The Register’s purpose is to create and maintain professional ethics and standards that prioritise the health and wellbeing of clients and service users. These standards serve to protect them from harm or injury, when engaging in the services of Equine Facilitated Interactions, to ensure that everyone who might access the service can benefit from the best standards of practice and care.
The Register not only sets out to establish standards of practice, but also acts to protect public interest by providing a means by which service users and clients can safely raise concerns or complaints about services being offered or provided.
The Register is committed to the conditions of the Equality Act (2010) and expects all Accredited Practitioners (PSA) to act with similar respect at all times. Read our Equality Diversity and Inclusion statement.
The Equine Facilitated Interactions market in the United Kingdom has been growing significantly over the last decade and a half. People are generally aware of the benefits of therapeutic riding, through the work of organisations such as Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in the United Kingdom. But there is less awareness of ground-based Equine Facilitated Interactions for wellbeing and therapeutic benefit.
There is also no common terminology in the market to describe these services, whether from a learning or therapeutic perspective. Here is a short summary that outlines some of the different types of practice. Also, to find out more about what you might experience in such a session please read the short guide to Equine Facilitated Interaction sessions, as well as links to independent published articles and research.
Raising and promoting standards across the field of Equine Facilitated Interactions is at the heart of the Register’s activity which it supports by providing guidance, resources and services to help our members develop and maintain effective and competent practice.
The Register is built on Ethical Principles which are in place to guide and inspire Accredited Practitioners (PSA) towards achieving the highest ideals of the profession; it invites all practitioners to consider their own practice with direct reference to each of these.
In applying to join the Register practitioners commit to its definition of Professional Standards which provide a framework of best operational practice. As well as making a commitment to the Register’s Ethical Framework for the Treatment of Horses.
The Register is a public record of professional practitioners delivering Equine Facilitated Interactions. Registration means that those practitioners meet or exceed its standards. Standards of practice based on ethical principles and professional standards, as well as a guiding framework for the treatment of horses. In addition qualification to standards in education, supervision and continued professional development.
Choosing an Accredited Practitioner (PSA) from the Register means providing service users and clients with the assurance that their Practitioner meets expected standards of proficiency and ethical practice.
The Register recognises the importance of standards in education and training. These standards ensure that members of the public, service users or clients are provided with services that are founded on professional ethics and standards that prioritise the health and wellbeing. and that protect them from harm or injury.
In support of this the Register maintains its Standards of Education and Training which provide a framework that outlines the minimum requirements for Accredited Practitioners (PSA).
It is important that all parties, clients, practitioners and horses are kept safe during interactions. To find out more about creating and maintaining a physically safe-space for these sessions click here.
Practitioners are expected to commit to and comply with the Register’s Ethical Treatment of Horses standards at all times.
Service users or clients who feel that the horses engaged are not appropriately respected or supported within the sessions, or are more generally not properly cared for, can raise their concerns directly with the Register. Any concerns raised will be pursued with appropriate confidentiality.
All Accredited Practitioners (PSA) must have their own complaints policies and processes in place.
In the unfortunate event of a need to raise a complaint, we encourage service users and clients to seek resolution directly with practitioners. However, we recognise that it will not always a satisfactorily approach; some service users and clients may not always feel comfortable raising concerns or complaints directly with practitioners . As such complaints can be raised directly with the Register.
You can find out more about our complaints process here or review our approach to handling in our Complaints Handling Map.
All complaints received will be acted on and heard and by our Professional Conduct Review Committee. We rely on service users, clients, the public and members to bring poor and unethical practice to our attention so we can take appropriate action, and ultimately protect the public and the reputation of the profession.
All complaints that are upheld by the Professional Conduct Review Committee are published on our Professional Conduct Notices page.
If you would like support with a concern of complaint that you have please see how we might help you.
In certain situations service users or members of the public may wish to seek alternative opinions, do additional research, or escalate their complaints or concerns.
The Professional Standards Authority cannot directly accept complaints about practitioners but they do provide useful signposting guidance for reaching out to other regulators, such as the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. They also provide a share your experience service where members of the public are invited to share their experience of accredited registers and the service they provide.
Other accredited registers may also provide a useful source of support, information or guidance for service users or members of the public wishing to know more about other services and standards of practice.
For example in the field of Mental Health support and services, the British Psychological Society (BPS), the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) or the National Counselling Society (NCS).
A complete list of accredited registers is available here.
Return to the Register’s home page.