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Accredited Practitioner Register Complaints

Whilst we work with practitioners to establish and maintain professional standards, we recognise that there may sometimes be those practitioners who do not meet the standards expected.

We encourage services users and members of the public to resolve their concerns directly with Practitioners under their own processes. However, we recognise that there are circumstances where clients, service users, members of the public or even other practitioners may need to bring complaints about poor or unethical practice directly to the our attention.

Ultimately, bringing these situations to our attention, serves to protect both the public and the reputation of the profession.

The Compliments and Complaints Policy is the framework under which we will address any complaint received about poor or unethical practice by a member of the Register. Complaints received will be addressed by the Register’s Professional Conduct Review Committee.

We can deal with complaints about:

  • the delivery of Equine Facilitated Interactions (in support of therapeutic, mental health or wellbeing related activities) provided by a member of the Register
  • concerns over a practitioner’s conduct raised under another accredited register which is not related directly to Equine Facilitated Interactions. For example, if the practitioner has been convicted of a crime or behaves inappropriately
  • concerns or complaints about the activities of The Register, for more information (click here for more information)

We can’t deal with complaints about:

  • practitioners who are not on the Register
  • practitioners who were not on the Register at the time of the event
  • matters of a legal nature or claims for compensation

We can accept complaints from:

  • clients or service users
  • a client or service user’s representative
  • a parent, carer or guardian representing a child under 16
  • a representative for an adult who lacks mental capacity

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, we may need their consent to consider the complaint.

Sometimes we may raise investigations against practitioners if we receive information that makes us question a member’s conduct or whether they should remain on the Register, or if we become aware of complaints being upheld by other accredited registers.

Making a complaint

Members of the public that wish to raise a complaint against practitioners can contact the Register directly. Should you wish to raise a complaint please complete and submit by email or post our form which can be found here.

To help you understand in more detail what might be expected of you and how your complaint will be dealt with please visit our Handling Complaints page.

In handling of your personal data the Register will at all times adhere to the conditions outlined in the Athena Herd Foundation Data Protection Policy

Support through the Complaints Process

Complainants can request support with their complaint. In such cases the Professional Conduct Review Committee will assign an independent individual to provide necessary assistance.

Find out more about getting support through the complaints process.

Reasonable adjustments

The Register aims to provide an accessible and easy to use complaints process but it recognises that raising a complaint can be challenging particularly for groups such as the neurodiverse, or some of those represented by the protected characteristics, defined in the Equality Act (2010).

 In context the Register is willing to consider reasonable adjustments to support those who feel that they cannot work with or express themselves easily within the standard practice.

Adjustments can be considered throughout the complaints process, including within the formal hearing process as required.

Anyone requiring such considerations can submit a request by email to the Professional Conduct Review Committee.  

What action we can take?

Our aim is to ensure that practitioners address the poor practice that leads to complaints.

Complaints received will be reviewed and assigned by the Professional Conduct Review Committee to a designated review panel. 

Where it is considered that the complaint should be investigated it will be reviewed under the terms of our Malpractice and Maladministration Policy. If that complaint is upheld, then our Sanctions Policy outlines the actions that can be taken. 

We can:

  • advise the practitioner on how they can resolve or develop their practice and support them by issuing improvement plans including SMART objectives
  • publish details of the complaint and any sanctions (see our Publication policy) on our Professional Conduct Notices page
  • withdraw or remove them from the Register
  • or, if they fail or refuse to comply with the complaints process sanctions, we may also withdraw their membership of the Register and publish an appropriate Professional Conduct Notice.


We must receive complaints within one month of the event you’re complaining about, unless there are good reasons why it has taken longer.


Should any related party be unhappy with, or wish to contest, the outcome of any complaint an appeal can be raised in line with our Appeals Policy.

Please note, even if remove a Practitioner from the Register, for the avoidance of doubt, we can’t stop a Practitioner from continuing to practise or help you to get pursue legal recourse and/or financial compensation.

Return to the Register’s home page.