Code of Ethics

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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Download, fill out and return the last page.



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



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