PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation Manual

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The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Standards for Certification and Accreditation details voluntary standards for the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) industry, precautions and contraindications to therapeutic riding, a glossary of industry terms and sample forms.

History and Development of Standards

From the organization’s inception in 1969, members have focused on the establishment of industry guidelines for the practice and teaching of EAAT, to ensure that our centers and instructors maintain the safest, most ethical and most effective programs possible for the thousands of people participating in EAAT. The commitment of our founders and early leaders to quality center accreditation and instructor certification has become a cornerstone of the organization. PATH Intl.’s goals and objectives have continued to place emphasis on the importance of these programs, and our staff, volunteers and Board are always working to ensure our standards stay up-to-date.

Disclaimer

The purpose of these standards is to educate program directors, program personnel/staff and the public regarding best practices and procedures followed within the therapeutic riding industry. These standards are voluntary, but provide the basis for PATH Intl. instructor certification and center accreditation. It should be understood that each standard or each part of every standard may not be applicable to all therapeutic riding programs. Further, these standards do not include every practice or procedure that might be desirable for or implemented by a program since the services, conditions, facilities and objectives of all programs are not identical. PATH Intl. does not suggest or infer that those who do not follow all of these standards or recommendations engage in unsafe practices.

The PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center status may be achieved only by those member centers that satisfy eligibility requirements and voluntarily implement PATH Intl. center and program standards. Programs outside of these definitions or criteria are not subject to our standards and are not considered for accreditation.

While PATH Intl. requires all accredited centers to participate in regular visits and membership renewals, PATH Intl. does not claim to verify complete and continuous adherence to all standards at all centers. Nor does PATH Intl. warrant, guarantee or insure that compliance with these standards will prevent any or all injury, loss, or litigation that may be caused by or associated with any person’s use of facilities, equipment, horses or other items or activities that are included in the content of these standards, nor does PATH Intl. assume any responsibility or liability for any such injury or loss.

Further, PATH Intl. hereby expressly disclaims any responsibility, liability or duty to member programs, directors, program personnel/staff, and to clients/participants and their families, for any such liability arising out of injury or loss to any person by the failure of such member programs, directors or program personnel/staff to adhere to these standards or guidelines.

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Standards Reorganization Project

In August 2011 a task force was created to review the organization of the PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation manual. In the course of the review it was evident that due to increased activities and certifications and yearly additions to the Standards Manual the time had come for a reorganization of the content. While the content remains the same, the intent is to eliminate duplications and create a much more user friendly manual with the publication of the 2012 edition. For more details, click here for frequently asked questions.