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BHS Assistant Instructors

The BHSAI is the first instructor certificate awarded by the BHS. The BHSAI is an internationally recognised coaching qualification.

This certificate recognises that the holder has the required level of knowledge, skill and coaching ability to provide tuition to riders. It also provides assurance that they have received first aid and safeguarding training*.

What will a person with their BHSAI be able to do in a professional environment?

A BHSAI should have a sound level of practical experience, and be able to look after several horses in an unsupervised environment.

They will have experience riding a variety of horses in a variety of situations and begin to be able to school horses.

They will have experience coaching beginner riders and riders up to Stage 2 level. An example of a Stage 2 rider may be a rider who is secure, balanced and competent with and without stirrups in walk, trot and canter and who can jump up to 76cm/2'6.

A BHSAI may need support to develop their skills and experience further and should be supervised in new or challenging situations.

How do I gain the BHSAI?

To gain the BHSAI you will need to achieve the following:
•    BHS Stage 3 horse knowledge, care and riding
•    BHS Preliminary Teaching Test (PTT)
•    A coaching portfolio (or logbook if you took your PTT before 2007)
•    BHS First Aid certificate or three-day health and safety first aid at work
•    BEF or sports coach UK safeguarding and protecting children – certificate of attendance

What do I need to do to complete the coaching portfolio?

If you passed your PTT from 1 January 2011 onwards you will have been issued with a coaching portfolio. The deadline for you to submit your portfolio is six months from the date of your PTT exam. If you do not feel you can meet this deadline (or you have already gone over the six month period please contact email to apply for an extension).

Please read the following information carefully so that we can help you progress with your qualifications:
Your portfolio is a component for the BHS Assistant instructor (BHSAI) certificate and the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 2. The UKCC Level 2 is an optional qualification that you can claim when you submit your portfolio (eligibility criteria does apply). If you do not wish to gain the UKCC level 2, you still need to submit your portfolio for validation so that you can progress onto the BHS Intermediate Teaching Test (ITT) and the BHSAI. You no longer have to arrange for your completed portfolio to be assessed before sending it to the BHS Education Department as we will arrange the assessment on your behalf (if you have already just got your portfolio assessed please do not worry, just send it in to us). If you need help with your portfolio, you can still ask a PTT assessor to help you but they will not be able to sign your work off for you.

When you have completed your portfolio, send it directly to the BHS Education Department, Abbey Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2XZ with a payment as follows:

• If you would like to gain the UKCC Level 2 only (i.e. you do not hold the Stage 3 complete) a fee of £100 (this is to cover the UKCC registration fee, assessment fee and postage – this is what you would normally pay separately)

• If you would like to gain the UKCC Level 2 and the BHSAI the fee is the same as above

• If you do not wish to gain the UKCC Level 2 but do want the BHSAI the fee is £50 to cover the assessment fee and postage

• If you do not wish to gain the UKCC Level 2 and do not currently hold the Stage 3 complete, you should still complete your portfolio and send it to us for validation – this is required for you to be able to progress onto the Intermediate Teaching Test. The fee is £50 to cover assessment and postage

• All cheques to be made payable to the ‘BHS’ or if you would prefer to pay by card, please include a note with your portfolio

If you have sat any part of your PTT exam at a venue in Scotland , you can gain the BHSAI with the portfolio we have sent you. If you would like the UKCC Level 2 as well, please contact BHS Education and we will explain the process to you. If you have sat your PTT exam in Southern Ireland, you can gain the BHSAI with your portfolio but are not eligible for the UKCC L2.

 If you need some further help and support to complete your portfolio, we can offer the following support:

• Your BHS Regional Manager may have a Portfolio Building Course running near you – check your local BHS webpage for more details

• You can contact a local BHS PTT assessor – they can help and guide you to complete your portfolio

Please ensure that you read all of the information on your portfolio checklist and please remember to include a valid first aid and safeguarding certificate.

BHS Education can be contact by telephone on 02476 840508 (Monday to Thursday 8.35am – 5pm and Friday 8.35am – 3pm) or email

If you passed your PTT exam between 2007 to 31 December 2010 the completion of a portfolio is required if you want to gain the BHSAI and/or progression to the BHS ITT exam. If you are interested in gaining the UKCC Level 2 qualification please contact the Education Department to discuss your options.

Please note, your portfolio may take up to twelve weeks to be assessed from the date we receive it in the office. We look forward to receiving your completed portfolio soon.

What if I did my PTT before 2007?

Candidates who passed the Preliminary Teaching Test (PTT) between 1996 and 2006 were required to complete a logbook detailing 500 hours of teaching in order to progress to the BHSAI or take the Intermediate Teaching Test (ITT). In order to standardise progression routes across all candidates, BHS Education has decided that logbooks will no longer be accepted for progression to the BHSAI or ITT after 31 December 2016.

If you passed your PTT between 1996 and 2006 and have not yet completed your logbook, please contact for advice, or details of alternative routes.

*First Aid and Safeguarding must be renewed every two and three years respectively. It is the instructor's responsibility to ensure renewal.

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