The Equestrian Canada (EC) Coach Licence program is a joint initiative of EC and its member Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs). The introduction of a national Coach Licence for equestrian and coaching/instruction activities is part of the Canadian Equestrian Development (CED) agreement that was signed between EC and all PTSOs. The CED is a national initiative to enhance and modernize the delivery of our coach education and sport initiation programs (Rookie Riders and Learn To) in support of local facility owners and operators.
Mindsets and expectations have shifted considerably over the past decade. Many sports now have minimum standards in place for all coaches. Current and future horse enthusiasts come to our sport with the expectation that it will provide a unique, respectful, safe, and inclusive experience. If we fail to meet this expectation, we will fail to attract and retain participants, putting both our industry and livelihood at risk.
It is our collective responsibility as stewards of the sport to share our passion for equestrianism while also taking steps so that future generations can continue to benefit from the unique experience equestrian sport offers. In order to do so, we must stand united in establishing minimum standards which enable us to demonstrate the steps that we are taking to provide safe, respectful and inclusive equestrian environments for all participants.
The introduction of a Coach License helps us achieve these objectives. Our vision is that every equestrian coach and instructor is licensed and certified by 2025.
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2021 March Coach Status Information and FAQs
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Equestrian Canada (EC) is implementing revised measures to the initial Coach Licence based on community feedback to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive equestrian experience for all the sport’s participants. Inspired by and in cooperation with the federal government’s Safe Sport initiative, our new Coach Status Program is designed to provide our coaches with the training and screening they need to elevate Canada’s equestrian experience and make it safer for all involved.
What Led to the Coach Status Program
While we treasure the traditions we share as equestrians, we’re also eager to bring the sport in line with current standards and the values that help define us as Canadians. We are approaching the new Coach Statuses with a restored attitude of confidence and positivity to embrace change and reach a higher level of excellence for Canadian equestrianism.
In 2018, the Minister of Science and Sport introduced Safe Sport, which included measures to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. Our new Coach Status Program works hand-in-hand with this initiative, ensuring that Canadian equestrian sport meets all safety and quality screening measures to create the safest environment for coaches, athletes and families. These measures include third party complaint management and Safe Sport training, which equips coaches with the tools they need to empower athletes while promoting their physical and mental well-being, and more.
The Important Role Coaches Play
Across our country, coaches play a pivotal role in the foundation of equestrian sport. They are tasked with teaching sound methods and techniques while also fostering relationships that help shape the identity we all share. These are significant responsibilities, especially when it involves equestrians that are new to the sport. We’ve designed the new program to ensure that, throughout the Canadian equestrian community, coaches can meet this challenge with the utmost professionalism and care. Although the new Coach Statuses are paving the way, the evolution of safety in our sport will only occur when the entire community commits to the same mission.
About the Coach Status Program
With the new program, coaches can apply for one of two statuses:
- Registered Coach Status: This status recognizes self-declared coaches and instructors, including those working towards a Coach Certification and those new to equestrian instruction who will work alongside an experienced coach. This status can also be selected by those with formal training or extensive experience until the Licensed Coach Status becomes mandatory.
- Licensed Coach Status: This status recognizes coaches with verified expertise, either through formal certification, education or validated practical experience. Applicants should be actively engaged in equestrian instruction and coaching.
Holding one of these Coach Statuses means EC has verified that the coach meets all necessary safety screening and training requirements. Applicants for either status must provide proof of valid coaching insurance for a minimum of $2,000,000 Corporate General Liability and $100,000 Professional liability.