is published bi-monthly with articles written by leading farriers and veterinary surgeons. News in Forge ensures farriers are kept up to date with the latest information.

Every other year the Association, together with the Worshipful Company of Farriers, arranges an International Exchange Programme with the USA and Europe for newly qualified farriers. The Association represents the farrier and provides a service to its members with free legal advice through their solicitors.

Other benefits include a comprehensive range of insurance cover at discounted rates designed especially for farriers, and health care and pension schemes. A wide range of farriery and blacksmithing books together with health and safety posters are available for purchase from Head Office at The Forge, Avenue B, 10th Street, N.A.C., Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. CV8 2LG, telephone 02476 696595. Website: www.nafbae.org.