What is the nature of a valid professional field credential?

The function of a professional credential is to establish the minimum standard for persons qualified to practice independently. Therefore the lowest credential issued by a professional credential program must designate a fully qualified professional. Sub-standard credentials serve only to confuse the issue, undermine the program’s credibility, and short-sell the profession.

A professional credential system must take into consideration the years it takes to become truly qualified to be a professional farrier, as well as the full range of knowledge and skills needed to provide clients with complete hoof care and shoeing services. Examinations for such a credential are naturally demanding, requiring the farrier to demonstrate the kinds of ability needed in professional practice. Because horse owners can count on a formal standard of this kind to identify qualified farriers, the credential can be a valuable asset to working farriers.