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Accredited Practitioner Register Compliments and Complaints Policy

This Compliments and Complaints Policy covers:

  • direct complaints against individual Equine Facilitated and/or Assisted Practitioners on the Accredited Practitioner Register™ (“Register”) where the client or service user does not feel that they can directly approach the individual, there has been a significant breach of professional conduct or ethical standards, or there is a deemed to be a wider public interest issue;
  • direct complaints against Organisational Members or individuals acting on their behalf where any local internal processes have been exhausted, failed to reach a satisfactory outcome, or deemed not appropriate in context

This Compliments and Complaints Policy does not cover:

  • complaints against Equine Facilitated and/or Assisted Practitioners who are not registered members of the Register;
  • complaints against practitioners who are for whatever reasons no longer members of the Register

The Register:

  • strives under the governance of the Register to:
    1. create and maintain professional ethics and standards that prioritise the health and wellbeing of clients and public and protects them from harm or injury;
    2. promote and maintain client confidence and public credibility in the benefits of Equine Facilitated Interactions and the delivery thereof;
    3. provide a clear definition of professional standards required to support the delivery of Equine Facilitated Interactions;
    4. maintain ongoing compliance with these standards by all registered Practitioners.
  • strives to provide excellent Service and Training;
  • values and encourages any concerns to be raised as early as possible with an individual on the Accredited Practitioner Register™ or Organisational Member in accordance with their complaint’s policy;
  • takes all Compliments and Complaints seriously and reaches out to all parties involved;
  • values the time taken to bring Compliments and/or Complaints to our attention and uses such Compliments and Complaints and feedback as a mechanism for continuous improvement;
  • is committed to carrying out a thorough investigation and working through amicable solutions;
  • records and maintains a record of all Compliments and Complaints;
  • the Register’s Advisory Board shall receive quarterly Compliments and Complaints reports and may recommend additional action to be taken, especially if any particular trends are identified.

Making a Compliment

If you wish to formally Compliment the Accredited Practitioner Register or Athena Herd Foundation on any aspect, please contact any Athena Herd Foundation member in writing either by post or email. All Compliments are passed over and recorded by the Customer Services Manager.

Making a Complaint

We work with Practitioners to establish and maintain professional standards however we recognise that there may times be those Practitioners who do not meet the standards expected.

Where possible we encourage services users and members of the public to resolve their concerns directly with practitioners under their own processes. That said, we recognise that there are often 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.

We provide clear instruction and outline on the “Complaints” page of the Register’s website as to how service-users or members of public complaints can be raised as well as an outline as to how they will subsequently be handled. All complaints received by the Register are handled by our Professional Conduct Review Committee (“PCRC”) who will consider whether the complaint will be considered in line with a defined proceedings test.

Complaints that are to be investigated (if consensual disposal is not appropriate or agreed) by the PCRC in line with the processes defined within the Register’s Malpractice and Maladministration Policy. If the complaints are upheld in this process then sanctions will be applied in line with the Register’s Sanctions Policy. Where complaints are upheld, the findings and subsequent actions will be published on the website on the Professional Conduct Notices page in line with our Professional Conduct Publication Policy.

All decisions, findings and recommendations of the PCRC reported to the Accredited Practitioner Advisory Board for confirmation.

If you wish to make a Complaint:

  • ensure that you have first gone through and exhausted the individual’s or Organisational Member’s complaint process before bringing the matter to the Accredited Practitioner Register;
  • contact the Athena Herd Foundation directly only in very exceptional circumstances e. a significant breach by an individual or Organisational Member;
  • duly complete the Compliments and Complaints Form and submit to the Athena Herd Foundation for the attention of the Customer Services Manager or appropriate other person in the case that anything raised is in relation to the same either by email or post (see below);
  • this must be done within one (1) calendar month of the date of the event that the complaint relates to;
  • we will look to acknowledge your Complaint as soon as is reasonably possible and in any event within five (5) working days from receipt of the same;
  • we will keep you informed at each stage of the Complaints process;
  • the duration of the Complaints process is dependent on the nature and complexity of the Complaint and the availability of associated documentation. Having said this, a Complaint will normally be either responded to or a progress update given at 10 working day intervals thereafter until the Complaint has reached a satisfactory conclusion. 
  • in cases where a complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties concerned, the final decision will rest with the Register’s Advisory Board;
  • we do not charge any fees to cover the administrative and member costs involved in dealing with Complaints.

Contact us:

Please send the Accredited Practitioner Register your duly completed Compliments and Complaints Form marked for the attention of the Customer Services Manager either by:

Post: High Lees Farmhouse, Wagon Lane, Paddock Wood, TN12 6PT

Email: [email protected]

Please note that the Register will not accept anonymous complaints.

Legal Advice:

If, at any point, any of the parties involved wish to place the matter in the hands of their solicitors, the Accredited Practitioner Register will only continue to communicate through the respective solicitors. This does not prevent any of the parties seeking legal advice.

Feedback or Opportunity to Improve

The Athena Herd Foundation and the Accredited Practitioner Register is committed to ensuring all our members, learners, service users have a positive experience with us. However, we recognise that there may be an occasion where you consider there is some feedback or an opportunity for the Register to improve and wish to bring this to our attention. We welcome all feedback which will help us improve our service.

Please contact the Customer Services Manager through the email address [email protected] with your feedback.

Handling of Your Personal Data

Please note that our Data Protection Policy can be found at and our Awarding and Learning Privacy Notice outline how we use and protect this information.


VersionInitialsDescriptionVersion Date
1JGInitial DraftDecember 2021
2GGUpdated to include cover of Accredited Practitioner RegisterApril 2022
3GGFurther detail supporting registrants and service usersApril 2023