First part of report on FRC meeting 13th June 2007.

For farriers to raise concerns with elected Farriers Registration Council representative Peter Baker. Anonymous postings will be deleted.
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First part of report on FRC meeting 13th June 2007.

Postby PNB » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:09 am

Outline of FRC meeting 13th June 2007.

Firstly I must apologise for a lack of depth in this report, I had as you are aware declined to sign a declaration that I would agree to be bound by a set of rules to govern the actions of FRC members, which patently due to their construction and the many conflicts within them could not lawfully be adhered with, and would therefore not serve the best interests of the working farriers that made up the farriers register. To that end the Training Director in conjunction with the Council Chairman, had informed me I was not to receive any council papers for the meeting. To follow the meeting proved difficult in the circumstances and your representative declined to vote on most of the issues on the agenda that day without site of the back ground papers.

That’s the whinge over.

1, Councillor Baker refused to agree that the minute of the meeting 7th March 2007 was a true record of the meeting as his formally presented rebuttal paper, [presented as a document and read out an the 7th March] regarding an outline summery by Councillor Vincent of the complaint against him, [MWN v P N Baker] was omitted as an historical record. Council voted on a non seconded motion from the chairman, agreeing to over rule councillor Baker’s objection, on the strength of 13 votes to one [PNB], it was therefore approved the minute should be signed.

2, On the 7th March Councillor Baker was requested to present a paper to demonstrate where the conflicts between the rules of FRC and the Nolan Commission existed, to demonstrate why he had declined to sign a formal contract to abide with both the Nolan recommendations and the rules of council.

A 12,800 word report was constructed patently one to large to be considered on the13th June due to its complexity. However the chairman blocked a presentation by Councillor Baker of a previously submitted [to the registrar] much for shortened précis of his report being outlined this day.

Councillor Baker however pointed out, 15 of the 16 members [of council] are in breech of [FRC] rule 127[b] and 133 [i].

Councillor Fox interceded then, outlining rules 127 and 133, as justifying the training director’s decision.

Councillor Baker outlined the rules quoted [127 and 133], demonstrated that councillor Fox’s seat on council was doubtfully MAINTAINED under the direction of rule 133 [a], something councillor Fox objected to strongly, stating he was correctly appointed by the successor body to COSIRA, the RDC. A response which didn’t actually meet the “Change of Status” of his appointing body outlined in rule 133[a] and the maintenance of his seat on the FRC.

3, A statement document circulated to all members of council by the training director was to be taken under AOB, however it was established from Mr H Cooper chairman of FTAMB regarding the last paragraph of this report, that all ATF’s would be made aware of any known serious criminal behaviour that their future or current apprentices had been or become involved in, if it came to the notice of FTA. Councillor Baker enquired just how the physical process of informing an ATF took place and did this cause a problem with “DATA PROTECTION”, the training director answered “No”.

Councillor Baker asked, “Once an apprentice has passed his assessment at NVQ level 3, can the WCF refuse him the right to take the Dip WCF exam". The response was The WCF could not refuse.

4, Without sight of the papers the next item was difficult to fully comprehend, but for some reason Mr Cooper announced something was being “FLOATED” regarding a decision to be taken at the July FTAMB meeting in July 07. This was probably the proposed separation of FTA from its mother body FRC. Cooper stated funding in order for the separation to take place was an ongoing problem, but in hand. The chairman stated he trusted the funding issue would not prevent the separation of FTA from FRC.

5, Councillor Baker asked had the decision to charge ATF’s a £3000 bond to employ 19 to 24 year old apprentices had an impact, the Training Director said it had not. In fact there was only one less apprentice in the age group proposed for July than in the previous in take.

50 apprentices were proposed for July, (9 at Warwick, 17 at Hereford, 15 at Myerscough and 9 at Oatridge].

A comment was made regarding how training colleges could survive on such small numbers of farriery students. The response being that this was not FRC’s problem.

6, It was stated that part three farrier’s registration fee was to be 50% of the full amount/cost of maintaining registration. There are 85 part three farriers on the register but this may change due to the Highlands and Island’s farriers now forming part of the register.

Half fees apply to post 65 year old craftsmen, even if they are ATFs [Pensioners Privilege] what effect this will have on the income of FRC, with the advancing age groups of farriers was a point not made.

7, College visitation fee’s are to be scrapped.

8, FRC agreed to pay the WCF a fee £100 per student for the WCF [formal examination board] part in the Dip WCF examination, deferred until after the July intake.

9, The chairman [SC] outlined that due to the new forging certificate the formal farriery apprenticeship is now effectively 5 years in length.


Report of rest of the meeting to follow.

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Meeting Comment 13th June 2007. Part 2.

Postby PNB » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:19 am


10, Councilor Burton, reported Oatridge Farriery school had under gone a successful visitation.

The visitation group had only a few minor concerns, regarding availability of Publications, Shower Facilities, Stand in Lecturers and an Health and Safety element, regarding noise levels within the forge.

11, Councilor Hargreaves, opened the report regarding the integration of Farriery into the Veterinary Services Bill [VSB].

Various comment was introduced by Councillor House, who stated RCVS had placed the VSB on the back burner, with a change of approach. It now seems the VSB, MAYBE will be introduced by way of a Short Bill and the content introduced by way of amendments. He said the matter of farriery complicated the issue, as now 75% of veterinary practice concerns small animals!!

Councillor Baker enquired, was it proposed that Farriery Registration should still be included?? The Chairman saying, all had currently gone quiet on that front. The Council Secretary who had a communication with Paul Jepson, [WCF / RCVS], interceded farriery may now if needs be go it alone and follow the short bill route. ["Observation PNB, "bearing that comment in mind a very close eye has to be kept on this matter].

12, Councillor House, then introduced Foot Trimmers. He said Strasser Trimmers had been avoided. The Registrar said Strasser is currently inquiring at Sefton House regarding last summers Strasser Trimmers Court Cases.

Councillor House continued, the other two groups were well intentioned, but doubtfully capable of DELIVERING TRAINING!! THIS WAS AN ANIMAL WELFARE MATTER, with the securing of adequate standards at the top of the list.

Councillor Baker established that, The NEWC report is still not ready for PUBLICATION, [now it is some eight months late].

One of the trimmer groups, had complained Farriery Apprentices do no get sufficient training in foot trimming!! a comment based the giving Clients advice regarding foot care management and nutrition. The Training Director strangely seemed to agree, inferring this should be a role of apprentice farriers and something that should be covered within the AMA.

A comment was strongly made by the Scottish Office Member [a man well versed and with a background in further education], during the meeting that the documentation of AMA and the portfolios were vast , time consuming and unnecessary, something that should be looked at with a view to reduction!!

Coucillor Baker, enquired can Civilions take NVQ 3 in foot trimming?? This went into free fall as it was not an act of FARRIERY, the conclusion it seems is they can if prepard to work hard to attain oppertunities to that end!!


More to follow.
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Comments on FRC meeting 13th June 2007.

Postby PNB » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:05 am


14, The council secretary reported on EFFA, The only thing that can be recalled regarding his report, in the absence of an paperwork, was that if you wish to be a CERTIFIED EURO FARRIER, it is going to cost you a fee for the pleasure. post meeting comment>[It has been pointed out to me since the meeting this could be a back door route to qualify as a farrier outside of the UK main track. Seemingly a a valid observation which will require very close notice].

This whole matter was mentioned so casually by MWN that it rang whistles and bells, which I suggest is a matter worthy of some in depth enquiry!! It seems however from a response to a question by Councillor Baker, to become a EURO FARRIER will only be VOULENTARY, but once a EURO FARRIER what will that mean??. So maybe another Subscription Club is going to be established, at a cost with no teeth, that must be a joke, there has to be more!!

15, Councillor Chalmers report on the CPD group meeting, they seem to be getting their finger out. The committee consists of Reg Howe, Mark Spriggs, Craig Darcy, Capt Goodall and Councillor Chalmers.

Councillor Alex Chalmers introduced the paper work, a report form was held up, an outline of the objective was that every farrier should obtain 10 points in a year to satisfy his CPD requirement. An example was the filling in of the questionnaire was worth a single point, obtaining or sitting AWCF - FWCF was worth 5 points, going to the last WCF bare Foot day was worth 4 points.

Councillor Baker enquired was CPD going to be made a compulsory requirement, in order to remain on the FARRIERS REGISTER, the answer was "YES, other professions require CPD", and that "IT IS ANTICIPATED IT WILL TAKE 10 YEARS TO HAPPEN!!" Another matter introduced for future action, currently working away thankfully in our gaze, that will need very careful consideration during the next decade!!.

COMMENT:- [A comment made post meeting with Councilor Chalmers, the vast changes made within other crafts due to modern computer/electrical technologies obviously applies to those industries, Electricians, Plumbers, Gas Fitters have to be retrained and certified to include computer controlled elements. Farriery hasn't changed in the last 1000 years, rasps, knives, nails, steel/iron, aluminum and sweat, save the faddy use of adhesive materials, and faddy unproven shoeing concepts Cytek / Four point as examples. The observation was agreed that if the basic job is done right most of the above fad is not necessary!!. CPD cannot then be held to need to be on a parallel course to other types of technicians/craft needs. The basics need to be trained into apprentice's at source, whilst at the farriery colleges and then maintained].

[Checks and balances in the maintaining of a satisfactory basic standard of farriery are needed quite urgently and in the interest of animal welfare, if that is truely what farrier registration is all about!! Maintaining a basic standard is something currently skirted around if not ignored, possibly as it is felt such a move may prove unpalatable and controversial to enforce. Basic checks and balances of the maintenance of the standard of work are surely highly relevant to Animal Welfare, especially relevant with the influx of only minimally trained euro and third world farriers being allowed to work on horses in the UK, but that is not CPD].

Any Other Business.

Councillor Baker, had introduced a letter from POLO Farrier Stuart Craig asking how/why the FRC had taken a FORMAL road show into one of his clients stables, to seemingly encourage by demonstration the processes involved to bring overseas grooms into the UK, to shoe Polo ponies DURING THE POLO SEASON. A matter of great concern to Stuart which had very strong ANIMAL WELFARE implications due to the non professional standard of workmanship.

At Mr Craig's request, I will reproduce his letter and FRC's formal response, constructed as a result of the meeting on 13th June in full below.

Councillor Chalmers, introduced the idea of putting FRC agenda items out for formal discussion/notification prior to FRC meetings, by way of a small committee, the brief being to get the WORKING CRAFT involved and to gauge craft pre meeting feelings!!

Councillor Baker applauded the idea and held up as an example being the codes of conduct committee consisting of mainly working men, which had recently redrafted to conduct codes for registered farriers.

Councillor House said the use of the Internet and Email has arrived and should be considered.

COMMENT:- [A subsequent post meeting offer was made by Councillor Baker to Councillor Chalmers, that he could arrange for an FRC MEMBER E/group, and the setting up of an FRC related discussion board would be an easy process].

Overview:- Several member of FRC commented on Councillor Baker insistence on in depth enquires/questioning of outlined decisions during FRC meetings.

The general feeling expressed by, in the main by the appointed members of FRC, was they seemed to wish to chose who they worked with on FRC. These accorded with the feeling expressed by Councillor Gibson on 7th March 2007, that it demonstrated a break away from the previously upheld general over all accord of FRC business, pre councillor Baker being elected onto FRC.

Is this silent accord not the very thing that had become instrumental in leaving the working craftsmen feeling totally isolated?? and left out of the strategy planning for the future of the farrier's craft??

One councillor even stated, if you wanted him to continue to serve on FRC this needed to change!! It seems several members of FRC seem to want only to work on the committee FRC if business matters are only put up for formal approval and nodded through with out the level of debate insisted on within the rules of council. To that end the chair seemingly attempted and to a degree succeeded in not allowing one of your elected representatives to explore implications for our craft of the various committee decisions. An action supported by the refusal of the Training Director to allow Councillor Baker to have "The Papers Relevant" to the FRC meeting on 13th June 2007. A breech of FRC protocol in direct conflict with the rules of council. Rules which 15 of the 16 members of council had signed up to uphold unreservedly.

In consequence however Councillor Baker found it easier to follow the meeting processes without earlier sight of "The Council Papers", far easier to see questions that needed to be outlined and easier to keep relevant meeting notes and construct this report, a point he attempted to make during the FRC meeting.

Without doubt, I have out missed relevant bits of this meeting, If you wish to ask me about specifics I will answer you as far as I know, and will consult the registrar to that end and in open communication when she returns from "The Royal Highland Show".

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Postby PNB » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:15 am


Typo's? done.


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Stuart Craig Letter to FRC.

Postby PNB » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:16 pm

Blueys Farm, Twyford Road, Waltham-St-Lawrence, Berks RG10 OHE

Tel: 01189 341215 Mobile: 07930 323263


Dear sir/madam

I am writing a open letter as I personally feel the f.r.c. has sold farriers down the river with regards to there presentation issued by them at Fifield polo club on Wednesday the sixth of June of this year openly encouraging them to register.

I can accept registration might be a necessary evil for eu members but cannot accept the encouragement of non eu members.

These persons can apply for registration for as little as ten pounds with no more than a couple of letters that can be easily forged and even a follow up call could well be suspect.

I know for a fact that 99% of these people have no training whatsoever.

The information provided on the day was in Spanish.

I would like to know the details of who and where agreed to this new policy that came into effect in April this year.

C. S. craig

Cc peter baker
A Chalmers
S. Curtis
R. Hurcombe


18 June 2007

Blueys Farm
Twyford Rd

FBH/121 1

Dear Mr Craig

Thank you for your letter which was received on 12 June 2007.
By way of background you are of course aware that the Council has for many years offered temporary registration to persons from overseas who can demonstrate by supplying two or more suitable references that they have regularly and gainfully practiced farriery for at least two years in an area outside the Act. This is because the FRC recognises that some farriers from overseas may wish to practice here for a short period of time, e.g. seasonal work, work experience with a British farrier, competitions etc, and that it may not be practical for such persons to take the DipWCF in order to do so. Indeed you have made several such applications yourself, on behalf of Mr C Rebeschini an Argentinian groom with the Dubai Polo Team, in recent years.

The fees are £10 for a week, £32.50 for three months and £65 for six months (the maximum time permitted in any twelve month period) — in other words they are proportionate to the Retention fee — and are reviewed by the Council annually. It has always been the case that references on headed note paper from veterinary surgeons, employers or accountants and long established clients are acceptable in support of overseas applications and the Council looks into the authenticity of references if it has any concerns.

Currently all temporary applicants must either work under the supervision of an Approved Training Farrier or be limited to carrying out farriery for a specific purpose e.g. working for their sponsoring organisation!employer.
It has been reported to the Council many times over the years that grooms working on private polo yards are carrying out farriery for their patrons. Although it is difficult to investigate such activity on private property the Council has investigated where specific instances have been reported to it. The Council corresponds regularly with the Hurlingham Polo Association to remind it of the law concerning the registration of farriers in Great Britain and I understand it circulates this information down to the clubs.

Continued!. . . .2

Mr C S Craig AFCL

Page 2

18 June 2007

Last year following your report to this office about possible illegal farriery activity at the Fifield Polo Club an investigator working on behalf of this Council visited the yard and found that the information about the regulation of farriery and the rules about temporary registration had not been reached by the managers. It was therefore proposed that a briefing session be held for the benefit of the grooms who are Latin American Spanish speaking at the beginning of this season. This was agreed with the Council’s Registration Committee as a worthwhile initiative last year hence the session this June.

Regarding EU farriers, the implementation of Directive EC/2005136 by the Department for Education and Skills in October, will mean that EU farriers will be able to practice in Great Britain on a temporary and occasional basis without restriction or the payment of a fee providing they inform the Council of their intention to provide this service beforehand. Discussions about the Directive have been taking place over the past 18 months at Registration Committee and Council level.

Yours sincerely
Mrs F B Heather

cc: MrPBakerAWCF
Mr A Chalmers AFCL B 1
Mr S Curtis FWCF HonAssocRCVS
Mr R T4iirc DInWCF
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Postby PNB » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:45 am


Maybe you didn't struggle through the above series of LETTERS, but I did. The final paragraph was news to me as an FRC member!! It seems FRC Registration Committee have kept this card close to their chests!!

Is there a future in the UK for a register of UK FARRIERS?? Is this a role seen as being one for EFFA??

Quote, "Regarding EU farriers, the implementation of Directive EC/2005136 by the Department for Education and Skills in October, will mean that EU farriers will be able to practice in Great Britain on a temporary and occasional basis without restriction or the payment of a fee providing they inform the Council of their intention to provide this service beforehand. Discussions about the Directive have been taking place over the past 18 months at Registration Committee and Council level".

I am mindful of MWN's EFFA report, included in the above postings [comments on the meeting of 13th June 2007] , regarding the EFFA membership and fee in order to to become a EURO FARRIER, and my caution to be aware / note the under tones.

The new above outlined Directive EC/2005136 "[Discussions about the Directive have been taking place over the past 18 months at Registration Committee and Council level]". THIS CONSEQUENCE is something that passed by this member of the registration council, and I suspect the rest of the working CRAFT.

So on the face of it if you become a registered EURO FARRIER member of EFFA, the EFFA members can come to the UK and practice farriery with no more than two years experience and possibly NO formal training!!. SO WHAT ABOUT UK ANIMAL WELFARE NOW THEN !!!!

Is EFFA membership then seen as being the SAFETY NET?? The new form of FARRIER REGISTRATION.

Would this explain the recent debate on the current registration act being wound up and the role transferred to the RCVS??

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eu directive

Postby admin » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:50 am

The EU Directive is 2005/36


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Postby PNB » Sat Jun 23, 2007 6:01 pm


I need some help here but it appears FARRIERY is not a regulated profession as farriery is not specified in Annex 1, so how DOES FARRIERY FALL UNDER THE DEFINITION of a profession outlined in article 3.2 ?

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European Federation of Farriers Association GOGGLE search.

Postby PNB » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:09 pm


Regarding EFFA taking over farrier registration, maybe this is of interest to you.


European Federation of Farriers Association

Version 1/05 – page 1 from 3
European Federation of Farrier Associations ; Andreas Furgler, Treasurer, c/o Swiss Metal
Union ; Chräjeninsel 2 ; CH – 3270 Aarberg ; Phone: 0041 32 391 70 28 Fax : 0041 32 391 70
29 e-mail: Internet :

There follows a full set of STANDARDS for european farriery!!

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Postby PNB » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:26 am


It seems the more you think you know, the less you actually know.

The current influx of northern european farriers it seems now are not actually EURO FARRIERS, even though they come from Europe and only need to have evidence of working as farriers for TWO YEARS in a another european country, well that actually applies to any body in the world anywhere and not just Europeans in Europe.

When is a temporary licence not a temporary licence?

In our area we have two of these fellows. one of whom came here three years ago, before it is reported he returned to northern Europe for two years. I understand he has now come back to the UK and bought one of his fellow countrymen with him. A check of the UK Farriers Register now demonstrates he is now entered in part one of the our UK Register. I suppose he must now have passed the Dip WCF exam, thats a positive any way.

Our own UK lads, have to serve a year pre-farriery to obtain a FORGING CERTIFICATE and a 4 year and 2 month period as an AMA before passing the prescribed Dip WCF examination to get into part one of the UK Register of Farriers, that is in order for them to practice as a farrier any where in Europe.

It all seems a bit of a mess, with more than one standard to get registered, what seems a water tight way to look after the animal welfare element of equine hoof care in reality is a bit of a free for all.


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Postby csc » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:44 am

quite right peter there are reports coming from all over the country of illegal farriery from eastern europeans especialy in driving yards in the north to argentines in polo yard in the south
however i have contacted the institute of plumbers to see if they have a eu problem the answer is clearly no as any enquiries are dismissed down to health and safety
asked about free eu movement they are looking into this as it hasnt been a problem i will keep all updated
it seems to me that someone has been a little too keen somewhere and promoted the eu legislation when it might of best been kept quiet instead of road shows and the like a very bad move i think
i personaly blame the f.r.c. comittee for not looking into this properly and acepting what the secretary said without question
i would recommend that anyone unfortunate to find themselves on the wrong side of the f.r.c. should go for a judicial review as farriery seems to be turning into a farce

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Postby admin » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:20 pm

If anyone had the time to study the EU directive it would be interesting to see if they thought that it supported overseas farriers working here willy nilly. I would suspect that it doesn't.

The Effa standards are at:

Effa has never really got off the ground has it?

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Postby csc » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:20 am

so whats your point admin

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Postby admin » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:45 am

Point 1 is that I haven't had time to read EU 2005/36 properly yet, if anyone has let us know what you think.

Secondly PNB flags up EFFA as having influence at EU level, but I was just wondering whether they are really a serious organisation, more likely they are just an excuse for free holidays for FRC hacks?

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Postby PNB » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:19 am

Admin, Stuart,

Just glancing at the various regulations, I didn't feel the EU see FARRIERY to be taken seriously. Lets face it were are part of an Old Craft looking after the maintenance of a specific animals feet. We use a system to enable us to do that of maintenance which hasn't changed for 2000 years.

ANIMAL Welfare, I suppose that could be the over arcing description of what we do, FRC seemingly don't agree or else they would under take standards checks!! "Welfare Essential", is a rather grandiose description however, and in all probability welfare being a description dreamed up to enable our OLD CRAFT to pass onto the domestic statute book, to control the men that find themselves subject of illogical CONTROL, Nationally Disadvantage and Unfairly Discriminated against [terms of EU / WORLD qualification] under that STATUTE.

It would have been fine, if that system of control had been allowed to jog along quietly, taking advantage of available money to assist with training of new craftsman in a low cost manner.

The chance was grasped to put in place a system of administration to control the 2500 craftsmen, two FRC employees fine, keep a register, minimise animal cruelty by any deliberate act or ignorance, by the system of registration, by a LAW that has only a few teeth to bite with. PERFECT!!

Now training, thats a different matter, 420 apprentices [up to 23 full time staff to administrator it by petty method] it is rubbish.

Employees being shown how the traditional craft maintains equine feet in a work environment, in a structured way, supervised by men that earn their living doing just that, apprentices EMPLOYEES undetaking the process of learning in the process of employment, a perfect very low cost excersise great in theory!!

In practice THE ADMINISTRATION is hugely expensive [Costs close to £1 million each year to administer without delivering one item of backup training], WHAT!! to sustain something Europe doesn't even feel warrants inclusion in a descriptive ANNEX of its list of qualifying professions!!

Is IT TIME WE GOT REAL?? and tradesmen are allowed to get on with looking after horses feet!! with simply a backup education system in the background to meet any training short falls on an as and when needed basis??.


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