Participant, horse and instructor safety is of upmost importance with equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). The PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation requires that all professionals and centers must meet certain requirements to offer EAAT services and provides the training. The standards cover business and administration, facility management, equine welfare and management, service and activities.
“PATH Intl. offers education and credentialing for professionals in the equine-assisted activities and therapies industry,” explained Kaye Marks, the association's director of marketing and communications. “There are three progressive certifications for therapeutic riding instructors, two for therapeutic carriage driving and one for interactive vaulting. Additionally, there is a certification for equine specialists in mental health and learning. PATH Intl. also accredits facilities.”
Since education is a foundation of the association’s work, the organization offers multiple educational opportunities from international and regional conferences to workshops and a mentorship program. The PATH, Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation provides detailed information about the voluntary standards for offering EAAT and other details important for offering EAAT services.
PATH Intl. is currently working through a rigorous process to independently accredit its PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) Certification from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and will be the first accredited EEAT certification, according to Marks.
“The NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs were the first standards developed by the credentialing industry for professional certification programs,” she said. “NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).”
This accreditation will bring value to professionals and member centers by providing confidence that the credential represents excellence of the highest quality. It will safeguard employers and the public because certificate recipients demonstrate a widely-accepted standard base of knowledge and skill to provide safe and effective services.