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Registration Policy

This policy covers the requirements and handling of applications to the Accredited Practitioner Register™ (the “Register”) and all supporting decisions.

The registration process covers 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 are outlined in the following sections 1 to 5.

It also outlines the application and registration process and supporting decision making processes.

1. Commitments

Applicants for register membership of the Athena Herd Foundation Accredited Practitioner Register™ are expected to commit to the details within the declaration of compliance on the application form, as well as:

  • our Ethical Basis for Good Practice in Equine Facilitated Interactions
  • our Framework of Professional Standards
  • our defined levels of Continued Professional Development
  • our Duty of Candour
  • our Framework for the Ethical Treatment for Horses.

Signing the application form commits the applicant to these combined terms. Current copies of these commitments are to be found on the Accredited Practitioner Register™ website

2. Policies and Procedures

Applicants for register membership of the Athena Herd Foundation Accredited Practitioner Register™ are expected to provide copies of various supporting policies and documents in support of their application:

  • appropriate equine interaction related qualifications, and any other supported practice (e.g. therapeutic qualifications)
  • membership of associated professional bodies, lists or registers and membership numbers
  • 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 assessments
  • confirmation of commitment to supervision obligations within professional registrations
  • confirmation that (where appropriate) DBS checks are in place (or regional equivalent)
  • confirmation that client waivers and session records are being maintained
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • confirmation that they have never been the subject of formal disciplinary findings, upheld complaints or suspended from any professional or regulatory body.

3. 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 current requirements of the Register in terms of what is considered as appropriate in terms of minimum levels of qualification for membership. An up-to-date outline on the Register’s Standards of Education and Training is available on the website.

4. 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.

5. UK and non-UK applications

Applicants to the Register are invited from both UK and non-UK resident practitioners.  Those practitioners resident in the UK would be eligible to use the Athena Herd Foundation Accredited Practitioner Register logo with the PSA Accredited Register Kite Mark. Please refer to the Athena Herd Foundation Brand Protection Policy and Guidance for more information.

6. Requests for Equivalence Decisions

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

For non-Athena, and non-regulated qualifications we will consider a review if requested.

As absolute minimum standards we envisage requiring: externally accredited, quality assured, Valid Authentic Current Sufficient Reliable, and subject to standardisation process. Any such considerations will also require a site visit to provide both visual evidence and assessment of any practitioners actual practice as well as the details of their policies.

Any review will be undertaken by the Advisory Board and any resulting finding will be proposed to the Athena Herd Foundation Executive Committee for decision.

Registration Process and Decisions

All applications for registration will be reviewed in line with this policy and all supporting documentation provided will be reviewed. Applicants will be supported through this process in terms of providing complete and appropriate supporting documentation and policies by the Client Support Manager or any other designated administrative role.

It is the Register’s policy to support applicants as much as possible through the registration process, this includes ensuring that their policies and procedures are both in place and of sufficient standard.

Only when compliance with these commitments is deemed satisfactory and complete then the proposal for registration approval will be made to Register’s Advisory Board, which if supported will passed up to be ultimately confirmed by the Athena Herd Foundation Executive Committee. Applications will be reviewed at Executive Committee meetings. Where Advisory Board or Executive Committee meetings are not imminent, i.e. within one calendar month, proposals for membership and any declined applications, will be shared via email with members of the committee for confirmation. All intervening agreements will be provided in summary to the next meetings.  

Any individuals who are members of both bodies will present the Advisory Board findings to the Executive Committee but absent themselves from any subsequent discussion or approval process in line with relevant terms of reference.

Should any site visit be required in support of the registration process it will be undertaken by an appropriately experienced practitioner. Site visits will be considered where it is deemed appropriate by the Advisory Board to review applicant’s practice, most importantly where there is a request to consider unrecognised or unfamiliar practices or training (principally where other qualifications are being requested for consideration). Such requirements will be considered in line with the Standards of Education and Training.

Where applicants prove unable to satisfy the requirements of membership, whether in terms of commitment to practice and standards, level of qualification and or the provision of supporting documentation or policies, 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.

Registration Fees

Application:                      £ 75

Annual membership:         £ 125

Site visits:                         £ 400 (per day)

Travel:                               Charged at 35p per mile

Accommodation:              As necessary any required accommodation will be charged at cost

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