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Become a BHS approved centre

The BHS provides an approvals accreditation system for all training, riding, trekking and sporting centres. There are currently more than 800 BHS Approved Centres in the UK, Ireland and worldwide.

  • Last reviewed: 2nd August 2022
BHS Parbold Equestrian Centre 46 BHS Parbold Equestrian Centre 46

BHS Approved Centres

The BHS Approved Centre Scheme is here for all types of Centres. Whether you are a riding centre, a livery centre, a competition venue, or any other type of Equestrian Centre, we are here to support you whatever your size or offering. Become a BHS Approved Centre today and join likeminded equestrian businesses in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Worldwide.

Being a BHS Approved Centre provides horse owners and riders with the confidence that they have chosen a Centre that will provide a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and professional environment in which horses and people can flourish.

We regularly inspect all our BHS Approved Centres to ensure they meet our high standards in each area of assessment including horse care, client experience, working practices and comply with the latest Health and Safety legislation. Every centre must be insured for Public Liability and staff must meet with our training and qualification standards.

As a BHS Approved Centre, you will have access to multiple benefits including a dedicated Business Support Manager, a complimentary BHS Gold membership, discounted insurance through SEIB, access to helplines including VAT and legal advice as well as the option to run a variety of BHS recreational and educational programmes.

Business Support

Our team of Business Support Managers are here to help you. Whether you would like to know more about our Pony Stars programme, need help in setting up a BHS assessment or require some marketing support, our dedicated Business Support Managers are here for you.

  • A dedicated regional point of contact for ‘all things BHS’.
  • Virtual and in-person coffee mornings and workshops on a wide range of topics.
  • Up to date industry information communicated to you directly.
  • Representation of the views and issues of the equestrian sector with all governments across the UK, including playing a lead role on the British Horse Council.
  • Support with issues such as business rates and licensing.
  • Practical support with recreational awards such as Progressive Riding Tests, Pony Stars and Challenge Awards, and BHS Professional Pathways and assessments.
  • Support for the BHS Career Transition Fund
  • Support and guidance for new centres on how to join the BHS Approved Centre Scheme as well as supporting with biannual inspections.
  • Offer the Changing Lives Through Horses programme which aims to improve the lives of disengaged young people.
  • Riding Centres can take part in the Riding Schools National Championships competition

Training and Development

A benefit of being a BHS Approved Centre is that Centres have access for qualified staff to join the Accredited Centre Coach, Groom and Ride Leader scheme, as well as benefitting from discounted BHS assessments. We also offer regular coffee mornings and networking events, where you can keep up to date with the latest information, as well as share ideas with other industry professionals. We can also help you train and develop helpers and volunteers with our Riding Centre Assistant Award.

Working with the Law

Equestrian businesses, like any business, need to ensure they are working within the law, and provide a safe facility for their clients. We can support you with this via;

  • Access to BHS Cloud, this resource has a multitude of guidance, templates, and information exclusively for Approved Centres.
  • Access to Law Assure which is an online portal that includes employment templates which can be updated with individual requirements, and then checked by a qualified legal professional to ensure they comply with government guidelines
  • Access to a range of helplines including legal, Tax and VAT

Quality assurance

All BHS Approved Centres are members of a world-renowned quality assurance scheme that recognises high standards of care for both horses and riders. Our experienced, knowledgeable inspectors visit our centres every other year to offer insight and support whilst checking the quality of services. Rest assured that our Business Support team are always on hand to offer help and advice at any other time. 

Embedded into the scheme criteria are the key factors on a client’s wish list:

Horse care

Horse care is at the heart of what we do. Our inspectors look at the care of the horses in a centre, something which our centres are very proud to showcase. 

Coaching 

Coaching is another area of focus, ensuring all our centres deliver a high standard of tuition relevant to their client base. 

A good client experience

A good client experience is high up on a client’s wish list. Our inspectors will get a general feel of the yard and look at what a centre may offer clients. A warm and welcoming centre is what we like to see.

Safety

Safety is of course paramount, so ensuring the safety of the facilities and working practices, is an important factor.

Catering for clients’ needs

Catering for clients’ needs is what matters; we welcome centres of all shapes and sizes, the facilities just need to meet the needs of your clients, whether that’s children on lead rein, beginner riders or competition riders. 

How to become a BHS Approved Centre

You will need to complete the Approved Centre Application form which can be downloaded from the link below or you can register your interest by emailing approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call the BHS Approved Centre team on 02476 840509 to discuss your individual requirements.

Downloads:

 

Useful resources

Where a Centre operates as a multiple facility, such as a Livery Centre also operating as a Riding Centre or a Facilities Centre, then these aspects of their provision are also assessed under the relevant BHS Approved Centre criteria for such Centres.

BHS Approved Centre – Information for Riding Centres

All Centres are different. All have unique aspects and differing offers that not only retain current clients, but also attract new ones to their door. We are keen to recognise such aspects when an initial assessment is made. Our Inspector will use the visit to your Centre to meet with you, view your yard and facilities, observe the horses and ponies in your care and gain an overview of the general everyday working practice and activities. All of this helps them to understand how your Centre operates. Throughout the visit, informal discussions allow plenty of time for equal sharing of questions and understanding whilst reviewing the scheme criteria.

For Centres applying to be approved for the first time, an initial inspection will be required. Regular, announced visits for Centres will take place every other year.

There are two grading levels within each inspection area. The first level is approved, which means a centre has met all elements of the assessment criteria. A Centre may be able to progress to the higher level by meeting additional criteria to achieve the accolade of highly commended. The Safeguarding assessment is awarded as fully compliant.

Our dedicated Approved Centre support team can help centres in preparation for inspections. Whether you need ‘written regimes’ to help with your Local Authority Licencing requirements, a risk assessment template, rider registration forms or advise on how to meet the safeguarding requirements, you will have access to all of our templates and data sheets.

Our friendly team are always happy to help so if you aren’t sure about any aspect, or are interested in becoming a BHS Approved Centre, simply contact BHS Approved Centre Operations at approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840509. You can also download our application form using the below this link 

Find the Riding School Criteria here

BHS Approved Centre – Information for Livery Yards

We recognise Livery provision within Centres will differ from do-it-yourself (DIY), assisted or part, through to a full livery service being offered. All have unique aspects that not only retain current clients, but also attract new ones to their door.

For Centres applying to be approved for the first time, an initial inspection will be required. Regular, announced visits for Centres will take place every other year.

There are two grading levels within each inspection area. The first level is approved, which means a centre has met all elements of the assessment criteria. A Centre may be able to progress to the higher level by meeting additional criteria to achieve the accolade of highly commended. The Safeguarding assessment is awarded as fully compliant.

Our dedicated Approved Centres Business Support team can help centres in preparation for inspections. Whether you need policy templates, risk assessment guidance, or advise on how to meet the safeguarding requirements, you will have access to all our templates and data sheets.

Our friendly team are always happy to help so if you aren’t sure about any aspect, or are interested in becoming a BHS Approved Centre, simply contact BHS Approved Centre Operations at approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840509. You can also download our application form using this link

Find the Livery Centre Criteria here

BHS Approved Centres – Information for Facility Centres

Facility centres have a wide range of facilities and services to allow you and your horse to train and have fun together. Ranging from cross-country schooling venues, arena hire and coaching clinics, to large competition venues, we approve a wide variety of facilities that ensure professionalism and safety are at the core of what they do.

For Centres applying to be approved for the first time, an initial inspection will be required. Regular, announced visits for Centres will take place every other year.

There are two grading levels within each inspection area. The first level is approved, which means a centre has met all elements of the assessment criteria. A Centre may be able to progress to the higher level by meeting additional criteria to achieve the accolade of highly commended. The Safeguarding assessment is awarded as fully compliant.

Our dedicated Approved Centres Business Support team can help centres in preparation for inspections. Whether you need policy templates, risk assessment guidance, or advise on how to meet the safeguarding requirements, you will have access to all our templates and data sheets.

Our friendly team are always happy to help so if you aren’t sure about any aspect or are interested in becoming a BHS Approved Centre, simply contact BHS Approved Centre Operations at approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840509. You can also download our application form using this link

Find the Facility Centre Criteria here

BHS Approved Centre – Information for Trekking Centres

Trekking centres can offer that opportunity to get away from it all and allow horse and rider to enjoy the great outdoors. From mountain trails to a gallop along the beach, you may even be offered a pub lunch.

For Centres applying to be approved for the first time, an initial inspection will be required. Regular, announced visits for Centres will take place every other year.

There are two grading levels within each inspection area. The first level is approved, which means a centre has met all elements of the assessment criteria. A Centre may be able to progress to the higher level by meeting additional criteria to achieve the accolade of highly commended. The Safeguarding assessment is awarded as fully compliant.

Our dedicated Approved Centres Business Support team can help centres in preparation for inspections. Whether you need policy templates, risk assessment guidance, or advise on how to meet the safeguarding requirements, you will have access to all our templates and data sheets.

Our friendly team are always happy to help so if you aren’t sure about any aspect or are interested in becoming a BHS Approved Centre, simply contact BHS Approved Centre Operations at approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840509. You can also download our application form using this link

BHS Approved Centre – Information for Retraining Centres

Frequently horses finish one career and are then retrained to offer opportunity to be successful in a new one. This is particularly common with racehorses and those in rescue centres. The British Horse Society has worked with retraining industry leaders to develop an Approved scheme that recognises the standards of welfare and commitment such centres undertake to ensure their horses are rehomed into suitable situations.

The scheme objective is to reassure members of the public who are interested in offering to rehome a horse that the centre they have chosen strives to reach the highest standards. The aftercare of these horses is equally important as the retraining and for this reason centres wishing to be considered for Approval under this scheme are required to retain legal ownership of all horses in their care.

For Centres applying to be approved for the first time, an initial inspection will be required. Regular, announced visits for Centres will take place every other year.

Our dedicated Approved Centres Business Support team can help centres in preparation for inspections. Whether you need policy templates, risk assessment guidance, or advise on how to meet the safeguarding requirements, you will have access to all our templates and data sheets.

Our friendly team are always happy to help so if you aren’t sure about any aspect or are interested in becoming a BHS Approved Centre, simply contact BHS Approved Centre Operations at approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840509. You can also download our application form using the this link

BHS Approved Centre – Information for Horses Welcome

The BHS is dedicated to improving the lives of horses and helping horse riders to get the most from their relationship. Our Horses Welcome scheme is a fine example of this. It is the UK's first quality-assured scheme for equine bed and breakfast accommodation. Started in the south of Scotland in 2006, it has since grown to include members all over the UK.

Becoming a member of the scheme demonstrates a commitment to providing a genuine ‘home away from home’ for horses.

We inspect all Horses Welcome premises to ensure that the stabling, grazing and other facilities are of a suitable standard for visiting horses. We will only promote properties that we would be happy to take our own horses to, so we can promote the scheme with confidence. Once a member, an establishment’s premises are reinspected every three years to ensure the scheme's standards remain high.

What you get when you join

  • Custody and control insurance to cover your legal liability should a visiting horse be injured at your premises. This is applicable to centres in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.
  • A full description on our website of what you can offer, as well as plenty of photographs. We'll also link to your own website if you have one.

The initial inspection fee is £180 to include your first years Horses Welcome membership fees. Inspection takes place on application to join the scheme and every three years thereafter. BHS Approved riding centres and livery centres do not require a separate Horses Welcome inspection as this can be done at the same time as your regular inspection.

If you have any questions about the Horses Welcome scheme or would like to join, please contact the Approved Centre Team on 02476 840509 or approvedcentres@bhs.org.uk