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Grooms’ skills are being recognised for the first time with a new “grooms’ passport”, the Equine Skills CV (ESCV).

The CV provides grooms who have practical experience, but lack the qualifications currently offered by such bodies as the British Horse Society (BHS) and Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), with a document detailing their abilities and experience.

It is hoped it will also offer some kind of clear career progression.

Lucy Katan of the British Grooms Association (BGA), which launched the project two weeks ago, said it aims to bridge a careers gap for many grooms.

“There are very good qualifications out there, and this is not trying to be one; this is an elaborate CV,” she said. “Grooms requested that their skills are better recognised in the workplace.”

Plans for the ESCV were released last June, when the project was dubbed the “grooms’ passport”. It has been produced by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and LANTRA, the government’s land-based skills council.

The CV comprises four levels: foundation, intermediate, advanced and elite. Foundation is aimed at rookie grooms, carrying out yard duties under the direction of another, and elite groom level is for those with responsibility for an entire yard, horses and people.

With each level comes a workbook, with various core skills to be signed off by an employer. It is hoped a further choice of specialism in either competition or stud work will also be available soon.

The ESCV is available to all BGA members (www.britishgrooms.org.uk). Each level costs £25 to complete, and grooms can start at any level.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (18 October, ’07)