PATH Intl. Certified Professional Code of Ethics

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The PATH Intl. Certified Professional Code of Ethics sets forth ethical principles for all PATH Intl. certified persons.

The practice and preservation of the highest standards of ethical principles and integrity are vital for the responsible implementation of obligations, activities and services provided by PATH Intl. certified persons. All certified persons are responsible for maintaining and promoting these ethical practices. The code of ethics is intended to be used as a guide for promoting and maintaining the highest standards of ethical practice, personal behavior and professional integrity of certified persons.

The guidelines expressed in the code are not to be considered all-inclusive of situations that could evolve under a specific principle, nor is the failure to specify any particular responsibility or practice a denial of the existence of such responsibilities or practices. The guidelines are specific statements of minimally acceptable conduct or of prohibitions applicable to all certified persons.

In recognition of the responsibility inherent in the delivery of services provided by equine-assisted activities and therapies, PATH Intl. asks all certified persons to subscribe to the following to the extent permitted by law:

Principle 1

The certified person respects the rights, dignity and well-being of all individuals (human and equine) and promotes well-being for all involved.

1.1 The certified person shall be responsive to, and mutually supportive of, the individuals served, including families, colleagues and associates.

1.2 The certified person shall respect the unique nature of each individual and shall be tolerant of, and responsive to, differences. The certified person shall not discriminate based on age, gender, race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, social or economic status, sexual orientation, health condition or disability.

1.3 The certified person shall follow equal employment opportunity practices in hiring, assigning, promoting, discharging and compensating staff.

1.4 The certified person shall maintain in professional confidence participant, volunteer and staff information, observations or evaluations and shall adhere to all legal requirements.

1.5 The certified person, in community settings, shall use caution in forming dual or multiple relationships with participants or former participants where there is a risk of a conflict of interest. The certified person, in clinical treatment settings, shall avoid dual relationships when possible. In situations where dual relationships are unavoidable, the certified person shall be responsible for setting clear, appropriate and sensitive boundaries.

1.6 The certified person will understand the sensitive nature of physical touch and use it with caution.

Principle 2

The certified person accepts responsibility for the exercise of sound judgment and professional competence.

2.1 The certified person shall accurately represent his/her level of expertise, experience, education and actual practice and provide service only to those individuals he/she can competently serve.

2.2 The certified person shall engage in sound business, employment and administrative practices.

2.3 The certified person shall maintain certification by complying with all recertification requirements.

2.4 The certified person shall recognize and take appropriate action to remedy personal problems and limitations that might cause harm to recipients of service, colleagues or others.

2.5 The certified person shall demonstrate objectivity and fairness by interacting with individuals in an impartial manner.

2.6 The certified person shall accept responsibility for the exercise of sound judgment when interacting with individuals and animals.

2.7 The certified person shall demonstrate openness to, and respect for, other colleagues and professionals.

Principle 3

The certified person shall respect the integrity and well-being of program equines and animals whether owned, leased or borrowed.

3.1 The certified person shall recognize and respect the individual character, nature and physical attributes of each program equine.

3.2 The certified person shall encourage safe and respectful human and equine interactions, placing equines in activities suited to their temperament and physical ability.

3.3 The certified person shall support the highest standard of care, maintenance and selection for each program equine, understanding and responding to the equine's need for socialization, play, turnout, time off and retirement.

3.4 When equines are borrowed or leased, the same high standards of equine respect, care and maintenance shall apply.

3.5 The certified person shall cultivate a barn and practice environment that supports personal and professional development and provides a safe environment for persons and equines.

Principle 4

The certified person shall be truthful and fair in representing him- or herself and others.

4.1 The certified person shall be responsible for providing each participant with accurate information regarding programs, services, professional training and credentials, as well as possible benefits, outcomes, expected activities, risks and limitations of the service or program.

4.2 The certified person shall use the certification logo and certification marks only in an authorized and approved manner. 

Principle 5

The certified person shall seek to expand his/her knowledge base related to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies.

5.1 The certified person shall maintain the competence requirement by meeting certification renewal requirements (recertification).

Principle 6

The certified person shall honor all financial commitments to participants, personnel, vendors, donors, the certification entity and others.

6.1 The certified person shall negotiate and clarify the fee structure and payment policy prior to the initiation of service, and charge in a responsible and reasonable manner.

6.2 The certified person shall not misrepresent in any fashion services rendered or products dispensed.

6.3 Certified persons shall remain in good standing with the annual compliance process for certification.

Principle 7

The certified person shall abide by all applicable PATH Intl. standards and guidelines and all state, local and federal laws.

Principle 8

The certified person shall protect participants, equines, the public and the profession from unethical, incompetent or illegal practice.

8.1 The certified person accepts the responsibility to report suspect violations of the code of ethics to the PATH Intl. Credentialing Council.


I have read, fully understand and will uphold the PATH Intl. Certified Professional Code of Ethics at all times. Furthermore, I understand that failure to abide by the code of ethics could result in disciplinary proceedings.



Printed Name                                                                                               

Certification ID #                              

Signature                                                                                Date                                       


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Approved by PATH Intl. Board of Trustees October 21, 2010
Edited name change to PATH Intl. July 2011
Revisions by the PATH Intl. Credentialing Council November 11, 2017

I am a PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructor interested in helping supervise an instructor candidate’s practice teaching hours--where should I start?

Supervising an instructor candidate’s practice teaching hours is more than just a signature. If you are a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor helping a candidate through the riding instructor certification program and are unsure where to start to offer quality guidance, review these helpful hints to assist you in offering effective candidate support.

-Be current with your own Membership and Certification. A certified riding instructor is only eligible to supervise practice teaching hours if they are current and compliant with their own membership and certification. Phase I paperwork and practice teaching hours that are signed off by an expired or non-compliant instructor member will not be accepted. The candidate has the ability to confirm a certified professional’s status by calling the PATH Intl. office if the professional is unable to produce a current instructor member card.
-Be sure that you are familiar with how to locate the current instructor application resources online and have thoroughly reviewed the material. The certification material is routinely revised with additional resources regarding certification expectations and assessment made available. It is important that a supervising instructor be familiar with the current application process, including requirements, timelines and policies and procedures to best support new candidates. Outdated forms will not be accepted and have the potential to delay a candidate’s application material.
-Consider retaking the online courses required for the certification program. The Instructor Self-Study Course and Certification & Accreditation Training (CAT) Course are revised regularly. Retaking the courses will allow you to be familiar with the current material provided to instructor candidates and can be counted towards an instructor member’s continuing education hours.

-Consider attending a PATH Intl. Mentor Training Workshop. Quality mentorship is instrumental to the success of an instructor candidate seeking certification. Having a thorough understanding of the certification program’s requirements, an unbiased ability to evaluate a candidate’s skillset, ability to communicate effectively and an eagerness to adequately and honestly prepare an instructor candidate for each phase of the process is imperative. The PATH Intl. Mentor Training Workshop allows certified professionals to reflect on current practices and develop new, engaging mentor strategies to promote candidate success. Attending the workshop will help certified professionals better support a program’s instructor candidates and also offer an opportunity to gain over 10 hours of continuing education. Upcoming Mentor Trainings can be found on the Events Calendar.

NOTE: Certification program booklets are updated annually, effective January 1 of each year. It is the responsibility of the instructor candidate to ensure they have downloaded all current information about the certification processes, policies and procedures for the year in which they intended to complete certification.


Interactive Vaulting Instructor


Application Booklet

Certification Booklet


Instructor Criteria

Policies and Procedures


Code of Ethics

Annual Instructor Compliance - Online

Annual Instructor Compliance - Print


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An accommodation is an adjustment or an adaptation of a component or components of the Registered Instructor certification process in order to meet the special needs of a candidate.

Reasonable accommodations may be granted to qualified individuals with known disabilities, unless doing so would result in a fundamental change to the certification criteria, create an undue hardship or cause a direct threat to health or safety.  

Requests for an accommodation to any part of the process must be made in writing by the candidate and submitted to the PATH Intl. office with the initial application form and/or no less than 60 days prior to the OSWC. All requests for accommodation must be accompanied by a letter from a physician (with letterhead and physician’s handwritten signature) verifying the diagnosis and defining the candidate's limitations to help PATH Intl. determine appropriate, reasonable accommodations.  

Accommodation requests will be reviewed by the PATH Intl. on an individual basis to determine appropriate, reasonable accommodations. Candidates will be notified of the decision within 60 days of submitting their accommodation request.

For more information, please contact the PATH Intl. office.

PATH Intl. Online Exam Accommodations

Reasonable Accommodations Policies and Procedures Booklet with Request Forms

NOTE: Certification program booklets are updated annually, effective January 1 of each year. It is the responsibility of the instructor candidate to ensure they have downloaded all current information about the certification processes, policies and procedures for the year in which they intended to complete certification. 


Therapeutic Driving Instructor


Driving Level I Candidate Handbook


Driving Level I Instructor Certification Criteria

Driving Level II Instructor Certification Criteria

Driving Resources

Policies and Procedures


Code of Ethics

Annual Instructor Compliance - Print

Annual Instructor Compliance - Online


Although the following two videos are not from PATH Intl. Member Centers, the PATH Intl. Driving Subcommittee has found they contain valuable information.


Back to Certifications page



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