Wait continues for apprentice farriers due to sit exams

  • The postponed farrier apprentice exams are expected to take place in January under a new provider.

    H&H reported that the Farriers Registration Council (FRC) had withdrawn its approval of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF), as it had “lost confidence in WCF’s ability to deliver the end point assessment (EPA) with the appropriate level of assurance” (news, 12 October).

    At the time, a WCF spokesman said the company was “disappointed” but “working hard to rectify the situation”.

    The next EPAs were scheduled for 17 November and 20–24 November – but these did not go ahead. On 15 November, qualification and EPA provider VetSkill, via the FRC website, announced that the provisional date for the EPA for the current cohort of apprentices is moved to the period 15–26 January 2024.

    VetSkill is still to receive official approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), Ofqual and the FRC to hold the EPAs.

    A WCF spokesman said the company’s examination board “stands ready to support the holding of the EPA in January” and will continue to give access to its examiner pool, question bank and IT systems “as far as it is able”.

    “The WCF appreciates that candidates are concerned as to whether they will still be awarded the diploma of the WCF (DipWCF) on successful completion of the EPA.

    We assure candidates that as long as the examination board is satisfied that the new provider meets the standards expected by the WCF, then they will receive their diplomas upon passing the EPA.”

    An IfATE spokesman confirmed to H&H that an established organisation has applied to Ofqual and the FRC to provide the EPA for the farrier apprenticeship, and that the November EPAs will be moved to early 2024.

    “We are continuing to work with key stakeholders to resume industry-standard EPA as quickly as possible and support all learners to complete their apprenticeships,” said the spokesman.

    An FRC spokesman told H&H the FRC had no comment to make at this point.

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