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The BHS Assessments & Qualifications | Candidate Advice

During this time of unprecedented upheaval, the British Horse Society has developed an interim model of assessment for the Care units of our qualifications for Stages 1 to 3, (Stage 4 to follow in the next few weeks) in order to comply with current government health guidelines. The model will allow candidates to be assessed on a 1:1 basis; one candidate to one assessor; however relevant National Government guidelines regarding social distancing and travel restrictions must be followed.

Candidates can now contact a BHS Approved Riding School, Training Centre or Assessment Centre with a view to taking an assessment, and the centre will organise an assessor. The assessment date and time will be agreed between the candidate, centre and the assessor. The candidate pays their assessment fee to the centre. All assessments are held on a 1:1 basis, one candidate to one assessor. Please download our Candidate Guidance During Covid-19 for full details of this process.


Assessment Centre Requirements

One of the significant changes that we have implemented is to revise our assessment centre requirements for delivery of the Care assessments. We have revised our assessment centre requirements, as follows:

  • Stage 1 Care (from 27th May 2020)
    The candidate can be assessed at any BHS Approved Riding School
  • Unit 1: Stage 2 Care (from 27th May 2020)
    The candidate can be assessed at any BHS Approved Riding School
  • Unit 1: Stage 3 Care (from 27th May 2020)
    The candidate can be assessed at a BHS Approved Training Centre (ATC) that is approved at Stage 3 or above.
  • Unit 1: Stage 4 Care (Date to follow)
    The candidate can be assessed at a BHS assessment centre approved at Stage 4 or above. Please contact the BHS Education Team for details of these centres.

Any centre used for the delivery of a Care assessment will have suitable equipment, facilities and horse/s required to deliver the Care assessment, for one candidate.

Candidates can be assessed at the centre they are employed at or have trained at, and assessors can be employees or contractors of the centre. You will be required tocomplete a registration form to be handed to your assessor at your assessment.

For further details on the above process, including assessment fees, download the full Candidate Guidance During Covid-19.


Stage 4 Care Assessments

Skills Record Sign off

We are receiving many enquiries from candidates that are receiving training for their theory sections of the Stage 4 Care assessment via virtual means such as online training or video calls. This then makes it difficult for the relevant section in the skills record to be signed off as they are not meeting their coach on a face-to-face basis.

In order to support and encourage virtual coaching during this time we have produced an electronic Stage 4 Care skills record sign off. This can be emailed to your coach who can complete and return to you.


Ride Safe Update for Candidates

During this time of unprecedented upheaval, it is unlikely that the BHS will be able to deliver the Ride Safe assessment during the current social distancing restrictions set by UK Government. To continue to support you to be safe on the road and to progress your qualifications, we will offer the ‘Riding Out Safely’ silver Challenge Award to act as the Ride Safe element of the Stage 1 Ride qualification. You may then be certificated for the BHS Stage 1 Ride without having to complete the Ride Safe award.

The Riding Out Safely challenge award can be delivered at any BHS Approved Riding School or at your own yard with your horse and an Accredited Professional Coach. The riding school or coach must have gone through the challenge awards induction training session with the BHS before they can deliver any challenge awards. The challenge awards coach will deliver the training and complete the assessment with you. The cost of the training and assessment is determined by the coach or centre.

It is the responsibility of the coach or riding school to deliver any sessions in line with their national Government guidance regarding social distancing, biosecurity and coach to participant ratio.

The first step is to contact your nearest Challenge Awards Centre or Challenge Awards Coach. The centre or coach will then arrange the training with you and register you with the BHS. Upon registering, your coach will receive your information booklet to give you. Once you have completed the award you will receive the Riding Out Safely Challenge Award certificate.

The above guidance will be current until the 31 December 2020 or until further notice.

If you are an employee at a riding school, your employer may want you to take the Ride Safe award once these assessments are up and running again. We recommend you talk to your employer to confirm their requirements.

If you have a Ride Safe assessment booked with us for 2020, we will be emailing all candidates with further advice regarding a refund.


Frequently Asked Questions

When can this assessment model begin?

The assessment model given above can be delivered for Stages 1-3 from 27 May 2020 or as soon as the centre is ready or able to hold an assessment.

There are a few additional challenges concerning the Stage 4 Senior Care and Senior Management units (Unit 1 and Unit 2 respectively). We are working on the procedure and assessment documents for this level and hope to have these finalised by the end of May.

Where can I find the assessment dates?

The BHS are not organising the booking of the Care assessments, so we are unable to list any assessment dates on our website. If you wish to take a Care assessment; please follow the ‘operational procedure’ guidance on page 2 of the Candidate Guidance During Covid-19 document. Your first step is to contact a BHS Approved Riding School

What’s the plan for Lunge, Ride and Coaching assessments?

We hope to be able to deliver these, as per the standard (pre Covid-19) operational model, with appropriate social distancing in place from September 2020. The guidance above relates to Care assessments only. We will provide further updates with regards to these assessments as soon as possible.

Are you delivering Stage 5 Care assessments using this model?

The Stage 5 Care is a more challenging assessment to deliver as per the particular requirements for equipment, resources and horses. We do not feel we are able to deliver any Stage 5 assessments for the remainder of 2020, and we appreciate this is disappointing for all involved. We are hopeful we can begin to deliver Stage 5 from Spring 2021.

When will Care assessments go back to the normal delivery model?

We hope to go back to our normal delivery model as soon as Government guidance will allow us to. We do not know when this will be, but we hope by offering this one-to-one assessment model, many candidates can continue with their education and/or employment development.

Does this model comply with regulatory/awarding body requirements?

We have consulted closely with BHSQ and Ofqual who are completely satisfied with the processes we have in place to minimise risk to the integrity of the assessment and have their full support in implementing the above model.

Resources to support the candidate towards BHS Care assessments:

If you have any queries regarding booking a BHS Care assessment, please contact the Education Team by email: or phone 02476 840508


Please read our information and advice for horse owners and business owners during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak



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