British Farriers & Blacksmiths Association

Cliff Barnes Open Letter

Dear All

After reading multiple comments on a recent post on Facebook a quick review of how the new End Point Assessment, DipWCF, for farriery was set and achieved.

The DipWCF has historically been a level 3 qualification and during the recent review and move to the government's new apprenticeship system the level was considered. Our apprenticeship is in reality a level 4, but to achieve that we would have had to require all applicants to have achieved an A level.

During the debate stage and when the questionnaire was circulated we asked if the industry wanted to increase the level of entry qualifications from 5 GCSE’s to a suitable number (2-3) of A levels. It was almost unanimous in favour of keeping the GCSEs.

This limited us to a level 3 and I have fielded numerous calls as quite a lot of potential apprentices have failed to achieve the required 5 GCSEs at grade C and have been told they can not start.

The trailblazer group worked very hard to keep the elements that we expect of our apprentices as the Institute for Apprenticeship (IFA) wanted us to remove certain elements of the DipWCF to keep in line with a level 3. Rather than accept this we actually increased the number of elements that includes horses that are working barefoot.

We will be looking into the level 5 that Lantra have pushed forward. So far we have established that at this time there is no government funding and we are asking Lantra and the IFA how something that is part of an existing and government recognised exam at level 3 can have its own exam at level 5.

I will update as we have more information.

Cliff Barnes AWCF.