External candidates: where can you sit your exam?

An external candidate is someone who enters for RHS exams through an RHS approved centre but is not enrolled as a student there

As an external candidate you might be studying for an RHS qualification by distance learning or you might be self-taught.

We appreciate it can be stressful finding a centre to sit RHS Examinations, so to ease the pressure we have provided a list of approved centres that accept external candidates, below.

We fully appreciate the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have created various challenges regarding examination places for external candidates. For this reason, the RHS has made available alternative exam options and we strongly encourage learners who are enrolled with an approved distance-learning provider to discuss the forthcoming examination session directly with their provider.   

For administration purposes, please be aware that some centres may require examination entries earlier than the RHS advertised dates (134kB pdf). To ensure you submit your application on time, please check with the centre.    

To check availability, fees and register for the exam, you will need to contact the centre directly using the details on our approved centre page

East of England

West East Midlands

Manea School of Gardening, March B.E.S.T in Horticulture Group, The Academy of Practical Horticulture Limited, Coventry
Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire Brooksby Melton College, Leicestershire
The Beth Chatto Gardens Ltd, Elmstead Market Derbyshire Adult and Community Education Service, Middleton by Wirksworth
Writtle University College, Chelmsford Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire
North West Moulton College, Northamptonshire
Cheadle & Marple 6th Form College, Stockport OnSite Training UK, Lamport
Ness Botanic Garden, Ness OnSite Training UK, Wellingborough
Reaseheath College, Cheshire Roots to Fruits
South East & London North East Yorkshire & Humber
B.E.S.T. in Horticulture Group, North Moreton Askham Bryan College, York
Berkshire College of Agriculture, Maidenhead Craven College, Skipton
East Kent Group (Canterbury), Kent Shipley College, West Yorkshire
Hever Castle and Gardens, Edenbridge South West
Plumpton College, Brighton Horticultural Correspondence College, Holsworthy
Ireland Scotland
National Learning Network (Bantry only) Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa Threave Gardens, Dumfries and Galloway

If you are unable to find a school or college at which to sit your exam, you may still wish to contact other RHS approved centres in your local area as the exams officer may still be able to accept you.

Image credits: My Gre Exam Preparation

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