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Prior Certificated Learning

If you have existing qualifications awarded in the last five years, these might be able to count towards your BHS qualifications.

  • Last reviewed: 31st July 2022

Recommended for those who hold a qualification at the equivalent standard of a BHS qualification awarded within the last five years to ensure your experience and prior learning remains current. The qualifications listed in this section can provide direct entry into the relevant BHS assessment. If your qualification is not listed below we welcome you to apply via Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)

There may be additional criteria required to enter these assessments, for example, our minimum age requirements. To follow this route, we ask you to submit copies of your certificates (and unit breakdown where applicable) at the time of booking. 

All candidates wishing to apply for direct entry to BHS Ride or Coaching assessments, up to and including BHS Stage 4 Ride and BHS Stage 4 Coaching, are required to hold the BHS Riding and Road Safety Certificate, BHS Ride Safe Award or BHS Ride Safe Silver Challenge Award. 

You may choose to apply for the direct entry route for Care, Lunge, Ride and Coaching assessments, or a combination of these. 

The guidance below highlights the highest level of BHS qualification you can gain direct entry to with the relevant certificate. You are also very welcome to enter at a lower level. Please note, if you are unsuccessful at a lower level we would not be able to accept a later RPCL booking for the higher level. 

Pony Club Qualifications

We require that all Pony Club qualification certificates are signed by the assessor(s) and either the Area Representative or District Commissioner. You are not required to be an active member of the Pony Club to apply for RPCL. Download the guidance

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) and Work Based Diplomas (WBD)

Download the guidance 

Please note when booking we will require both the qualification and unit certificates. 

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Coaching Qualifications
BHS Challenge Awards
BHS Progressive Riding Tests

Download the guidance 

If you have not been issued your final Progressive Riding Test certificate, please ask your BHS Approved Centre to apply for this via the BHS Approvals Department on 02476 840809. 

BHS Equestrian Tourism Qualifications
Equine Apprenticeships

Download the guidance 

Please note when booking we will require both the qualification and unit certificates. 


As per our terms and conditions, any candidate can be asked to retire from an assessment should there be any health and safety concerns. When booking an assessment through RPEL, our standard BHS assessment booking terms and conditions will apply. 

How do I book?

If you wish to book via RPCL, please call us on 02476 840508 in the first instance to discuss your booking. We can then advise on sending photocopies of your certificate(s) to us. Please note, we are unable to confirm the booking until we receive a copy of your certificate(s). 

If your application is successful, we will issue a  Skills Record upon booking your assessment to support you working towards Stage 1–4 assessments. The Skills Record includes Coach Endorsements and Ready for Assessment forms that are required to be completed by a BHS Accredited Professional or BHS Approved Centre (at the relevant level). This forms part of training for an assessment and is an element to consider when looking at direct entry. Ready for Assessments are compulsory for all units within Stages 2, 3 and 4.