Keeping PATH Intl. members updated about the accreditation process






Trek to Accrediting
the PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification

August 25, 2016



In our ongoing efforts to communicate with you about the PATH Intl. steady course toward applying for National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accreditation of the PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification, we are introducing a regular eNews communication. This is another way for the association to keep you apprised of the process, completed tasks and next steps. It is also integral to the association's commitment to remain open to feedback, ensuring that all voices are heard during the process. One of the most impressive characteristics of PATH Intl. membership is the level of passion and dedication members have for the association. As we undertake this accreditation process, the board, staff and consultants are especially grateful for the level of member support, encouragement and engagement.

As more items on the to-do list are checked off or approach completion, a special Trek to Accreditation eNews will be sent on a regular basis to communicate developments specific to this project. Additionally, we have dedicated a page on that will now host all the latest information about the process.(Also see the home page quick link on the left-Accrediting the PATH Intl. TRI Certification) For additional information on this accreditation process, please contact Jeff Kelling, PATH Intl. Programs and Education Manager.


In response to a call from the PATH Intl. membership to elevate the professionalism of PATH Intl. credentials and the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) industry in general, PATH Intl. is pursuing third-party accreditation from NCCA of the Registered Therapeutic Riding Certification. This pursuit is part of the strategic plan, and the continued support of the PATH Intl. membership is vital piece to the success of this effort.


A Synopsis of the Recently Completed Job Task Analysis
What Is a Job Task Analysis (JTA)
Similar to the task analysis taught to PATH Intl. instructor candidates, the purpose of a job task analysis is to break down a job into the detailed components or elements required to perform that job. In this case, the goal was to determine the basic duties of a therapeutic riding instructor via professional statistical analysis. Clarifying the current job duties of the registered level instructor is essential to PATH Intl. developing accurate assessments that measure candidates' aptitude of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to be a safe and effective therapeutic riding instructor to best serve their participants.


Why Did PATH Intl. Conduct a Job Task Analysis (JTA)?

NCCA standard 10 requires that a *psychometrically sound JTA is conducted periodically to identify the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities candidates must demonstrate to successfully earn certification. PATH Intl. last conducted a JTA for a registered therapeutic riding instructor in the early '90s; therefore, the current JTA was imperative, not only a critical step toward accreditation of our certification(s), but also in order to capture information about how the job duties of the entry-level therapeutic riding instructor have evolved. To comply with NCCA requirements, PATH Intl. contracted Alpine Testing Solutions to conduct a formal JTA. This effort was supported by a volunteer group of PATH Intl. Certified Instructors designated as subject matter experts representative of the PATH Intl. membership.


The subject matter experts for the JTA were:

Sarah English

Ciana Gingola

Meggan Hill-McQueeney

Bill Lavin

Katy Mead

Kitty Stalsburg

Amy Vessa


Job Task Analysis Results

Under the direction of Alpine Testing Solutions, the subject matter experts developed a survey that was sent to 6,158 PATH Intl. Certified Professionals regarding key knowledge, skills, and abilities of entry-level therapeutic riding instructors. Results were received from 1172certified instructors, a 20.5% response. A minimum response rate of 5% is required to psychometrically* validate the data. This survey validated five categories under which the job tasks of the entry-level therapeutic riding instructor fall:


Job Tasks Identified from Survey Results

Equine Handling

Assessing soundness, managing equine behavior, identifying equine anatomy

Participant and Volunteer Management

Managing of participant issues and volunteers, implementing effective teaching techniques

Lesson Management

Assessing participant suitability for activities, writing lesson plans, tracking participant
progress, fitting equipment to equine and participant

Risk Management

Conducting safety checks, performing croup mounts and dismounts with participants, teaching participant balanced body alignment, responding to emergencies


Grooming, tacking, arena etiquette, performing walk, trot/jog and canter/lope


Per the survey results, the percentage of daily tasks attributed to these categories are:

Equine Handling


Participant and Volunteer


Lesson Management


Risk Management





What Do the Job Task Analysis Results Mean?

The above table indicates the amount of time a PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor spends in each of the areas. We know from these results that all of these areas are important and the corresponding skills must be assessed by some method. Based on our work with Alpine Testing and NCCA, we know that the industry-accepted best practices for the required assessments include: practical testing, sitting for an online exam, apprenticeship, establishing required and acceptable prerequisites, etc.

PATH Intl. will be engaging a workgroup of new subject matter experts to determine the best way to assess candidate aptitude of the registered instructor criteria. PATH Intl. is confident that this workgroup will be dutifully mindful in establishing appropriate prerequisites and a relevant assessment.

Watch for future updates and a call for workgroup members!

Until next time, thank you for your hard work and dedication to EAAT and the mission and vision of your association--PATH Intl.


*Psychometrics: The science and technology of mental measurement, including psychology, behavioral science, education, statistics and information technology.

Psychometrician: A practitioner of psychometrics; an individual who normally holds a doctoral degree in measurement or a discipline of psychology (such as educational or industrial/organizational psychology) who can understand, apply and describe the science and technology of mental measurement.




PATH Intl. | (800) 369-7433 | |


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