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Accredited Practitioner Register Advisory Board Terms of Reference

1. Responsibility

The Accredited Practitioner Register Advisory Board (“Advisory Board”) is the principle governing body of the Accredited Practitioner Register (“Register”). The primary function of the Advisory Board is to oversee the affairs of the Register and its registrants; and to ensure that it carries out it’s duties as an accredited register in line with the guidelines and expectations of the Professional Standards Authority (“PSA”)

Its core responsibilities are defined under section 3 below “Functions of the Advisory Board.”

2. Membership and Meetings

The Advisory Board shall comprise:

  1. two designated members of the Athena Herd Foundation
  2. a minimum of three lay members, including the Chair
  3. lay membership may also include members of the register and representative service users

The Chair of the Advisory Board shall be agreed by majority of Advisory Board. Other initial lay members shall be appointed by the Chair of the Advisory Board with the support of the board.

The appointment of lay members will be based on appropriate experience, backgrounds and skills in the context of Equine Facilitated Interactions. Prospective applications for membership of the Advisory Board are invited from market practitioners from the marketplace and will be considered based upon their individual competencies, skills, and experience, as and when positions become available, either from board growth or retiring membership.

Each appointment shall be for a period of two years, although members may be re-appointed after this time for a further period of two years. Other staff or lay members may, at the Chair’s discretion or the Advisory Board’s request, attend meetings as required.

The Advisory Board shall meet not less than once a quarter. A quorum at each meeting shall be three members.

The Advisory Board shall confirm an agreed written record of minutes from each of their meetings.

3. Functions of the Advisory Board

i. To consider and make recommendations on the standards of the register in terms of admission, maintenance and renewal of member registration.

ii. To ensure the Registrar complies with the requirement of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) for approved registration,

iii. To oversee and maintain the entry standards of membership and ensure the ongoing maintenance of the register.

iv. To ensure equivalence of standards of entry to the register.

v. To review new applications for memberships and to recommend or reject applications for membership.

vi. To oversee the quality assurance of register processes.

vii. To set and monitor renewal requirements of the register, including completion of supervision and continued professional development, as well as ensuring appropriate audits are completed on renewals in line with Register’s audit policy.

viii. To remain appraised with and maintain alignment to current regulatory requirements. Including those of aligned or related practices engaged by registrants.

ix. In work with the Professional Conduct Review Committee (“PCSC”) in its handling of complaints raised against registrants, including ensuring the timely response to service-users, ensuring hearings are undertaken appropriately and decisions advised accordingly.

x. To act as an object review any decisions sanctions proposed following hearings by the PCSC.

xi. To update and maintain the Register’s Risk register and review in the context of issues arising and complaints investigated by the PCSC.

xii. To assess issues (potential and reported) arising under the conditions of the Athena Herd Foundation Safeguarding policy and consider whether they need to be captured on the Register’s Risk register at least once per year, unless important issues arise or are reported.

xiii. To review the Register’s frameworks of professional behaviour, including the Code of Professional Practice, Declaration of Compliance on application/renewal in line with changes in market, legislation or practical feedback from service-user complaints or “share your experience” activities.

xiv. To ensure the fair and equal treatment of all applicants, registrants, service-users and wider stakeholders in line the conditions of the Equality Act (2010).

xv. To maintain and the Register’s Standards of Education and Training and to consider non-Athena Herd Foundation qualifications presented by applicants in line with these standards.

xvi. To promote the practice and benefit of Equine Facilitated Interaction to interested public health and care services.

xvii. To develop a public engagement and awareness strategy and ensure that standards of professional practice and conduct are maintained such that the service users are held safe, and the credibility of Equine Facilitated Interactions is maintained with the wider public.

4. Conflicts of Interest

It is recognised that there may be situations, particularly in terms of complaints against registrants, where members of the committee may have had participatory involvements in investigations, decisions or recommendations. In context said members can present their information but shall absent themselves from all additional conversation and/or ultimate decisions.

All members of the Advisory Board will act at all times in line with the Register’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.

VersionInitialsDescriptionVersion Date
1GGInitial DraftNovember 2023
2.1GGUpdate following review with PSAFebruary 2023
2.2GGFurther amends following PSA panel reviewMay 2023