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Sanctuary’s Sally Burton is one of the first people in the UK to gain new welfare qualification

Making history…. The first learners to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Equine Legislation, Welfare and Field Skills – a bespoke qualification aimed at the equine welfare industry. 

In December 2016 The Horse Trust launched the Level 3 Diploma in Equine Legislation, Welfare and Field Skills, a qualification that has been developed specifically for the equine welfare sector by The Horse Trust and Lantra Awards. The qualification is awarded by Lantra Awards and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), which regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.

A large number of organisations are involved in protecting and promoting the welfare of horses in the UK. These include organisations that play a role in: investigating allegations of welfare compromise; enforcing welfare and other equine specific legislation; responding to situations where horses are found in distress or straying, abandoned or fly-grazed; and caring for and rehabilitating horses experiencing welfare compromise.

Until now, people employed or volunteering in these roles could not achieve a regulated qualification relevant to their role: this qualification enables those achieving it to demonstrate that they are able to perform their role professionally, safely and to the required industry standard.

To determine what this standard should be, the qualification was developed in consultation with statutory organisations, veterinary surgeons, nutritionists, equine behaviourists, and animal and equine welfare charities.

Sally, pictured above third from the right, said: “This qualification is so relevant for our industry. It has given me a greater knowledge and understanding of the complicated law surrounding animal welfare.

“The things I’ve learnt will enable me to make changes to how we do things within the Sanctuary, not only for the benefit of our horses and ponies, but also anyone working to make the lives of animals in this country better. This is an excellent step forward for the equine industry.”

mare-foal-sanctuary-lantra-qualification-sally-burton-head-equine Delegates taking part in the intensive LANTRA course

The Level 3 Diploma in Equine Legislation, Welfare and Field Skills has been developed for:

  • Individuals employed by or volunteering for organisations that investigate, or assist in the investigation, of alleged equine welfare compromise
  • Individuals employed by organisations that enforce animal welfare legislation and/or other legislation affecting equids
  • Individuals employed by or volunteering for organisations that board, care for and rehabilitate equids with compromised welfare, including equids that are the subject of prosecutions.

The first cohort of learners who started in July 2016, have now completed the qualification and will be the first people in the industry to hold a qualification specifically relevant to their job role in the equine sector.

‘We are very pleased to have worked with The Horse Trust in developing a qualification that is the first of its kind for this industry. It is a great achievement to see the first cohort of learners complete this qualification and we hope to see many more learners work through it in the coming years’

Jenny Smith, Project Manager-Standards and Qualifications, Lantra Awards

The learners completed all the theory content on The Horse Trust’s Moodle site and attended The Horse Trust to complete two practical weeks of training over two years. They all work as either welfare field officers or for boarding establishments housing welfare cases and so play a vital role in the safeguarding of horses across the UK.

‘It is so rewarding to see the first cohort of learners gain the qualification, and we are very proud of them and all they have managed to achieve. They have been a brilliant first cohort as they have been able to provide us with excellent feedback in order to improve the qualification further for future learners. It has been a huge amount of work putting the qualification together however, it is vital for people that work in this sector to have something to show for the brilliant work they do for horse welfare across the UK’

Charlotte Launder, Training Manager, The Horse Trust

Testimonials from the first cohort of learners:

‘An excellent qualification which covers crucial areas which are essential for facilitating greater knowledge of Equine Welfare in the UK. It will enable us to take important steps forward to enable us to help more equines and prevent cruelty’

Sophie Kendrick, Yard Manager, Hope Pastures

‘This qualification is so relevant to industry. It has given me knowledge that I will use to make changes to how we do things within my organisation. I hope this will help us set the best example we can. I’d recommend this qualification for anyone working in welfare’