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Certification Sponsor Guidelines
  1. Provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance
    • Sponsors should submit this document to the AFA Office along with their Certification Sponsorship Application.
    • This insurance must be for an amount of $1,000,000.00 or greater and must list the AFA as an additional insured.

  2. Appoint a Certification Coordinator.
    • Acts as the contact person.
    • Handles all advance organization.

  3. Schedule an Approved Examiner
    • Select an Approved Examiner.
    • Schedule the event date(s) with the Approved Examiner.
    • Review and coordinate procedures with the Approved Examiner.

  4. Reserve site / facilities for scheduled date(s).
    • Water, electricity and restrooms are a must.
    • Ensure that comfortable, quiet, well-lighted room; chairs, tables or desks are available.
    • Spacious, clean, well-lighted, flat (preferably) covered areas are available for practical work.
    • Forges must be allowed in the facility chosen.

  5. Send application to the AFA Office.
    • Complete the Certification Sponsorship Application Online Form or print out the Pdf Form. This includes identifying the Certification Coordinator, location of the Certification, levels and areas to be tested, the names of the Approved Examiner and the Approved Testers.
    • Submit the completed Certification Sponsorship Application including Certificate of Insurance to the AFA Office at least 60 days prior to the event date. The AFA Office must receive the Sponsorship Application from the host at least 60 days prior to the event.
    • The Office will email Application to the Area Supervisor: The Area Supervisor must approve the application before it can be confirmed
    • The Office will confirm the event date by letter upon final approval. Letters of confirmation will be sent to the Certification Coordinator Approved Examiner, and Certification Committee Chair

  6. Develop an agenda and tentative schedule, which allots time for:
    • Staff Orientation Meeting… provides the Approved Examiner with an opportunity to give instructions to and coordinate final plans with the Certification Coordinator, Approved Testers, Approved/Provisional Examiners and/or Provisional Testers, and other staff before meeting with candidates.
    • Candidate Orientation Meeting
    • The Certification Coordinator reviews the event schedule and gives instructions before the tests begins.
    • The Certification Rules are read to the candidates.
    • Candidates have the opportunity to ask questions of the Certification Coordinator and Approved Examiner.
    • Written examinations … typically require 2 to 4 hours, including scoring.
    • Practical Examinations… require different time allocations:
    • Journeyman shoeing – minimum 3 hours per round
    • Certified Tradesman shoeing – minimum 3 hours per round
    • Certified and Classification shoeing – minimum 2 hours per round
    • Journeyman bar shoe – minimum 2 hours
    • Certified Tradesman fullered open heel shoe – minimum 2 hours
    • Certified shoe display – minimum 2 hours Breaks for meals should be scheduled for all staff. These may be staggered to accommodate schedule and facility.
    • Conclusion… allows the Approved Examiner and On-Site Registrar to finalize paperwork.

  7. Recruit, coordinate, and – where necessary -- train staff
    • Certification Coordinator
    • Coordinates the organizational structure of the event in consultation with the Approved Examiner.
    • Recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers prior to and during Certification.
    • Ensures volunteers are properly equipped.
    • Is available at all times during the event.
    • Responsible for final clean up of certification site.

Approved Examiner

• At least one Approved Examiner is required to supervise the process and ensure that the standards of the program are maintained.
• Supervises the administration of all written and practical examinations.
• Receives test fees at the end of the event.
• Sends test fees, score sheets, answer forms, and certification result forms to the Certification Chairman in a timely manner.

Approved Testers

• One tester is needed for every five horses to be evaluated, with a minimum of three approved testers present at each certification.
• Only Approved or Provisional Testers may be used. When there is an insufficient number of Approved or Provisional Testers the AFA Examiner may utilize the service of other AFA Certified Journeyman Farriers who are in good standing upon the approval of the Certification Chair, and the chair will contact the AFA President of the action taken.
• On-Site Registrar
• Pre-register candidates by filling in needed candidate data on all forms.
• Collects fees and gives receipts.
• Record candidate data on the Certification Report Form.
• Make individual test packets using pre-registration information.
• Distribute test packets to candidates at certification site.
• Provide pens/pencils for candidates during written exams, if needed.
• Provide tape recorder and tape for any oral examination accommodations.
• Make final accounting of all paper work and fees when the event is completed.
• Assistant Registrars may be useful at large certifications.
• Steward / Horse Wrangler
• Organizes shoeing area and rig set up.
• Arranges for suitable horses to be brought to the event site.
• Provides extra horses in case of problems.
• Supervises the assignment of horses to candidates under the direction of the Approved Examiner.

On Call Veterinarian
If a horse needs to be sedated it must be done under the direct supervision of a licensed Veterinarian. Decision to call Veterinarian shall be made by Host association.

• Ensures the safe handling and care of horses at the event site.
• Furnishes replacement horse if needed.
• Horse handlers are to be provided by each individual candidate.

  1. Registration
    • Pre-registration is needed to facilitate planning for horses, staff, and materials.
    • Candidate data: Name, address, phone number, date of birth, AFA membership number
    • Level of certification and areas of the certification examination to be taken.
    • Special Accommodations – does the candidate require that the Written Exam be read or translated?
    • Begin registration at least one hour before testing is to begin.


• Confirm accuracy of pre-registration data with each candidate.
• Collect any unpaid fees and new AFA memberships.
• Collect and attach any prior partial completion forms to current form. (Candidate’s present partial completion forms indicating portions of an exam level successfully completed at a previous certification examination.).
• Issue receipts and give candidates test packets with necessary forms.
• Collect shoe displays to be evaluated.
• Late registrations may be accepted at the discretion of the Certification Coordinator and the Approved Examiner.

Additional Considerations:

• Extra Horses and Approved Testers

  1. Assemble Test Packets
    • Use pre registration information to fill out forms and make packets.

    Customize a test packet for each candidate to include:
    • New partial completion form with candidate data filled in .
    • Answer forms for written examination and score sheet(s) for practical examination(s). Include only pages needed by each individual candidate.

    • Certified Journeyman Farrier candidate
    - CJF Written Examination answer sheet, 1 copy
    - CJF Shoeing Practical score sheets, 2 copies
    - CJF Bar Shoe Practical score sheets, 2 copies

• Certified Tradesman Candidate – 1 copy each
- CJF Written Examination answer sheet
- CTF Shoeing Practical score sheet
- CTF Open Heel Shoe Practical score sheet.

• Certified Farrier candidate – 1 copy each
- CF Written Examination answer sheet
- CF Shoeing Practical score sheet
- CF Shoe Display score sheet

• AFA Farrier candidate – 1 copy each
- CF Written Examination answer sheet
- CF Shoe Display score sheet