National Register to be developed for Equine Assisted Activity providers

Equine Assisted Activity BR Farm
NATIONAL REGISTER: A National Register of Practitioners is being developed for Equine Assisted Activities in Ireland. (FW38-568NN)

EQUINE Assisted Ireland has announced the development of a National Register of Practitioners. The development of a National Register is part of a pilot programme, which has been initiated by Horses in Therapy and Education International (HETI).

Ireland, through Equine Assisted Ireland, the organisation for Equine Assisted Activities in Ireland, will become one of the first countries to participate in this pilot programme. With the growth in this field of work increasing every year in Ireland, there is a need to develop a National Register, which will be accessed by potential clients and which will outline the scope of services provided, credentials of practitioners and will also provide information relating to areas of governance, such as Safeguarding Policy, Safety Statements, etc.

The past 20 years have seen an increase in the number of organisations and individuals in Ireland engaging in providing Equine Assisted Activities (EAAs) aimed at enhancing the physical, psychosocial and mental wellbeing of people from various backgrounds. This growth is reflected in an international context.

Although there is an absence of the actual numbers of people practicing in this field, it is estimated that 75 individual practitioners provide one or more types of EAAs.

Overview of Pilot Proposal

It is proposed that the HETI (Ireland) National Register will be a list of the names and contact details of individuals and organisations, who provide Equine Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities.

The National Register will act as a resource for service users wishing to access provision for which verification must be supplied in order to commission and / or fund the provision. The Register would, for example, provide assurance that practitioners have appropriate up-to-date insurance cover or that they have relevant experience and training to safely offer Equine Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities.

The Register may also ultimately provide Federation, Business, Institute and Associate members with a more effective means of mutual support through greater emphasis on developing national networks and essential operational credentials. HETI seeks to act as a guiding point for members, to link those who wish to be part of a National Forum of member organisations.

Jill Carey, chairperson of Equine Assisted Ireland, said: “I welcome this move towards a more professional and regulated approach to equine assisted activities in Ireland.”

For more information, please contact Yvonne Monahan on 00 353 (0)86 8312840 or equineassistedireland@gmail.com

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