Site logo

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 6 below “Functions of the Advisory Board.”

2. Membership

The Advisory Board shall comprise:

  1. two designated members of the Athena Herd Foundation
  2. a minimum of 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 Executive Committee.

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.

A member Advisory Board may resign at any time during their term of office, however they will (where appropriate) agree remain in position until a replacement can be found.

Should it prove necessary to remove a member of the Advisory Board mid-term it will ultimately require a clear voted majority, including the Chair.

3. Meetings

The Advisory Board shall meet not less than once a quarter. Agenda and any supporting papers will be circulated at least 48 hours in advance of a scheduled meetings.

A quorum at each meeting shall be three members. Unless otherwise specified meetings will be virtual using appropriate conferencing tools.

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

4. Authority and Governance

The Advisory Board is principal governing body of the Register. All strategic, regulatory, financial and operational discussion and decisions will be directed through and resolved by the Board.

The Register has put in place operational policies and procedures which provide a framework of guidelines, instructions and best practice for all of its members and activities, which are intended to safeguard the interests of all clients and service users engaging with Accredited Practitioners.

All complaints handling processes and procedures are fully delegated to the Professional Conduct Review Committee (“PCRC”).

Other activities of the Register are delegated where appropriate and agreed to relevant responsible bodies. Recommendations from these bodies will be presented to the Advisory Board for review or ratification.

5. Decision Making

Decisions of the Advisory Board will be made on a majority basis. In situations where a majority cannot be achieved, the Chair’s decision will act as the casting vote.

6. 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. To act in accordance with any decisions or sanctions proposed following investigations or hearings of the Professional Conduct Review Committee (PSRC).

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

xi. 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.

xii. 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.

xii. 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).

xiv. 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.

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

xvi. 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.

7. 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.

A register of conflicts will be maintained and all members of the Advisory Board will act at all times in line with the Register’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.

8. Confidentiality

All members of the Advisory Board are bound to respect confidentiality of information and personal details shared with them in the execution of their responsibilities, in any form or medium obtained by, or on behalf of the Register, which is expressly marked as confidential or which a reasonable person would consider to be confidential.

In addition, members of the Advisory Board must work with, and maintain, personal information received or handled on behalf of the Register in line with the conditions of the Athena Herd Foundation Data Protection Policy.

9. General Accounting Policy

The general accounting policy of the Register aligns to that of Athena Herd Foundation CIC.

As such the Register has subcontracted general accounting activity, as follows:

Ian S. Anderson
Chartered Accountant & Registered Auditor
Chartam House 16 College Avenue,
Maidenhead, SL6 6AX

General accounting activity will be reported to each Advisory Board.

10. Amendments

Any amendments to these Terms of Reference shall require the agreement of a majority of all board members, including the Chair.

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