What type of qualifications could my farrier have and what do they mean?
Looking on the Register you will see various letters after most farriers names, these denote their qualifications. Usually the Register just shows the highest qualifications achieved by the individual.
The main qualifications are:
DipWCF or WCF Diploma in Farriery (QCF). Formerly this qualification was the RSS or Registered Shoeing Smith. The Diploma is a prescribed examination for admission to the Register of Farriers and is normally taken at the conclusion of the four year and two month farriery apprenticeship. The Diploma examination syllabus requires a candidate for the examination to make a set selection of shoes and fit them to a horse. It also requires him or her to have a sound knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the feet and lower limb of a horse and of the commoner conditions causing lameness.
AWCF or the Associateship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. Formerly this qualification was the AFCL or Associates of the Farriers Company of London. This examination is taken by those who already hold the Diploma or RSS and concentrates on therapeutic and remedial farriery. For this the candidate is expected to have a more detailed knowledge of the structure and function of the legs and the causes of lameness. He or she is expected to be able to make a wide range of special shoes and have a full knowledge of materials such as plastics in the treatment of hoof conditions.
FWCF or Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. This is the highest level of technical competence that can be achieved and the hallmark of a master craftsman. For this, as well as having knowledge of farriery to the highest level, a candidate must be able to present his knowledge to an audience in a lecture or paper form.
CMF or Certified Military Farrier achieved after completion of the Intermediate Military Farriery Course. Formally this qualification was the Class II. This is the qualification issued following training as a farrier in the Army and is equivalent to the DipWCF.
MTF or Military Training Farrier achieved after completion of the Advanced Military Farriery Course. Formally this qualification was the Class I. This is the qualification issued following training as a farrier in the Army and is equivalent to the AWCF.
FdSc - Foundation Degree in Farriery. This is a course for professionally qualified and practising farriers already working within the industry offered at Myerscough College. Successful completion of the Foundation Course and Degree provides an entry route for the AWCF Exam.
BSc (Hons) – Honours Degree in Farriery. This examination is taken by those who already hold the FdSc Foundation Degree or the AWCF and provides an entry route to the FWCF.