Bob Smith

Evaluating Farrier Certification Testing

Horseshoeing schools, AFA, need to work together to establish a program that can be beneficial to all


Without a clear statement of educational goals, a method to teach what will be tested and valid instruments to measure achievement, the testing becomes more of a contest than an educational instrument…

The American Farrier’s Associa-tion Education Committee, which I chair, has been given the task of developing a plan to increase the pass rate of AFA Certification testing. This is a standing mandate for the Education Committee.

The AFA Certification pass rate is, anecdotally, 18%. The big question is why? Testers will tell you that those who present themselves for testing are not prepared. Applicants to the test will tell you that the test is arbitrary and geared toward “contest” shoeing.

My comments are not meant to offend. I am not pointing a finger at any individual or group. I am not condemning the Certification Program or those that have worked hard at forming and implementing the plan. This is an attempt to look at a problem — the pass rate — and insert a different perspective.

In designing a testing program you must be careful that a test is not measuring the skills and knowledge that one would like to see, but rather the knowledge and skills that the participants possess.

The Current State Of Affairs

For example, 50 farriers present themselves for testing at the Certified Level with all 50 having been shoeing full time for the past 5 years. They all support their families, make their mortgage payments and pay their bills from shoeing income. Since…

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Bob Smith

Bob Smith is a Hall Of Fame farrier and owner of the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

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