British Dressage Apprenticeships
The BD Apprenticeship programme covers the learning of practical equestrian skills, as well as providing a range of qualification pathways delivered in an equestrian setting. Routes can be chosen in a range of equestrian and business areas, from leadership and digital marketing to senior equine groom.

In partnership with Sport Structures, find out more about our employment pathway of nationally recognised Intermediate and Advanced apprenticeship equestrian qualifications. Choose from a variety of apprenticeships all including added value experiences to support your aspirations.

British Dressage Apprenticeships:

Equine Groom (Level 2)
Senior Equine Groom (Level 3)
Business Administrator (Level 3)
Digital Marketer (Level 3)
Team Leader/Supervisor (Level 4)
Operations/Departmental Manager (Level 5)
What is a British Dressage Apprenticeship?

All six nationally recognised apprenticeships are either Intermediate, Advanced or Higher, to ensure inclusivity of learning abilities. Each programme is a unique blend of practical and theoretical learning with the chance to take advantage of existing BD qualifications. Opportunities for added value experiences are available throughout the year such as attending high value shows (home CDI) and yard visits.

This apprenticeship is unlike traditional rigid programmes. We want to support your aspirations within equestrianism in whichever area you choose. During the programme, if you discover a specific aptitude for an area of your course, you can undertake wrap around supplementary activities to help explore your passion and develop your own bespoke learning experience.

Training is delivered by a carefully selected team of qualified tutors using high-quality resources and innovative interactive technology to document and evidence your progress throughout the programme.

What does an Intermediate/Advanced/Higher apprenticeship mean?

Intermediate Apprenticeships are level 2 qualifications. They are generally agreed to be equivalent to 5 GCSE passes. This level is great for gaining industry experience whilst building essential skills, important for future careers in the sector. This level will help you take your first steps on your chosen career path.

Advanced Apprenticeships are level 3 qualifications. These are generally agreed to be equivalent of 2 A-Level passes. This level is the next step up, giving you higher levels of theoretical knowledge and more industry exposure. Upon completion, you’ll get a chance to secure permanent employment at the company you’re working at.

Typical requirements: completed a level 2 apprenticeship, or has 5 passes at GCSE.

Higher Apprenticeships are level 4-5 qualifications. Level 4 is generally agreed to be equivalent to a foundation degree, a Higher National Certificate (HNC), or the first year of an undergraduate degree. Level 5 is generally agreed to be equivalent to a full degree. This higher level of education will help you train for a highly skilled job, providing theoretical and practical experience to improve your employability. This type of apprenticeship offers role-specific training as well as potential career advancements.

Typical requirements level 4: completed an advanced apprenticeship, hold a level 3 NVQ/SVQ qualification, have a BTEC National qualification, or 2 passes at A-Level.

Typical requirements level 5: completed a minimum of level 3 qualifications, such as a level 3/4 (advanced/higher) apprenticeship, A-Levels, BTEC or NVQ.


How do I know an apprenticeship is the right choice?

Whether you’re trying to decide if A-levels/university is for you, are considering a career change, or are looking to upskill your employees, take a look at the Sport Structures website to find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships.

What if I’m already in employment?

The programme is open to both new and current employees. Whether you are already employed or are looking to start your career, there are many benefits to starting an apprenticeship.

Do I have to own a horse or ride to take part in a BD apprenticeship?

No! Our apprenticeships are carefully designed with Sport Structures to be inclusive. We want to highlight that BD apprenticeships are for everyone, from beginners with basic horse knowledge to fully seasoned competing members. To succeed with an apprenticeship you must have passion and a willingness to learn!

How do I know which equestrian route I want to take?

We advise you to take a look at the exciting course content to familiarise yourself with what each programme has to offer and to understand if it’s the best option for you.

If you still have access to a careers advisor through your school, sixth-form or college, try booking a careers appointment to discuss your options in more detail to create a plan of action for your next steps.

How do I know if I’m eligible to apply?

All applicants must be over the age of 16
Have proof of UK residency
Have a GCSE/Functional skills in English and Maths
Unsure if you’re eligible? Get in touch to discuss your options!

How long do they take?

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn at your own pace. With the flexibility and nature of the qualification there is no hard deadline to complete it by. Below is a general timetable of the length of time taken to complete each type of apprenticeship.

Level 2: minimum of 12-18 months
Level 3: up to 24 months
Level 4-5: 1-4+ years
What additional benefits will I gain from completing an apprenticeship with British Dressage?

Alongside the qualification, work experience and appropriate remuneration, all equestrian specific apprenticeships will include the BD Youth Horse Care (both online and practical) and for business focused apprentices added value BD activities focusing on equestrian businesses can be undertaken. Added value sessions include opportunities to indulge in exclusive seminars with industry professionals and learn about behind the scenes running of National competitions. In addition to front row seats to National Conventions, with behind the scenes access to mentors and event managers to gain insight from an equestrian business position. Opportunities to visit home CDI competitions will provide apprentices with a comprehensive understanding of International shows and how these compare to National shows. Those on business apprenticeship routes will also receive hands on experience from BD HQ staff and our programme workforce with specialisms in course relevant business topics.

The course is bespoke to you. You can personalise it as much or as little as you wish within the realm of what BD has to offer. This is a highly unique opportunity to study with BD and we will support you throughout this journey where ever we can and provide access to resources you can’t find anywhere else!

About British Dressage

If you’re passionate about dressage, at whatever level, unaffiliated or affiliated, British Dressage is here to help further your enjoyment and ensure the sport continues to go from strength to strength.

We're a proud member of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) which links us to the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) for all international affairs. Each year we select teams to represent Great Britain at championships as part of Team GBR at senior, para, young rider, junior and pony levels. We oversee all affiliated dressage in the United Kingdom which incorporates around 17,000 members competing at 2,400 shows at 188 venues. We develop rules and policies which shape the sport.

Dressage is a truly equal sport - we have members aged from six to 92, men and women compete on equal terms and disabled athletes compete alongside their able-bodied counterparts or in dedicated classes. Put simply, we're open to all!

We maintain standards by ensuring our affiliated venues meet minimum criteria and the competition is judged by qualified judges who undergo continuous training. The sport is also reliant on an amazing volunteer army who willingly give their time.

We're also the guardians of the sport and work hard to ensure fair play, maintain and develop standards at all levels from grass roots to Olympians, and ensure the welfare of the horse is paramount. Our competition structure ensures opportunity for all while the regional network offers a support network and great training opportunities.

As well as a company limited by guarantee, we're a registered charity with a trading arm, British Dressage Trading Ltd.