Theory qualification FAQs

Students enrolled on an RHS theory qualification will be assessed via written exams. Candidates who successfully complete all modules will be awarded an industry recognised certificate.

What learning resources are recommended?
A wide range of books and other learning resources which support the study of horticulture are available. RHS Qualifications does not recommend or endorse any specific learning resources and instead encourages students to seek guidance from their tutors on which resources best support the qualification they're enrolled on.

Our past papers and examiner comments are a great learning and revision tool, they also help you understand the type of questions that will be asked and help prepare for exams.
How do I enrol on the theory qualification and exams?
If you're studying at an approved centre they're responsible for registering you for the qualification and RHS exams. 

If you are a distance learner or self-study, you will need to contact an approved RHS centre and request to sit your exams with them.
How will I be assessed?
In each examination, all assessment outcomes specified in the unit will be covered. Examinations must be taken with a RHS approved centre. Examinations must be conducted in accordance with the RHS requirements for the Conduct of Examinations. Please contact your approved centre for more information.
What are the pass marks?

Please note there are two Level 2 theory units, and candidates must complete both units with a minimum of 50%.

If the minimum threshold is met, final grades of pass, merit and distinction will be awarded on overall marks that make up the certificate at the following levels:

  • A pass is awarded after gaining 50%
  • A merit is awarded after gaining 65%
  • A distinction is awarded after gaining 80%
When are the exams?
Download the 2023 examination dates for Level 2 and Level 3. Exams are held on specified dates in February, June and October.
What are the qualification fees?
Our approved centres set the qualification fees. Please contact your centre to find out how much they charge.

RHS Qualifications charge approved centres for registering leaners on qualifications and for exams.
Can I study overseas?
All candidates need to be enrolled with an RHS approved centre. The centre will be able to provide you with further information and arrange for you to sit examinations online.
Can I be exempt from exams?
All requests for exam exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Applications must be made to RHS Qualifications and an administration fee will be charged.

Email RHS Qualifications
What if I'm ill or suffer extenuating circumstances around the exam?
Special considerations and reasonable adjustments are intended to be implemented at the time of an exam to ensure fair assessment and support a candidate who has been disadvantaged by temporary illness, injury or adverse circumstances which arose at, or near, the time of exam.

They must be applied for by the approved centre, on behalf of the candidate, where the exams are taken.
When are results released and how do I access them?
Results are published within 50 working days of the exam date. Results must be obtained from the approved centre where you sat the exam. 

RHS Qualifications are unable to provide you with your results. DO NOT contact RHS Qualifications to obtain your results. You will only be referred back to the centre you enrolled/sat exams with.

You can see your results online using the RHS qualifications candidate web-portal. When your centre registered you for the qualification and exams you should have automatically received an email with log-in details.

If you don’t have an account or remember your log-in details then please following the instructions below to set up a new account:

Without filling in any of the fields immediately click on ‘forgotten your password’, the next screen will request your email address, enter this and press ‘continue’ – you will then be sent an email with a link/instructions on how to set up a new account. If you don’t immediately receive this email, please check your junk/spam folder. If the received email doesn’t work, they do have an expiry time on them so do try requesting another new email before contacting us with a problem.

When you select a password, it asks you to include an item of punctuation; please ensure you use one of the punctuation items listed as an example – it has to be one of those. Please also ensure you set this up on a laptop or pc, rather than a mobile or tablet. If you have problems logging in, it may be worth trying another internet browser.

Once logged in, your registrations can be found under ‘My Learning, My Registrations’ and results, when released, can be found under ‘My Learning, My Achievements’.

If required, you will be able to print your results from the web-portal.
What if I'm unhappy with my results?
If you have a query regarding your exam result, you may apply for a re-mark and feedback. We strongly advise that, in the first instance, you discuss your query with your centre tutor or the centre's exams department. 

A fee will be charged for this service.

Applications for the ‘Enquiry about Results Service’ (ERS) must be made through the approved centre where you registered for the exam. This service will be available for 10 working days from the date the results were released. Requests received after the 10 working days will not be accepted.

Your paper will be re-marked by an independent examiner. Feedback will be provided identifying areas of strength and weakness with constructive suggestions for improvement. Please be aware that grades may go down as a result of the re-marking.
Can I re-sit an exam?
If you were unsuccessful or unhappy with the results of your exam you can apply to re-sit at the next opportunity. We strongly advise that you discuss this with your tutor in the first instance to obtain the necessary support. 

There is no limit on the number of re-sits you can take.  

Some learners wish to re-sit exams they've passed to improve their grade, this is also acceptable. The highest mark you achieve will remain.
How do I get my certificate?
You will be awarded a certificate upon successful completion of all modules for the qualification you are studying.  

Certificates are dispatched within 30 working days of publishing the exam results. 

All certificates are posted directly to the centre where you sat the exam and it is their responsibility to issue the certificates to you.

If you registered and sat your exam as an external candidate at a venue hosted by RHS Qualifications e.g RHS Garden Wisley, then certificates will be posted directly to you using the address supplied on the registration form.
What if there's unforeseen disruption on exam day?
In the highly unlikely event that there is national disruption on the day of your exam, RHS Qualifications will decide the most appropriate option for managing the impact and will notify RHS approved centres at their earliest opportunity. Please keep in contact with your approved centre.

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