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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 some circumstances where clients, the public and other Practitioners need to bring complaints about poor or unethical practice directly to our attention so we can take appropriate action.

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

The Athena Herd Foundation 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 Interactions (in support of therapeutic, mental health or wellbeing related activities) provided by a member of the Register
  • concerns over a member’s conduct raised under another accredited register which is not related to the facilitation of Equine Facilitated Interactions therapeutic services. For example if the therapist 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:

  • individuals or organisations who weren’t on the Register at the time of the event
  • matters of a legal nature or claims for compensation

We can accept complaints from:

  • clients
  • a client’s representative
  • a parent 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

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 a complaint is upheld our Sanctions Policy outlines the actions that we might take. 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.