Course Overview

Quick Facts

  • 12 – 14 months
  • A minimum of six hours per week must be spent undertaking off-the-job training
  • Available in England*
  • Employment in a suitable environment is required

As this qualification is work-based no college attendance is required. Your tuition will be provided online, and you will be supported by a personal tutor who will assess your work and provide feedback. Regular contact and support will be carried out by your tutor via email, telephone and Microsoft Teams. Your place of work should be located within a 90 minute radius of our Huntingdon centre; if it is outside of this area, please contact us as we may still be able to meet your training needs.

Make your dream a reality!

Many people dream of working with horses but are never quite sure where to start or what the opportunities are. The rewards that come from working with horses make the work a popular choice of career for many.

As an Equine Groom Apprentice, you will be employed in a suitable environment gaining vital knowledge, skills and experience, and earning a wage alongside studying your formal apprenticeship qualification.

By choosing to study with The College of Animal Welfare you will be joining a community of like-minded students and staff, who all share a passion for animal welfare.

As this apprenticeship is work-based, you may apply to start at any time of the year and will not be required to attend College for tuition. You will be allocated a Work-based Learning Assessor who will support you through your qualification via email, Teams calls, telephone contact and 3 visits to your place of work.

There are five specialist pathways you can choose from; allowing you to tailor the course to your interests, job requirements and career objectives.


Benefits to employers

  • Grow your business: Affordable way to expand and develop your business
  • Cost effective: Provide valuable opportunities whilst minimising recruitment and training costs
  • Enhanced reputation: Provide client reassurance by investing in trained staff
  • Increased productivity: Maximise staff efficiency though the development of knowledge and skills


The College of Animal Welfare has a well-earned reputation for excellence; delivering quality training and education and employer support. Your apprentice will benefit from:

  • Tuition, support and assessment provided in the workplace, online and via email, Teams and telephone contact
  • Support and guidance from an allocated, qualified Work-based Learning Assessor
Course Content

Core knowledge, skills and behaviours

You will gain the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours needed of an Equine Groom to ensure you maintain safe working practices and take responsibility for yourself, others and the animals in your care.

Knowledge and Skills
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of wide range of knowledge and skills including:

  • Safe Working Practices
  • Yard and Field Routines and Duties
  • Horse Anatomy, Physiology and Welfare
  • Horse Handling, Care and Appearance
  • Saddlery and Equipment
  • Travelling Horses
  • Non-Ridden Exercise


You will look at safe working, work ethic, responsibility, team work and communication.



In addition to the core knowledge, skills and behaviours you will undertake further learning relevant to your job role and interests. There are five specialised routes you can choose from, each of which have specific knowledge and skills associated.


This includes study of the principles of equine reproduction, importance of teasing, monitoring of pregnancy, disease awareness and preparation of equines for sale.


You will understand all parts of a single set of harness, correct usage with two and four wheeled vehicles with independent shafts and exercise techniques in a non-driving environment.


You will select to follow either the Racing Exercise Groom or the Racing Yard Based Groom pathways and learn areas such as specific exercise regimes, regulatory requirements and fitting specialist racing equipment and tack.


Specific skills and knowledge will cover areas such as the correct riding position, use of pole work, riding in a group and on the road and public places.


Knowledge and skills will be gained in areas such as stock rotation, supply storage, yard based records, customer care and the benefits and practice of lunging.



Functional Skills
You will undertake Functional Skills Level 1 and Level 2 in English and Maths unless exempt.

During your apprenticeship you will compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Once you have completed your portfolio, Functional Skills and a minimum of 12 months of training, you will be able to undertake the End Point Assessment.

End Point Assessment (EPA)
The EPA consists of:

  1. Knowledge Test: An online or paper based test taken at the workplace or approved centre (invigilated) for the paper based test, which will take 75 minutes and consist of 50 multiple choice questions.
  2. Practical Observation: An observation of the apprentice by an independent assessor.
  3. Professional Discussion: A structured interview between the apprentice and the independent assessor taking place after the Knowledge Test and Practical Observation which will provide the opportunity to use Portfolio evidence to illustrate professional competence

Your performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of fail, pass or distinction.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements. However, you will need to be living and working in England in a suitable equine environment (such as a riding school, horse charity or racing yard), earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, within a 90 minute radius of our Huntingdon centre. If your place of work is outside of this area, please contact us as we may still be able to meet your training needs.

To complete this apprenticeship within 12-18 months you will need to be working for a minimum of 30 hours per week, if you are working less than 30 hours a week the length of your apprenticeship will be extended depending on your working hours.

If you have a level 2 (or above) qualification in a similar subject you may not be able to undertake this apprenticeship, in which case you may wish to undertake the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horse Care as a standalone qualification.

International qualifications

Students with foreign qualifications are required to have their certificates translated using a UK ENIC Statement to confirm if they have previously achieved Level 2 English and Level 2 maths for their apprenticeship. If a student has not previously achieved this, they will need to complete Functional Skills English and/or maths as part of their apprenticeship. More information about how to apply, how it works and prices can be found on the UK ENIC’s website here.

Course Fees

Apprenticeship fees are payable by the employer. Prior to starting the course an invoice will be issued for the total course fee.

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, your employer will be able to pay monthly direct debit payments to allow you to continue to receive support and access to your course until certification of your award.

Course fees for small employers/Non-Levy Payers (with an annual payroll bill of less than £3 million)

Non-levy paying employers in England are required to contribute 5% (£250 in one payment) towards the cost of the apprenticeship provided they use their digital account to process the claim for 95% funding available.

Course fees for large employers/Levy Payers (with an annual payroll bill of more than £3 million)

Levy payers in England will pay the full apprenticeship amount of £5,000 using their digital account.

These are current figures and may be subject to change. The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be as a result of age, employment status, previous education achievements, or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.

What Next?

On completion of your apprenticeship you will have gained the confidence, practical skills and abilities to excel in your position.  During this time, your desire to learn and increase your knowledge may have developed and you may be debating what to do next…

If you are looking to study to the next level you may look consider undertaking the Level 3 Senior Equine Groom Apprenticeship. To do so you would need to be working in a supervisory or managerial position, however if you are not currently working in such a role but are aspiring to do so, it may still be possible to undertake the advanced apprenticeship; this will be assessed on an individual basis and is something your assessor will discuss with you as you approach the end of the intermediate apprenticeship.