Standards and Regulation


Equine Podiatry Training Ltd has been at the forefront of work to develop national standards and UK regulation for barefoot professionals for some years now. We were the key driver in the development of the National Occupational Standards in Equine Barefoot Care which was first published in 2010. This was then updated and merged with the farriery standards to form the National Occupational Standards in Equine Hoof Care in 2020. National Occupational Standards are developed with the help of government agencies who are responsible for holding and maintaining them. The Equine Barefoot Care NOS suite sets out the knowledge and skills needed to be a professional barefoot hoof-care practitioner. The EPT course syllabus has been designed to meet and exceed the EBC NOS suite and to deliver a very high level of training within the NOS subject areas, as you’d expect from an organisation that contributed so heavily to the development of the NOS.


The National Occupational Standards only provide a broad-brush indication of the skills and knowledge needed to become a professional equine podiatrist. In order to demonstrate that an individual has those skills and knowledge at an appropriate level, a qualification is needed. EPT worked closely with Lantra Awards to create the Lantra Awards Level 5 Diploma in Equine Podiatry which was launched in 2021. This is currently the only nationally recognised qualification in non-farriery hoof-care in the world and EPT is the only centre licensed to deliver it at present.

Qualifications are measured in terms of level and breadth. The level of a qualification indicates the degree of responsibility a role encompasses. A Level 5 qualification (equivalent to a Foundation Degree) demonstrates that a learner has achieved a high level of knowledge and work expertise and is capable of independently formulating solutions and responses to complex problems and situations. Only nationally recognised qualifications (registered with Ofqual) have associated levels. The breadth of a qualification indicates how many study hours are required to gain it and hence how comprehensive the qualification is. Vocational qualifications are typically divided into awards, certificates and diplomas with diplomas representing the most comprehensive qualifications. A typical student will need in excess of 500 hours of study to gain the Lantra Awards Level 5 Diploma in Equine Podiatry.


Unlike with farriery, there is no legal control over who can work as a professional equine hoof trimmer. The UK government have indicated that they have no plans to introduce statutory controls on this activity as there is no evidence of a problem that statutory regulation would solve. Instead, the government has encouraged the use of self-regulation to provide customers with a means to determine if the professionals they are using have suitable training and are working to appropriate standards.

The Equine Podiatry Association was set up in 2006 to provide self-regulation of equine podiatrists in the UK. The EPA maintains a register of professionals who are suitably trained, continue to develop their professional skills and adhere to appropriate standards of behaviour and professionalism. Horse owners looking for a suitable professional to work with their horses are encouraged to check that they are using someone registered with the EPA. The EPA has grown into a respected part of the establishment and has a high degree of recognition amongst the horse-owning public. As such, EPA membership provides professionals with the credibility needed to build a client-base. In order to join the EPA, EPs must train with EPT and gain the Lantra Awards Level 5 Diploma in Equine Podiatry.

The current Veterinary Surgeons Act was created in 1966 but, as related professions have developed, has become somewhat outdated. There is a long-standing programme of work between government and the veterinary profession to re-evaluate the Act and this will likely lead in the future to closer ties between related professions such as equine podiatry and the veterinary profession. This could include broadening the remit of related professions to allow some delegation of veterinary powers to those professional groups that can demonstrate appropriate training and regulation. As the only non-farriery hoof-care organisation that can demonstrate both a nationally-recognised high-level qualification and high standards of self-regulation, the EPA is well placed to be ready for such developments.