An apprenticeship is made up of a 'framework' which incorporates a work-based Diploma together with a Technical Certificate, Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR), Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and Functional Skills in Maths and English (unless you have achieved GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above in the past five years.)
The Technical Certificate is the British Horse Society Stage 3 Care. Derby College Group will pay for one entry per exam for the Care element only.
You must be in employment, have completed a Level 2 Horse Care qualification and be committed to a career in the equine industry. You will undergo an initial assessment before starting the programme to ensure that you are capable of achieving the outcomes and have an interest in this area of work.
You must complete seven core mandatory units and a further three additional units. You may then choose between a Riding or Coaching pathway to make up the total amount of credits required for the Diploma.
Mandatory units are:
Additional units are:
Riding pathway units are:
Coaching pathway units:
Training is largely work-based with on-going practical assessments undertaken in your workplace. You will keep a portfolio of evidence of your practical ability and theoretical understanding. Assessment is through practical observation in the workplace and at College, written questions, witness statements and photographic or/and video evidence which can be used.
College requirements are: steel toe-cap boots, correct standard riding hat, gloves, schooling and jumping whip and a body protector.
You can progress to higher management qualifications or further industry qualifications.
You can advance your career in full-time employment in an equine yard in a management role such as Head Lad/Girl.
Schoolgirl Emily Field had no idea her hobby could turn into a career until she went to a Derby College Open Evening. Hailing from a family which is "not horsey at all ", Emily now has a string of equine qualifications at the age of just 22. Emily was unsure what she wanted to do after her GCSEs. But as a keen rider – although she did not have her own horse at the time – the equine courses stood out.
Enthused by the open evening, she decided to pursue the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management, although she admits she was nervous. She worried that she might be left behind because she was not from a "horsey" background and didn't own her own horse. Instead, she thrived, and found the environment friendly and helpful. Emily described the course as "very practical", which suited her style of learning, with most days spent on the yard.
It also included more scientific areas such as equine feeding, digestion and sickness. Emily completed her Diploma in 2013, with Passes and Merits and also took her industry qualifications BHS levels 1 and 2. Overall, she said she "pretty much learned everything I needed to know" to put into practice as a groom when she left college. Emily has now worked at two horse yards and is enjoying her latest job at a stud yard in Nottinghamshire. She has also gained her BHS levels 3 and 4 as well as a teaching qualification.
The Diploma was just so helpful. When I was leaving school I didn't even know you could get involved with horses as a full-time career and a proper job. It gave me a base to move upwards, I don't think I'd be able to be where I am now without it. I've been at the stud yard since September and it's entirely different to anything I've before, but I really enjoy it. I think my boss is happy with what I'm doing and I'm happy here.