Your training options

Work Related Learning Programme
14-16 year olds

Overview

This two-year course is designed for 14 –16 year olds, currently in full-time education who want to spend oneday a week at the British Racing School (BRS) or Northern Racing College (NRC) working towards a Diploma Level 1 in Racehorse Care.

For many, this initial training course leads to an apprenticeship and permanent employment in the horseracing industry upon completion of the learner’s full-time studies.

Learners for this course are enrolled following a recommendation made by a member of staff at their school.

No experience is needed, just an interest in horses and a commitment to be reliable, hardworking and motivated.

The three-term course normally commences in September and runs until July the following year. Transport to and from the BRS or NRC will be the responsibility of the school/learner.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

Learners completing this course will be eligible to apply for the apprenticeship course when they leave school. The BRS/NRC will find them a placement in a racehorse trainer’s yard, where they will complete the Intermediate Apprenticeship Programme, including a Level 2 Diploma in Racehorse Care. This can lead to the Advanced Apprenticeship, including a Level 3 Diploma in Racehorse Care and Management.

Where can you do the course?

British Racing School
Northern Racing College

Residential Foundation Course Level 1 Diploma in Work-based Racehorse Care

Overview

For those people seeking their first taste of racing, the Racing Industry Foundation Course, which is offered as a riding or non-riding course, will ensure they have the necessary skills to gain employment in the racing industry.

The residential foundation course consists of 12 weeks at the British Racing School and Northern Racing College and 6 weeks work experience. For those taking the riding option, the training has been designed to ensure learners are competent both on the ground working with horses and also whilst riding a thoroughbred racehorse at exercise. Learners will receive lectures and demonstrations and will work to a routine similar to a racing yard. The aim of this course is to prepare learners for work in a racing stable.

Learners will work towards gaining a Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care, Functional Skills qualifications, Emergency First Aid Certificate, Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses by Road on Short Journeys, Level 1 Award in the Introduction to the Horseracing Industry, life skills including cooking, nutrition, fitness, looking after your money and talks from speakers from National Association of Stable Staff (NASS) and Racing Welfare. In addition learners also improve their self-esteem, independence, self-confidence and resilience.

No previous equine experience or academic qualifications are required to enrol but weight restrictions may apply to those taking the riding option.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

Upon successful completion of the course suitable learners, with the right aptitude, will be secured permanent, full-time employment in a UK racing yard, where they will become a member of the stable staff team. In addition they can complete the Intermediate Apprenticeship Programme, including a Level 2 Diploma in Racehorse Care. This can lead to the Advanced Apprenticeship, including a Level 3 Diploma in Racehorse Care and Management.

Where can you do the course?

British Racing School
Northern Racing College

Equine Groom Level 2 Apprenticeship

Overview

Learners who successfully complete the Foundation Course and demonstrate their aptitude and commitment will be secured employment in a racing yard and can undertake the Intermediate Apprenticeship programme. The Intermediate Apprenticeship programme is also available to those applicants who have established a basic level of skills and knowledge as a Racing Groom.

The programme will include a Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care together with a Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horse Care and Functional Skills in English and Maths at Level 1.

The Intermediate Apprenticeship is completed largely at the learner’s place of work, with a member of the Training Provider’s Roving Instructor/Assessor team visiting every 8 – 10 weeks to assess the skills and knowledge the learner is gaining through workplace training.

Anyone aged 16 or over who works at least 16 hours a week for a licensed or permitted trainer can apply. Learners must already have achieved a Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care OR an equivalent equine qualification OR have relevant occupational experience.

It is advisable that applicants have had some experience before accepted onto an apprenticeship but the Level 1 is not mandatory

The qualification involves study of horse care, work projects collecting evidence of competency and practical assessments. An Intermediate Apprenticeship is an ideal way to increase knowledge and completion is a statement of competence to perform certain practical duties to a particular standard.

The Intermediate Apprenticeship also prepares individuals for progression onto the Advanced Apprenticeship. The Level 2 Diploma is linked to the Scale 2 racing wage.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

Successful completion of this training programme will lead to employment as a Racing Groom with opportunities to progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship, including a Level 3 Diploma in Racehorse Care and Management.

Senior Equine Groom Level 3 Apprenticeship and, or Level 3 Diploma in Work based Racehorse care and Management

Overview

When a learner has completed the Intermediate Apprenticeship programme they can then progress onto the Advanced Apprenticeship programme. This includes a Level 3 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care and Management, a Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Horse Care and Management and Functional Skills in English and Maths at Level 2.

As with the Intermediate Apprenticeship programme, the Advanced Apprenticeship is completed largely at the learner’s place of work, with a member of the Training Provider’s Roving Assessor team visiting every eight- to-ten weeks to complete assessments.

Anyone aged 16 or over, who works at least 16 hours a week, in a licensed racing stable can apply. Learners must already have completed their Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care qualification or have relevant occupational experience.

The qualification involves projects and assignments in horse care and management and includes optional specialist areas, collecting evidence of competency and practical assessments. There is a non-riding route for those wishing to concentrate in specialist horse care.

The Advanced Apprenticeship is an ideal way to increase knowledge and completion is a statement of practical competence to perform the required duties.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

The Advanced Apprenticeship also prepares individuals for positions of responsibility in a racing yard. The Level 3 Diploma is linked to the Scale 4 racing wage. A Level 3 Diploma is a mandatory requirement for all prospective licensed racehorse trainers and permit holders.

Specialist Short Courses in the Racing Industry

Assistant Trainers’ Course

The Assistant Trainers’ Course is a three or four-day course reflecting the importance of the Assistant Trainer role within stables and on the racecourse. The course is also suitable for Head Grooms and Pupil Assistants.

The course covers aspects of Staff Management, Handicapping, Media Training, Health and Safety, Racing Welfare, the British Horseracing Authority’s Licensing and Integrity functions, Weatherbys’ Operations and the Rules of Racing.

Yard Managers’ Course

A two or three day course covering aspects of communication, handling conflict, employment law and motivation. This course is aimed at those with a senior position within a racing yard or stud.

Racing Secretaries’ Course

The Racing Secretaries’ Course is designed to provide aspiring secretaries and newly appointed secretaries with a comprehensive understanding of the role of the trainers’ secretary, the structure of the racing industry and racing administration.

The two-day course provides a thorough grounding and allows candidates the opportunity to talk directly with key personnel from organisations such as Weatherbys, the National Trainers Federation, the British Horseracing Authority and the International Racing Bureau. To complement the guest speakers, an existing secretary will deliver a personal insight into the job including team building and styles of leadership.

Work Rider Training

This course is designed to give competent stable staff the opportunity to learn about riding work. It covers the basic theory of riding work and preparing horses for racing. Practical training is provided both on simulators and on the gallops. To be eligible for this course you need to working full time for a licensed racehorse trainer and be cantering racehorses on the gallops on a daily basis.

Specialist Skills Development

The British Racing School and the Northern Racing College offer tailored courses to develop practical skills including:

  • Horse handling.
  • Clipping.
  • Lunging and long reining.

Where can you do the course?

British Racing School
Northern Racing College

Transporting Horses

Overview

Animal welfare legislation requires that those who transport horses in connection with an economic activity on journeys over 65kms must hold a Certificate of Competence, such as a Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses by Road On Short Journeys (formerly CET) or Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses on Long Journeys (Attendant or Attendant/Driver, formerly ACET).

An economic activity is defined as ‘any transport of animals undertaken as part of a business or commercial activity, which aims at achieving financial gain, whether direct or indirect, for any person or company involved with transport.’ (DEFRA 2007). The training leads to two qualifications, which can be selected as appropriate:

Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses by Road on Short Journeys (formerly CET)

  • For those transporting horses on journeys over 65kms and under eight hours.
  • For a journey under eight hours which involves a vehicle carrying horses in connection with an economic activity (i.e. a business), the driver must hold a Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses by Road on Short Journeys Certificate of Competence (Attendant & Driver).
  • The assessment is conducted by a multiple choice exam.

Level 3 Award in the Principles of Transporting Horses on Long Journeys (formerly ACET)

  • For those transporting horses on journeys exceeding eight hours.
  • Any additional passengers who have a role or responsibility with regards to the horse(s’) welfare during transport must also hold a Certificate of Competence (Attendant).
  • Assessment is undertaken by practical assessment and a multiple-choice exam.

Racehorse Trainers

Overview

The Trainers Courses consist of three modules, with each taking place over four or five days. They are a mandatory part of the criteria for a Licence to Train, as set by the British Horseracing Authority but do not confer automatic right to a Licence.

The aim of the courses is to prepare those individuals who are on the verge of applying for a Licence to Train, rather than to teach the art of training racehorses.

  • Module 1: Racehorse Management (To be eligible to attend this course applicants must have achieved a Diploma Level 3 in Racehorse Care and Management).
  • Module 2: Business Skills
  • Module 3: Staff Management

The above courses are made up of a series of seminars, which are delivered by specialist racing consultants, who each have extensive working knowledge of the horseracing industry. Full details regarding the course criteria and licence application forms can be found at the British Horseracing Authority’s website.

N.B. Those applying for a Permit to Train with the aim of training family-owned horses as a past time in National Hunt Races are only required to complete Module 1.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

Successful completion of these modules is essential for those wishing to pursue a career training racehorses.

Entry to Employment Training

Who is it for?

Final year students of an equine or animal-related qualification at an equine college or have recently graduated and have a strong interest and desire to work with racehorses.

What does the course cover?

A four-week residential training course followed by a work placement at a training yard. It covers the specifics of how to ride and look after racehorses.

What can you do at the end of the course?

On successful completion of the training programme you will be placed into employment at a training yard.

Is funding available?

The course is free and funded by The Racing Foundation.

Where can you do the course?

British Racing School
Northern Racing College

Transition to Racing

Who is it for?

Any confident and competent riders who are new to racing from another equestrian discipline.

What does the course cover?

The four and a half day residential course gives you the knowledge and ability to secure a job in a racing yard. The Course includes daily tuition on racehorse simulators, riding put two lots per day with video reviews, evening stables, fitness assessments and review, racecourse procedures, rules of racing and saddling for racing.

What can you do at the end of the course?

The training prepares you for a full-time role in a racing yard.

Is funding available?

Support may be available from the racing industry. Please speak to the racing schools for more information.

Where can you do the course?

British Racing School

Employer Led Training

Who is it for?

This is suitable for beginners 19 and over, or for those who have experience with horses but need specific racehorse care and riding training.

What does the course cover?

The course usually takes around 30 weeks and works to a Racing Groom Skills Passport. Each area of knowledge or practical skill must be achieved and signed off by your employer to show that you are competent. The Racing Groom Skills Passport has three levels, each with a growing level of responsibility, horsemanship skills, riding skills and employability skills.

What can you do at the end of the course?

The training prepares you for a full-time role in a racing yard.

Is funding available?

There is no cost to you for training and your employer will pay you while you train.

Where can you do the course?

In the workplace. Contact a racehorse trainer via our Trainer Locator to enquire if this training is offered. You may need to mention checking with the National Trainers Federation if the trainer has not heard of this scheme.

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