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Accredited Practitioner Register Registration Policy

This policy governs the application process and conditions for registration to the Accredited Practitioner Register™ (the “Register”).

The application process covers the end to end process for an individual through to registration. This includes commitments to the ethics and standards of the Register, provision of copies of appropriate supporting information, and proof of appropriate qualifications or agreement to defined levels of equivalence. These steps are outlined in the following paragraphs, 1 to 7.

1. Commitments

Accredited Practitioner’s (PSA) are bound by the requirements of registration laid out in Declaration of Compliance on the application form, which includes:

Applicants must have read and confirmed your commitment to all these as part of your membership application, and on each annual renewal thereof.

2. Policies and Procedures

Applicants to the Register are expected to provide copies of their own supporting policy and procedure documentation, including:

  • general terms and conditions
  • data protection/privacy policy
  • data retention policy
  • complements and complaints policy
  • safeguarding policy
  • client waiver form
  • current professional indemnity insurance
  • copies of appropriate risk assessment(s)
  • copies (where appropriate) of up to date DBS checks are in place (or regional equivalent)
  • practitioners are also expected to hold up to date first-aider qualifications, unless able to prove that when working there will always be a qualified first-aider onsite.

Any renewals, updates or revisions to the above will need to be provided on renewal.

3. Confirmations and Commitments

As part of the application (and renewal) process applicants will need to confirm and/or commit to:

  • signed and dated agreement to the Declaration of Compliance
  • confirmation that client waivers and session records are being maintained
  • record of supervision undertaken over the preceding 12 months (not required for first year, you will have to provide these each year when you renew your membership).
  • statement of completed CPD hours in the last 12 months (not required for first year, you will have to recommit to these each year when you renew your membership).
  • confirmation that they have never been the subject of formal disciplinary findings, upheld complaints or suspended from any professional or regulatory body.

4. Education & Training Requirements

Application to the Register requires that a practitioner needs to have successfully completed an accredited or recognised qualification in Equine Facilitated Interactions in line with the Register’s Standards of Education and Training.

These standards define the requirements of the Register in terms of what is considered as appropriate in terms of minimum and appropriate levels of qualification for membership.

5. Equivalent Counselling & Psychotherapy Practice

For those seeking to register the provision of Equine Facilitated Interactions supported by therapeutic practices (i.e. Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Equine Facilitated Therapy or Equine Facilitated Counselling) copies of appropriate professional qualifications need to be supplied along with their application, as well as confirmation of any other accredited register memberships.

6. UK and non-UK applications

Successful applications from practitioners resident in the UK (“Accredited Practitioners (PSA)”) will be eligible to use the Athena Herd Foundation Accredited Practitioner Register logo with the PSA Accredited Register Quality Mark.

Non-UK applications (Registered Practitioners (Athena)) will be provided by a Registered Practitioner logo. Registered Practitioners (Athena) are not able to use the PSA Accredited Register Quality Mark. 

More information about logos and their use is available in the Athena Herd Foundation Brand Protection and Guidance Policy.

7. Requests for Equivalence Decisions

Applicants who do not hold a qualification recognised by the Register can request an equivalence decision review.

For non-Athena, and non-regulated qualifications we will undertake a review if requested. The Register’s approach to such reviews is defined under the framework for Defining Education Standards

The outcome of any review will be confirmed by the Advisory Board.

Alternatively, the Register recognises that there will be competent practitioners who simply wish to apply individually. In such cases the Register offers a Certificate of Proficiency that can be completed to prove appropriate professional practices and skills that align to the obligations of Register membership.

Please email us if you are interested in either of these options.

Organisational Membership

The Register also invites applications for Organisational Membership.

The Organisational Membership process has two stages:

  1. a full review of the organisation policies and procedures is completed, this includes the standard policies expected for individual registration, as well as those covering the wider governance of the business (a full list is available on request). In addition, there is a requirement to confirm organisational commitment of the Register’s professional and ethical standards, as well as the framework for the ethical treatment of horses. 
  2. once Organisational Membership is confirmed, individual practitioner applications are undertaken. These are carried out on a reduced fee dependent on the size of organisation (reviewed at time of application). This reflects that these practitioners will at all times be working under the organisation’s policies and procedures, and general governance. Individual practitioners registered under an Organisational Membership will not be registered to practice independently unless they separately apply to be.

Registration Process and Decisions

All applications for registration will be reviewed in line with this policy. 

Applicants will be supported in providing complete and appropriate documentation and policies by the Registrar, or another designated representative. All documentation provided will be reviewed to ensure that everything is of sufficient standard and completeness to support registration.

When deemed satisfactory and complete then the application will be proposed for approval and advised to the Register’s Advisory Board. When Advisory Board meetings are not imminent, i.e. within one calendar month, proposals for membership (and any declined applications) will be shared via email with agreed members of the committee for confirmation.

All intervening agreements will be provided in summary to the next meetings.  

Where applicants prove unable to satisfy the requirements of membership for whatever reason they will be advised by email with a clear outline of the reasoning behind the decision. All applicants will have the right to appeal any application decisions in line with the Register’s Appeals Policy.

Site Visits

Site visits might be deemed appropriate in support of the application process where:

  • it is not possible in the application process to assess the qualification put forward, or the information presented by the applicant as part of a Certificate of Proficiency process, or;
  • a practitioner is applying based upon an unfamiliar or unrecognised approach or practice, and cannot be assessed by Certificate of Proficiency, or;
  • a practitioner is reapplying after a period of suspension from the register, or;
  • an organisation is applying for Organisational Membership and there is requirement to more comprehensively understand and assess their operational practices and governance, and/or their internal training approaches 

Should a site visit be required in support of the registration process it will be undertaken by an appropriately experienced practitioner(s) on behalf of the Register. 

Registration Fees

Application:                      £  75

Annual membership:      £ 125

Organisational Membership fees are available on request.

Document Ownership and Review

This policy is owned by the Accredited Practitioner Register Advisory Board and will be reviewed on an annual (or as necessarily arising) basis.

For the purposes of version control this document is as dated in the page footer.

VersionInitialsDescriptionVersion Date
1GGInitial DraftNovember 2022
2GGUpdate following review with PSAFebruary 2023