Ireland National Register - HEIR

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Welcome to the Irish National HEIR Register

The Ireland HETI Human Equine Interaction Register aims to bring together all people involved in the field of human equine interactions.

The overarching importance of having a human equine interaction register (HEIR) in Ireland is that it will help to ensure high quality service provision and create a greater awareness of this work.

Signing up to this register is optional. Participation in this register aims to create trust and confidence in the sector and greater awareness of the profession and create a forum for continued excellence in practice.

The importance of such a register is to:

  • Protect and promote providers
  • Protect the participants of the service
  • Protect equines

The National Register is a helpful resource for service users to make informed choices about service providers. Commissioners, funders, practitioners and anyone wishing to find out more about equine assisted or facilitated programmes in Ireland will also find it useful.

It provides the names, contact details and locations of individuals and organisations providing equine assisted or facilitated therapies. Those on the register have demonstrated that both human and equine welfare are at the heart of their service.
Therapies on the register include (but are not limited to) Therapeutic Riding, Equine Assisted Learning, and Hippotherapy.

Individual practitioners and organisations on the Register have submitted documents and evidence to confirm that they align to and meet best practice guidelines such as:

  • Professional practice
  • Equine welfare
  • Service provision integrity
  • Respect
  • Safe Practice

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Your Questions Answered

Background

For a number of years it has been recognised that it would be helpful to create a Code of Practice for practitioners working in Equine related therapies as it is a largely unregulated sector. Both human and equine participants need to be supported. There is a wide recognition that the sector would benefit from some form of standards and unified progression of national resources. A number of organisations and practitioners, with a wide range of experience and expertise, worked together to create the register.
The aim of the register is to

  • Promote good standards of practice nationally in the field
  • To promote networking and education between services in order to enhance practices and service development
  • To promote continuing professional development of service providers through collaboration and education opportunities of networking
  • To ensure the welfare of equines involved in this field of practice
  • To support business promotion for practitioners
  • To help families seeking services to find appropriate registered services within their area
Who will manage the Register?

The voluntary register will be managed by the HEIR Steering Group in partnership with the HETI office and overseen by the HETI Executive Directorate in the first few months as the Register grows with a plan to create a Irish Committee to oversee and assure the process as it becomes established in the future.

Why do I have to pay to join the Register?

A fee structure has been applied to cover the administrative costs involved with reviewing and verifying documentation, database maintenance, website development and marketing.

The costs are structured according to the size of each organisation.

How much will it cost?

How can I use the National Register to promote my Business?

Upon successful application you will receive a Certificate of Compliance and logo which can be used on your website and all promotional documentation.

I am a member of HETI. Will I need to pay to join the register?

Existing HETI members who apply to join the Register will not incur any additional costs.

    Do I have to join HETI to be part of the Register?

    HETI membership is not a requirement but those who join the Register will receive access to the HETI journal, newsletter and publications but are not listed as members on the HETI website and will not have voting rights.

      What evidence will I need to join the Register?
      Signing up to the register requires that you upload proof of Insurance and also the Qualifications of staff members, and any Professional Organisation membership. The rest of the application requires that you tick declarations to say that you have a number of policies and procedures in place. These include a Safety Statement, Equine Welfare Standards, Volunteer policy, CPD policy, Garda vetting and First aid policies, Lone working policy, Safety statement for your business, and a GDPR policy.
      What is the application process?
      On this web page, click the Apply Now button. This will guide you through inputting information about your business that will be displayed on the website, and through the application process.
      Forged / falsified documentation / misrepresentation

      All applications are received in good faith. In the event that there are valid and evidence based submissions of concern about an individual or organisation who has provided information that is false, their Register entry will be suspended pending the investigation of relevant concerns.

      I don’t have all the required evidence, what will happen?

      Applicants who have not provided all of the evidence that is required, will be advised about what they need to submit and that until they do so they will not be included on the Register. 

      How will different qualifications experience be evaluated?

      No value judgment will be made about either qualifications or experience. The aim is to support practitioners to operate to high quality, safe, ethical practice standards. Each application will be assessed on its own merit against the criteria.

      Will I be able to use a logo or ‘kitemark’?

      Once applicants have been approved and published on the Register, they will be issued with a logo to use on promotion material, documents and digital resources.

      How can I use the National Register to promote my Business?

      Upon successful application you will receive a Certificate of Compliance with the criteria which can used on your website and all promotional documentation.

      Your details will be listed on the Register with links to your website and social media accounts as applicable

      Will I need to re-apply every year?

      In line with good practice, it is important that you re-register annually and any changes in your business are acknowledged. Annual registration will be required.

      Are there different levels within the National Register?

      There is no expectation at this stage to introduce different levels within the pilot phase of the National Register.

      Is it likely that this process will lead to site visits or is it documentation only?

      There is no expectation at this stage to introduce site visits. However, it is hoped that a random auditing will support the credibility of the register over time.

      I am also listed on a HETI Register in another country, will the criteria be the same?

      Each Register is designed in accordance with national legislation and considering the needs of the stakeholders within their country. Each will work to a set of agreed standards set by their National Committee.

      If an applicant feels that they are affected by extenuating circumstances based on an equivalency that applies in a particular country, thus making them unable to produce the document required against differing criteria, they can request in writing to the that they are permitted to submit an alternative document equivalent to the one required.

      Where is the information about me held and is it safe?

      To read HETI’s Privacy Policy click here. Link to GDPR statement

      How long will the registration process take?
      Once an application has been submitted, the review group will endeavour to turn it around within two months. Applicants will be kept update throughout the process, including if further information is needed before details can be listed on the register.
      Who are the members of the Steering Group and how were they selected?
      The steering group are representatives from across the sector who volunteered to help to develop the Irish Register. Once the register is established it is intended to set up an Irish National Committee to support the ongoing running and development of the HEIR Ireland register.