June 25, 2019

This communication addresses questions specific to the requirement for PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors to accrue 120 hours of teaching therapeutic riding lessons following transition to the PATH Intl. CTRI credential before supervising CTRI applicant teaching hours.

In an ongoing effort to elevate professionalism of PATH Intl. credentials while adhering to NCCA accreditation standards, the PATH Intl. Credentialing Council (PICC) found the need to document competence and experience of all PATH Intl. CTRI instructors engaged in supervising roles. To define the base-level capability of these professionals, two specific requirements have been included in the process used to transition current certified instructors to the new PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) credential:

  1. An online test verifying competency of key PATH Intl. CTRI criteria
  2. A minimum number of hours applying the PATH Intl. CTRI criteria to teaching therapeutic riding lessons

Q: How did the credentialing council decide on 120 hours?
A: In determining the 120 hours requirement, the council considered and discussed the following key points:
1.       It is of utmost importance to establish public and professional confidence in the CTRI process. Therefore, we must set a base level of CTRI experience for professionals supervising PATH Intl. CTRI applicants.

2.       While PATH Intl. Certified Advanced and Master Instructors have demonstrated a level of knowledge and experience that exceeds the minimum criteria for the PATH Intl. CTRI, it is reasonable to also allow experienced CTRIs to sign-off on PATH Intl. CTRI applicant teaching hours.

3.       The question then becomes "How can we establish an across-the-board,  calculated level of experience a credentialed PATH Intl. CTRI must have before they can attest to the capabilities of an applicant?"

4.       The council determined that, ideally, supervising instructors would have a documented level of therapeutic riding teaching experience akin to PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructors, in order to most effectively support PATH Intl. CTRI applicants. The council found it unreasonable to require more hours of experience from PATH Intl. CTRIs supervising instructor applicants than are required for PATH Intl. Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification eligibility. Therefore, the maximum number of documented hours required following transition to the PATH Intl. CTRI credential should be no more than 120.

5.       To identify the threshold number of hours, the council considered the number of hours candidates are required to earn for other base-level PATH Intl. certifications (25 for Registered TRI, 50 for Driving Level I, 50 for Interactive Vaulting). The conclusion was that the number of hours for a supervisor should be at least double the minimum hours required to earn the first level of certification. This will ensure a level of experience appropriate for instructors in the position of supervising PATH Intl. CTRI applicants.

6.       To determine an average of how long it would take an instructor to accumulate 120 hours of teaching time, the council considered that 65% of instructors teach less than 12 lessons per week according to the job task analysis. This translates into 3-6 months of lessons for someone teaching 5-10 hours a week, compared to 3-6 weeks for someone instructing full time. The council recognizes there are some TRI mentors who teach less than 5-10 hours a week and this may prevent some applicants from beginning the PATH Intl. CTRI process. The council is monitoring the PATH Intl. CTRI credential transition process for supervisor availability. In the meantime, those supervisors and applicants have the PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification process as an option.

Q: How is PATH Intl. ensuring that transitioned instructors are gaining the experience of the new criteria/components (lungeing, etc.) during the 120 hours so they are able to mentor all the sections of the CTRI credential?
A: It is important to note that it is not required, nor expected, for one single instructor to sign-off on all prerequisites in the PATH Intl. CTRI application. The online PATH Intl. CTRI credential transition test is designed to verify competency of all the basic PATH Intl. CTRI criteria. Beyond that, the supervising instructor has the responsibility to abide by the code of ethics. They must correctly and responsibly represent themselves to applicants as possessing adequate skills to sign-off on the relevant prerequisites and to having met the 120 hours requirement. There will be randomized audits of transitioned instructors’ documentation of hours as means of monitoring adherence to the policy.

Q: What about the states/areas that do not have any transitioned PATH Intl. Certified CTRIs, Advanced or Master Instructors at this time?
A: The council recognizes there may be a period during which PATH Intl. CTRI applicants may be waiting for current instructors to transition their credentials and their 120 teaching hours. For this reason, PATH Intl. Registered Instructor Workshops and Certifications will continue through December 2020 so candidates are not prevented from earning certification while the PATH Intl. CTRI certification program is implemented.

Note that all current PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructors can continue to mentor and supervise PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors. The 120 hours requirement only pertains to supervising PATH Intl. CTRI applicants. Applicants who proceed with PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification can transition with their first renewal.

Q: Will there be a process by which PATH Intl. Certified Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors who have newly transitioned to the PATH Intl. CTRI may receive recognition for past experience that can be applied toward the 120 hours requirement?
A: The council will be discussing this possibility in the coming months and following up with additional communications on this topic at the end of November.

The PATH Intl. Credentialing Council

For Additional Information
Please contact Bret Maceyak with any questions you may have regarding the 120 hours requirement, the PATH Intl. CTRI credential and the PATH Intl. certification process.