This apprenticeship has been retired

This is not the latest approved version of this apprenticeship. View the latest version

VetSkill has been approved by Ofqual to expand their scope to include the end point assessment of the farrier apprenticeship.

The national regulator for farriery, the Farriers Registration Council, has also approved VetSkill to be an end point assessment organisation for the farriery standard (ST0172).

The farrier end point assessments have been confirmed with all training providers with dates for early 2024.

Overview of the role

Maintaining and caring for equine feet.


Reference Number: ST0172

Details of standard

Occupation: Farrier Level: 3

Farriers are responsible for the maintenance and care of Equine feet with a holistic approach to the equine, for which they must have a thorough understanding of all aspects of Equine hoof care throughout the equine disciplines, from grass roots pleasure equines right through to elite competition horses. Farriers are able to assess equines and their gait (movement). Farriers are responsible for the quality and accuracy of their work, must be good communicators and problem solvers, and able to discuss the condition of equines and their hooves with owners and other professionals, especially Veterinary Surgeons. Farriers are able to give advice on various equine welfare options, from a trim for a horse at pasture through to basic remedial work on lame equines. Farriery is a profession regulated by statute and farriers are required to be admitted on to the Register of Farriers before they may practice lawfully. Once registered a farrier may either practice as an individual or join a farriery practice to work as part of a team.

Knowledge, skills and Behaviours
Knowledge What is required- understanding of:
Health & Safety The role of a farrier in monitoring and maintaining health and safety in the workplace. Have knowledge and understanding of the use and safe handling of the modern materials used in farriery.
Breed Identification The identification of different equine breeds and types.
Control of Equines The recognition and control of the equine for the purposes of trimming or shoeing.
Anatomy, Physiology and Equine Biomechanics The equine limb, the anatomy and physiology of the equine limb and its biomechanics, The principals of trimming for each breed and type of equine.
Ability to produce a thorough foot care plan Identify the requirement of the individual equine, according to its breed, type and select a suitable shoeing material and style where applicable.
Understanding of diagnosis methods The importance of various diagnostic techniques used by veterinary surgeons in equine welfare.
Evaluation of own abilities Their own competencies and know when to refer to specialist or higher qualified Farriers, veterinary surgeons or paraprofessionals.
Lameness evaluations The ability to recognise the pathologies and biomechanic abnormalities that may predispose lameness in equines.
Skills What is required
Health & Safety Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and others.
Working Environment Prepare and maintain the working environment, i.e. the forge, van or work area. Identify and minimise hazards and risks in the working environment.
Equipment Use, maintain and store equipment, tools and materials. Make the most efficient and effective use of materials, resources and time.
Communication Skills Communicate effectively with members of the public, clients and other professionals. A clear effective communicator who can use various methods of communications to give and receive information accurately and in a timely manner.
Preparation of an equine foot care plan Preparing a comprehensive individual foot care plan for unshod and shod equines to maintain their welfare needs (Farriers (Registration) Act 1975).
Forging and Fabrication Forge, fabricate and modify all shoes that may be required by an equine. This will include using the tools of the trade to make shoes from steel and aluminium, with an insight into the use of modern materials to rebuild and affix shoes to equine hooves.
Practical skills

Using tools of the trade be able to:

Remove an equine shoe

Prepare and trim the sole, Frog and bars

Prepare and trim the hoof wall for either an unshod horse or one that requires shoes.

If equine is shod choose correct shoe, i.e. material, material size and length depending on the equines discipline.

Make or reshape the shoe for the individual equine

Nail or affix the shoe in an appropriate and safe manner.

Produce clenches from the nail tips or finish the method of adhesion to comply with all health and safety guidelines

Business and IT Skills Use of basic accountancy products, including basic VAT and TAX schemes and the use of the relevant government gateways
Behaviours What is required
Professionalism Have a strong professional work ethic including pride in their appearance, work and self, attention to detail, integrity and time management. Have a flexible positive attitude to work. Having a safety mindset to self and others.
Self-development A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development (in line with the FRC code of conduct).
Adaptability Ability to work collaboratively or individually. Problem solving and effective decision making.
Adherence to legal and ethical frameworks Understand their responsibilities in accordance with the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, and the Farriers Registration Council’s Code of Conduct.

Duration: Typically, the apprenticeship will take 48 months to complete.

Entry requirements: Typically a Minimum of 5 GCSE’s at grade C or above, including English, Maths and one Science (1). Apprentices without English and Maths level 2 will be required to achieve this level prior to taking the end point assessment.

Professional qualifications and professional registration: This Standard is approved by the Farriers Registration Council (FRC) which registers and regulates qualified farriers including Approved Training Farriers, and apprentices upon qualification. On completion of the apprenticeship and EPA, the approved assessment for registration, the apprentice may apply for registration with FRC and will be entitled to use the post-nominal QFS (Qualified to Farrier Standard).

Review: The standard will be initially reviewed after three years.

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit

Status: Retired
Level: 3
Reference: ST0172
Version: 1.3
Date updated: 25/06/2024
Approved for delivery: 4 July 2019
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway : 42 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £15000
LARS Code: 481
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Cliff Barnes AWCF Farrier, Red Rose Farriers, Abbey Bunyard Farrier & Forge Ltd, JYG Farriery Ltd, Abbey Hardy DipWcf, Warwickshire College, Sandpitt Forge, Equine Foot Care Ltd, O’Shaughnessy Farriery, Herford & Ludlow College, The Farriery Centre, Dassett Forge Farriery Ltd, Mark Watson Farriey, Myerscough College

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.5 End-point assessment plan revised 05/07/2024 Not set Not set
1.4 End-point assessment plan revised 25/06/2024 04/07/2024 Not set
1.3 End-point assessment plan revised 22/04/2024 24/06/2024 Not set
1.2 Occupational standard and end-point assessment plan revised 29/02/2024 21/04/2024 Not set
1.1 Occupational standard and end-point assessment plan revised 23/10/2023 28/02/2024 Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 04/07/2019 22/10/2023 Not set

Is this webpage useful?

Thank you for your feedback

Tell us about your experience