Examinations 2021

The 2021 BHI/EAL Examinations will now take place at Upton Hall in the week commencing Monday 18 October 2021, subject to COVID-19 regulations permitting them at the time.

All candidates who were prevented from sitting the May 2020 exams, and students who have applied this year, will be contacted to confirm their exam dates in October 2021.
The BHI is planning to have places for all students whose BHI/EAL exams were cancelled in 2020 and/or May 2021.
We have allocated two weeks for the October 2021 BHI/EAL examinations at Upton Hall.

Pre-exam Courses
Later in the year, subject to at least three people registering for a course, we will be running our regular pre-exam workshop courses.
If you are not sure which courses would be suitable for you, please contact our Education Secretary Maxine Bell at maxine@bhi.co.uk.
If you know which courses you need to attend, please register your interest with Zanna Perry at zanna@bhi.co.uk, or by using the form on this website.
The BHI is aware that the situation is less than ideal and we will endeavour to accommodate everyone and have extended the Last Entry Date to Monday 31 May 2021 subject to available spaces. For further details please contact maxine@bhi.co.uk.

Please continue to check your copy of the HJ and this website for more information.

Student not wishing to defer to October will automatically have their places reserved for May 2022 exams and their fees will be carried forward without increase.


Exams Timetable

We confirm the examinations for 2021 will commence Monday 18th October. You will be contacted individually confirm your allocated exam date and times.

The following exams do not take place at an Exam Centre, dates as follows:

  • Unit D2: Wednesday 10 November to Thursday 25 November,  13:00
    (Download the Cutting List)
  • Units D5/D12: Wednesday 3 November to Thursday 25 November, 13:00
    (Download the Cutting List)
  • Unit D6: Coursework Tuesday 7 September to Monday 18 October.
  • Portfolios, Records of Repairs to be received by 30 November.

Short Courses

All students should seriously consider attending BHI short courses relevant to the examination they intend to enter and should register their interest with the BHI Education Officer – alanburtoft@bhi.co.uk 01636 817606. It is important that students understand the level of skills and requirements to be in a better place to pass the examination. Courses available subject to demand (minimum 3 students) and any restrictions in place at the time

The following courses are recommended at Technician level:

  • Making Small Components
  • Single Train Clock (with platform escapement),
  • Service & Repair of Quartz Watches


The following courses are recommended at levels 4/5:       

  • Making a Balance Staff – D19 [NEW]
  • Making a Winding Stem – D19 [NEW]
  • Service & Repair of Cylinder & Lever Escapement Platforms – D7/D10/D13
  • Making Deadbeat Escapements – D12/D13 [NEW]
  • Making a Balance Cock and Arbor – D5
  • Making a Recoil Escapement – D8/D13 [NEW]
  • Servicing a Striking Clock/2 Train Rack Striking – D7/D9/D10
  • Servicing & Repair of Manual Winding Watches – D15/D17
  • Servicing and Correcting Faults in an Automatic Watch – D17/D16
  • Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Chronograph – D17/D20
  • Repairing Antique Clocks (1 and 2) – D13/D14
  • Wheel and Pinion Cutting & Making Fly Cutters – D10/D13
  • Polishing Bluing and Silvering – D10/D13 [NEW]


  • Engineers Small Lathe Drilling Milling Machines
  • Watchmaker’s Lathe and Graver Turning


Overseas Students

If you live overseas, you can sit some, but not all, of the units in your country of residence. The units you must sit in the UK are D9, D11, D16, D18 and D20. Special procedures must be in place for overseas examinations, for example regarding invigilation. Please see the Examination Guide for more information.

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. You are, however, 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
  • Assembling a portfolio of work.

Special Needs

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

Help With Exam Preparation

The BHI Distance Learning Courses help prepare you for these exams. You will also 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.

The BHI is here to support you with advice and opportunities for training with our short courses and DLC tutor feedback option.


For registered holders who have purchased individual copies of the DLC relevant to the exams they are sitting or who have previously entered exams up to and including 2019, the price per unit will be £200 per module, plus refundable deposits for relevant servicing units. (2020 Prices)

For the 2020 examinations, BHI members who do not meet the above criteria and have not purchased their individual copy of DLC relevant to the exams they have entered from the BHI will be charged £490 per module. (2020 Prices)

Of course, if you have purchased a DLC and it is registered in your name, then this will not affect you. The cost of each module will remain at £200.00. (2020 Prices)

Why have we made these changes?
The DLC is a highly technical document and a substantial personal investment, as those who have made purchases over the years will know. You would therefore be very frustrated if you paid the current rate for your copy of the the Technician or Intermediate & Final Grade course, only to find out that another student has entered BHI exams having perhaps purchased a DLC second hand, or indeed received a photocopied version, or perhaps be sharing. This is our way of protecting our DLC students, who have invested in their own future.

Examinations 2021

If you have any questions please talk to Maxine, who will be happy to help:

Call +44 (0)1636 817604, or email:

Email Maxine

Examinations Guide

Download the Examinations Guide

Examinations Results Booklet 2019

Download the Examinations Results Booklet 2019