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BHS New Exams & Certificates

Lingfield BHS NEWS:

As previously explained to many of our students, the BHS Horse Owners Certificates are to be replaced by the BHS training department with a completely new Certificate system.

These are called The Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates.   (EHK)

From the BHS website text: 

There is no link between the Horse Owners Certificate levels and the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates. The EHKC have been designed to link into the BHS Stage exams. The EHKC Level One has been mapped to the BHS Stage One Care Unit 3: The Principles of Caring for Horses. This means that learners who have successfully achieved the BHS EHKC Level One will not have to sit this unit should they book onto the BHS Stage One exam.”

There will be just two Certificates in the new system:

  1. Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate Entry Level
  2. Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate Level 1 – this Level 1 EHK will be slightly more detailed & comprehensive than the old BHS HOC Level 1.
  • However, the good news is that our existing Lingfield Level 1 course is so comprehensive it covers the extra detail and information anyway.
  • As always our Lingfield courses are more comprehensive than any others at the same entry level.

The new Certificates will be aligned with the BHS Stages syllabus and will be far more in line with current BHS system with the BHS being more involved in the presentation and monitoring of the exams.

This means they will be the same across the board on a national level. Previously individual instructors produced their own exams causing a degree of variation in standards.

In future all the exam papers will be written by the BHS training department and will offer more picture identification and multiple choice questions.

The length of the BHS Level 1 exam remains the same at 90 minutes with the Entry Level at only 45 minutes. The pass rate has been increased to 85%.

The small print which all candidates for the new certificates should be made aware:

BHS accreditation and auditing of the learners and exams:  These exams are audited by EQL (Equestrian Qualifications Ltd) the national equestrian awarding body.  This means that anyone aiming to gain the new qualifications must:

a) belong to the BHS.  The BHS are offering a reduced fee membership for those intending to take the exam (it will be about half the normal membership fee via these courses)

b) pay a registration fee of £20 to the BHS instructor in overall charge of running the course (Fiona Dent) from the start of their learning programme.  We intend to incorporate this into our course fee though.

Lingfield T & C apply plus the following specific T & C for these learners.

  • No refunds available of the £20 registration fee payable to the instructor.
  • A practical element will be involved prior to completion of the course which must be overseen by a local qualified Registered Instructor – probably costing the equivalent to a 1 – 2 hours private riding lesson to be paid directly to the instructor overseeing the practical session.
  • An inviglation fee will be required to be paid on the day of the exam, directly to the person who oversees the exam – this could be a local qualified instructor, a professional invigilator or a teacher in the education sector.  The fee is likely to be equivalent to the cost of a private riding lesson.

All in all the new certificates are a good and clear step for those who aim to achive professional qualifications.


Gaining Level 1 of the EHKC via Lingfield means you will have achieved unit 3 of the BHS Stage 1 – it will therefore be an accredited achievement course.

Upgrading from a Lingfield achieved BHS Horse Owners Level 1 to the BHS Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate Level 1 is likely to be quite easy with Lingfield:

  • If you have previously taken with Lingfield or now enrol on the Lingfield Level 1 course you should be able to upgrade to the new system by simply answering a set questions or specially prepared short upgrade module/s.
  • Remember however, that this is a new system and is as yet not finalised.

We aim to either produce new courses or integrate the new syllabus into the existing Intermediate Diploma programmes in the near future and expect the fee for the Entry & Level 1 course combined to be in the region of £196 which may be paid in 3 instalments.

Once you achieve Level 1 of the BHS EHKC Level 1, you will be eligble to gain direct entry to unit 3a and 3b of the BHS Stage 2. As always, the BHS Stages exams are practical exams run by the BHS at various BHS training centres around the UK.

Please be aware:  All of the above information is new and as yet not finalised.

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