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Gaining an Accredited Award

Gaining a BHI/EAL 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. Our awarding body EAL is the UK’s leading industry specialist awarding organisation. EAL is part of Semta – the Science, Engineering, Manufacturing and Technologies Alliance – which is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK’s most advanced sectors.

There are 20 individual BHI exam units that, according to the various combinations in which they can be taken, will lead to one or more 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)

For further information please download the Examinations Guide.

You can register for one or more of the diploma levels (3, 4 or 5, see above).

There is an element of progression in the levels, however, you are free to pursue as many as three levels at any given moment. 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.

You are not limited in the number of exam units you can enter in any one year.

There are five different types of units, depending on the manner in which they are assessed:

  • Written paper (including Technical Drawing);
  • Servicing test;
  • Making a practical test piece;
  • Completing a record of repairs; and
  • Assembling a portfolio of work.

Special needs

We make every effort to assist candidates with particular assessment requirements or special needs, please send required supportive information at the time of application.

Closing dates for most units – 31 January 2018

The end of January is usually the closing date for applications. There is no closing date for records of repairs and portfolios, however, if you rely on these exam units to be passed for a qualification in the current year,  your record of repairs or portfolio has to be submitted by the end of June.

Where and when

Written exams and servicing tests are held at two examination centres in the UK: Upton Hall Examination Centre and Epping Forest Horology Centre (according to demand).

The following exams will take place Week commencing 14 May 2018:

  • Unit D1: Theory:
    Wednesday 16 May, 14:00 – 16:30
  • Unit D3: Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Single Train Clock:
    Thursday 17 May, 09:00 – 18:00 or Friday 18 May, 09:00 – 18:00
  • Unit D4: Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Quartz Watch:
    Tuesday 15 May, 09:00 – 16:00 or Thursday 17 May, 09:00 – 16:00
  • Unit D6: Drawing Clock/Watch Escapements:
    Wednesday 16 May, 10:00 – 13:00/Coursework  Tuesday 3 April to Monday 14 May, 13:00
  • Unit D8: The Recoil Escapement, Design and Construction:
    Monday 14 May, 09:00 – 18:00
  • Unit D9: Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Striking Clock Movement:
    Thursday 17 May, 09:00 – 18:00 and Friday 18 May, 09:00 – 18:00
  • Unit D11: Theory of Complex Clocks & their Repair, Restoration and Conservation:
    Wednesday 16 May, 14:00 – 16:30
  • Unit D15: Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Manual Winding Watch Movement:
    Friday 18 May, 09:00 – 17:00
  • Unit D16: Servicing and Correcting Faults in an Automatic Watch:
    Thursday 17 May, 09:00 – 18:00
  • Unit D18: Theory of Complex Watches & their Repair, Restoration & Conservation:
    Wednesday 16 May, 14:00 – 16:30
  • Unit D20: Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Chronograph Movement:
    Monday 14 May, 09:00 – 18:00 and Tuesday 15 May, 09:00 – 18:00

The practical test piece exams do not take place at examination centres, they have to be delivered to Upton Hall at the time stated below:

  • Unit D2: from Wednesday 30 May, 09:00 to Thursday 14 June, 13:00
  • Unit D5: from Wednesday 23 May, 09:00 to Thursday 14 June, 13:00
  • Unit D12: from Wednesday 23 May, 09:00 to Thursday 14 June, 13:00

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.


If you live overseas, 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.

Exam Costs

The registration fee is 45.00 per level.

The fees are 135.00 per unit (UK) and 165.00 per unit (Overseas).

Please note: There is a returnable deposit of 100.00 for the D20 exam. There is a returnable deposit of 60.00 for each of the servicing exams taken overseas. These deposits will be refunded after the appeals deadline, providing items are returned undamaged.


Material kits for the practical test pieces – D2, D5 and D12 – can be ordered from us at £15.00 per pack, please see application form for details.

For unit D5, we supply you with a jewel to work on, but you can also order extra jewels at £5.00 per jewel, please see application form for details.

Prepare yourself for an exam

Report Booklet from 2017 Examinations

The BHI Distance Learning Courses help prepare you for these exams. You will find more information in our Examinations Guide. For the higher exam units, you will need a copy of the Examinations Handbook, which is included in the Combined Intermediate/Final Grade.

Application forms

Download 2018 Application Form – UK

Download 2018 Application Form – Overseas

Application Form 2018 – BCU – Please contact the BHI

More information – for questions about the examinations, please contact Maxine Bell +44(0)1636 817604 or email maxine@bhi.co.uk.

Entry to the BHI examinations is reserved for BHI members – Join Here

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2018 Exam Forms

Entry deadline: 31 January 2018

Prepare yourself for the 2018 Examinations by reading the document ‘Examinations Results 2017’ which gives general feedback on the results of units taken during 2017’s examinations including common errors and advice on attaining the best possible results.

Download Examinations Results 2017