Passing a BHI examination and gaining a BHI qualification will undoubtedly enhance your ability to gain employment as a clock or watchmaker.
We have been setting standards for British horologists for over 150 years and our exams are all accredited in the UK by the regulatory body, Ofqual.
There are currently 20 individual BHI exam units that, according to the various combinations in which they can be taken, will lead to one of the following awards:
- Diploma in Clock and Watch Servicing (Level 3)
- Diploma in the Servicing and Repair of Clocks/Watches (Level 4)
- Diploma in the Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Clocks/Watches (Level 5)
While studying for exams you choose either a clock or a watch pathway. You will find comprehensive information on these diplomas and exams in our Examination Compendium.
Entry to the BHI examinations is reserved for BHI members.
As a BHI member, you also profit from a variety of other benefits, including:
- Free monthly copies of The Horological Journal, with news, learned articles, detailed studies and technical updates.
- Privileged access to the collection of clocks, watches and other timepieces of the BHI Museum Trust, the BHI library and archives.
You can also attend seminars and forums, and become part of a worldwide organisation of like-minded people with opportunities for local, regional, national and international contacts and support.
Register as an exam candidate
As a BHI member, you can register with us as an exam candidate for one or more of the diploma levels (3, 4 or 5, see above). The registration fee is £45.00 per level. If you pay by credit card, we have a 3% surcharge for the extra administration costs. After we have received your details and payment we record you as a candidate with EAL, the organisation that awards the diplomas. Then you can apply to enter a unit exam for the level(s) you are registered for.
We recommend that you register for one level only, so that you are pursuing one diploma qualification at a time, because there is an element of progression in the levels. Once you have completed a level, you can move on to the next one and register for that level. However, you are free to pursue as many as three levels at any given moment. If you want to pursue more than one level, you pay a registration fee of £45.00 for each level.
Finally, you do not have to complete Level 3 before you start Level 4 and/or 5. For example, if you have the required knowledge and skills, you may omit Level 3 and start with Level 4.
Apply to enter a unit exam
As stated above, you must be registered as an exam candidate when you apply for entering an exam unit, and you can only enter exam units at the level that you are registered for.
There are five different types of units, depending on the manner in which they are assessed:
- Written paper;
- Servicing test;
- Making a practical test piece;
- Completing a record of repairs; and
- Assembling a portfolio of work.
You will find information and details for the units you need for a specific level in Examination Compendium.
You are not limited in the number of exam units you can enter in any one year.
Closing dates for most units
The end of January is usually the closing date for applications to enter the unit exams D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D8, D9, D11, D12, D15, D16, D18 and D20.
No closing date for records of repairs and portfolios
There is no closing date for unit exams that involve completing a record of repairs (D7, D10, D14 and D17) and assembling a portfolio (D13 and D19). You can apply throughout the year. However, if you rely on these exam units to be passed for a qualification in the current year, they have to be completed and your record of repairs or portfolio has to be submitted for examination by no later than the end of June.
Where and when
Written paper exams and servicing tests are held at two examination centres in the UK: the BHI head office at Upton Hall and Epping Forest Horology Centre.
The following exams will take place week commencing 15 May 2017:
- Unit D1: Wednesday 17 May, 14:00 – 16:30
- Unit D3: Thursday 18 May, 09:00 – 18:00 or Friday 19 May, 09:00 – 18:00
- Unit D4: Tuesday 16 May, 09:00 – 16:00 or Thursday 18 May, 09:00 – 16:00
- Unit D6: Wednesday 17 May, 10:00 – 13:00
- Unit D8: Monday 15 May, 09:00 – 18:00
- Unit D9: Thursday 18 May, 09:00 – 18:00 and Friday 19 May, 09:00 – 18:00
- Unit D11: Wednesday 17 May, 14:00 – 16:30
- Unit D15: Friday 19 May, 09:00 – 17:00
- Unit D16: Thursday 18 May, 09:00 – 18:00
- Unit D18: Wednesday 17 May, 14:00 – 16:30
- Unit D20: Monday 15 May, 09:00 – 18:00 and Tuesday 16 May, 09:00 – 18:00
The exam units D2, D5 and D12 have different dates. They involve making practical test pieces in a set period of time. They do not take place at examination centres. They have a starting date and time, when you receive the instructions, and at the end of the set period your practical test piece or pieces have to be delivered to Upton Hall at the time stated below:
- Unit D2: from Wednesday 31 May, 09:00 to Thursday 15 June, 13:00
- Unit D5: from Wednesday 24 May, 09:00 to Thursday 15 June, 13:00
- Unit D12: from Wednesday 24 May, 09:00 to Thursday 15 June, 13:00
Units D7, D10, D13, D14, D17 and D19 involve completing a record of repairs or assembling a portfolio of work. Work on practical test pieces, records of repairs and individual portfolios can be carried out in any suitable workshop, but you have to arrange your own access to these workshop facilities.
We make every effort to assist candidates with particular assessment requirements or special needs. However, there is no guarantee that the BHI is able to make arrangements if we have not received the required supportive information at the time of application. For details, please see Examination Compendium.
If you live overseas, that is outside the UK, you can sit some, but not all units in your country of residence. The units you must sit in the UK are D9, D11, D16, D18 and D20. We have special procedures, for example on invigilation for the exams, and different prices for overseas exam candidates. You will find more information in Examination Compendium.
The 2017 fees are currently under review and will be posted in the near future.
There are additional costs for overseas candidates. These fees are non-refundable if you cancel or miss an exam.
You may also have to pay for materials if you take the exam units D2, D5 and D12 that involve making a practical test piece. You can order packs of materials from us at £15.00 per pack. For unit D5, we supply you with a jewel to work on, but you can also order extra jewels at £5.00 per jewel. To order packs and jewels, please contact Maxine Bell, +44 (0)1636 817604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepare yourself for an exam
Our short courses and distance learning programmes can help you prepare yourself for these exams. You will find more information in our prospectus.
For questions about the examinations, please contact Maxine Bell, +44 (0)1636 817604 or email email@example.com.