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Farriery Qualifications

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Like any other industry, farriers may hold more than one qualification. You may have noticed advertisements for farriers or signage on the back of work vehicles displaying a variety of letters pertaining to different qualifications which are detailed below. For a thorough explanation of the examinations and training including the governance of farriery please refer to the website of the Farriers Registration Council.

DipWCF (Diploma, formerly RSS)

The Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers is the pre-requisite for admission to the Register of Farriers. This qualification was previously known as the RSS, or Registered Shoeing Smith. Farrier apprentices train with an ATF (Approved Training Farrier) for a period of four years and two months and during this time attend college on 'block-release' for additional training and examinations. The final exam comprises of 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. Throughout the apprenticeship training, the farrier gains an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the horse and common lameness causing and foot-related ailments.

AWCF (Associateship, formerly AFCL)

The Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers was formerly known as the AFCL, or Associate of the Farriers Company of London. Candidates must already hold the Diploma in order to progress to be an Associate. The examination concentrates on therapeutic and remedial farriery as required by the equine veterinary surgeon in everyday practice and involves the use of alternative materials such as plastics therefore demanding a very high standard of technical competence which is reflected in a detailed syllabus. Farriers gaining this qualification have passed a written test, made and fit a therapeutic shoe and carried out advanced farriery procedures as required when working with a veterinary surgeon.

FWCF (Fellowship)

The Fellowship is the hallmark of a master craftsman and is recognised as the highest level of technical competence that can be achieved by a farrier. Candidates for the Fellowship must gain the Associate examination first before proceeding to the Fellowship. The Fellowship requires the submission of a thesis, preparation and presentation of a lecture, and successful completion of a shoeing test.

CMF (Certified Military Farrier)

Formerly known as the Class II, the Certified Military Farrier is achieved after the completion of the Intermediate Military Farriery Course. This qualification is gained if the farrier trained whilst in the Army and is the qualification equivalent to the Diploma.

MTF (Military Training Farrier)

The MTF is awarded after successful completion of the Advanced Military Farriery Course and was formerly known as the Class I. Again, issued following training as a farrier in the Army, this qualification is equivalent to the AWCF.

You may also come across some farriers that have been gained entry on the Register on the basis of their professional experience gained in Britain prior to the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, as amended, coming into force.

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