Accrediting the PATH Intl. CTRI Certification Q & A

From feedback we’ve received based on current communications, we have put together this list of recent member questions and comments. When one person asks that usually means more are also wondering, so we are making this list available to all! Have questions of your own? Please use this feedback link and thank you! (New questions are added at the top.)

For FAQs on the PATH Intl. Credentialing Council, click here.

If the by-law change is approved, and the council is created, will the membership be able to vote on their proposed changes going forward, or will they have the ultimate say in the direction PATH goes? I realize that I may be in the minority, but the idea of voting for something that in the end may make it easier for individuals to become certified without demonstrating safety and quality in skills tests (riding and teaching) horrifies me.

Actually, with the establishment of the Credentialing Council, certification won’t look very different from the way it operates now.
PATH Intl. certifications have been constructed and maintained by volunteer committees. Currently and historically any changes to testing processes, procedures, content, criteria or how evaluators score the criteria are handled strictly by the pertinent certification sub-committee with no formal input from the larger membership. The chairs and sub-committee members are selected by PATH Intl. staff based on their qualifications to represent the views of the membership. The advantage of the Credentialing Council model is that the whole of membership will have the opportunity to vote for the members of the Credentialing Council that will also include a public member. This allows the council to best represent PATH Intl. membership and general public interests.

The Credentialing Councils scope of authority will be strictly within the realm of credentialing, meaning their primary duty will be to ensure that PATH Intl. certification tests are created and administered following the standards published by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. They will have no influence on PATH Intl. strategic direction which is always carried out in partnership with the Board of Trustees, the CEO and membership. We are confident that the formation of the Credentialing Council and the application of NCCA standards to our certification development will not diminish the need to demonstrate safety and the skills needed to be a qualified therapeutic riding instructor. It is not our intention to make the test easier nor harder, but to create a certification that is recognized both within and outside the industry as the best.

Will this impact center accreditation or just instructor certification? My question is driven by the fact that I am wondering if membership will still be able to vote to approve or disapprove Standards for Accreditation.

It is the expectation of PATH Intl. that eventually the credentialing council will determine policies and procedures around accreditation. So it has yet to be determined how the council will define the standards approval process. However, that will be well into the future. Based on the strategic plan built from member input, the association is focused on the registered level instructor certification. Since the initial focus of the Credentialing Council will be on certification we expect the area of standards and accreditation to be addressed at a later date. In the meantime current PATH Intl. policies regarding standards and accreditation will remain in place.

How will you guarantee that the people on the council will be unbiased?

The Credentialing Council will have strict polices to safeguard the organization that no personal bias and/or agenda on their behalf will be executed. The Credentialing Council will be selected based on a specific criteria developed by the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees and in line with the NCCA standards for council composition. PATH Intl. has hired an outside credentialing specialist consultant to facilitate the selection and implementation process. Each council member will be responsible for signing a conflict of interest and confidentiality statement.

Will there be something in place to remove one of them for a specific certification if they know or are familiar with one of the people going for certification?

Yes, there is a conflict of interest disclosure that each evaluator will sign and have to uphold if they so happen to know of one of the individuals they would be evaluating. They would at that point have to recuse themselves from the evaluation.

How will this serve as a step in the direction of greater recognition by external organizations and potential partners such as medical professionals, higher education institutions and insurers. An accredited certification will be far more meaningful to families, caregivers and participants?

Any professional organization that takes the voluntary next step to accredit its certification, ensures that the individual who holds the certification has met and exceeded the minimal competency of their said trade by examination. In return, the examination is monitored closely by a contracted testing company’s psychometrician to ensure the examination is fair and reliable. When an individual earns the credential it adds additional value to the end user that all internal and external checks and balances were in place and that the individual has in fact earned their credential. That leads to as you stated a more meaningful certification to families, caregivers and participants.

If the credentialing with the NCCA is approved, will the currently certified TRIs be grandfathered into the credentialing process, or will they be required to re-take educational/training materials?

Thank you for your inquiry on the impact of PATH Intl. receiving the accreditation on currently certified instructors in good standing. Typically, when organizations undergo this process, currently certified individuals are grandfathered into the system. It is not our intention or expectation that current instructors would need to recertify. However, advance notice would be communicated regarding any changes to the RE-certification requirements and/or if re-testing was a possibility that would occur.

Until the Credentialing Council is formed and the policies and procedures to include a “grandfather” clause are evaluated under the recommendation of a contracted psychometrician, the association will not be able to state an official position. Please know that the integrity of the certification program and that of the individual is of the utmost consideration.

If you would like to volunteer for the Credentialing Council Development Workgroup, please click here for additional information and the application for your consideration.

Be cautious in your joy and exuberance of designing more criteria that you force people out due to money and education concerns.

We especially want you to know that as a result of this accreditation, PATH Intl. will eventually no longer be requiring its education to become certified. Rather methods of skills assessment and testing will be employed, so there will not be an increase of costs from PATH Intl. for education. Also, it is not the intent, nor foreseen that there will be an increase in the cost of membership nor certification. Neither is it the intent to make certification harder. These concerns are at the forefront of the planning process, and the association will do everything in its power to achieve these goals. It is our deepest intention to grow the industry while elevating the level of professionalism of our members for the good of their chosen career and ultimately for the benefit and protection of their clients as opposed to forcing out individuals.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider the original mission of what we do. Most centers don't do anything but walk, whoa, ma-a-a-ybe a little trot with a leader and 2 sidewalkers. Create levels of THI's so more people can enjoy the movement of the horse. Make an exclusive club at a tip top level if you want but what about the people that will NEVER ride at that level? Please think about these people when you finalize your certification process.

We want to assure you that your concern regarding the level of riding skill required to be a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor is indeed something being evaluated very seriously as we move forward with this process. Did you happen to read the eNews sent last month about the results of the recently conducted job task analysis? In case you didn’t, you can read it here. The expectation of the JTA is that the data will inform decisions and accurately set the baseline expectation for what a registered instructor really does and will be expected to do.

Also, the new Certification Council and Development Workgroup will help future certificants not have to contend with the most challenging variables of the current certification process such as the quality/types of the equines provided during testing, the time of day one might be tested, biases toward one discipline or another, the lack of quality control in video resubmissions, etc. The Credentialing Council will ensure consistent, fair, transparent and valid Also, the new Certification Council and Development Workgroup will help future certificants not have to contend with the most challenging variables of the current certification process such as the quality/types of the equines provided during testing, the time of day one might be tested, biases toward one discipline or another, the lack of quality control in video resubmissions, etc. The Credentialing Council will ensure consistent, fair, transparent and valid testing practices for all candidates applying to PATH Intl. for certification.


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