Equestrian Canada Launches Coach Status Program

New framework strengthens safety standards

Ottawa, ON, Dec 14, 2020 – 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 the federal government’s Safe Sport initiative, the national federation’s new Coach Status Program is designed to provide coaches with the training and screening they need to elevate the equestrian experience in Canada and make it safer for all involved. The application process is now open in conjunction with EC Sport Licence renewals, with the first Coach Statuses to be issued for Jan. 15, 2021.

“It is our duty as equestrian stewards to share our passion so that future generations can continue to benefit from the unique experience our sport offers. In order to do so, we must stand united in offering safe, respectful and inclusive equestrian environments. This means implementing standards for coaching,” said EC President, Meg Krueger.

In 2018, the Minister of Science and Sport introduced Safe Sport, which included measures to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. EC’s new 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 to enjoy the sport. The initiative includes measures like third-party complaints 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.

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.

The Licensed Coach Status also includes legal expense insurance coverage, which provides unlimited access to a Legal Helpline. By calling the Legal Helpline, coaches can receive general assistance for any legal question, even if it is not covered by the policy. This policy provides coverage for legal expenses related to potential abuse allegations for incidents that occur in Canada. Coverage limits are $25,000 per individual occurrence and a $50,000 aggregate per Licensed Coach per policy term. The legal expense insurance policy for Licensed Coaches ensures your legal risks are well managed in the event of an unexpected legal issue. EC is proud to provide this service with the Licensed Coach Status as a means of additional security and support for our coaches.

“Few people are more influential in the development of young equestrians than coaches – not only in terms of equestrian competency but in shaping their identity as individuals by creating an environment to build confidence, develop character and create opportunities for connection, caring and compassion with their equine partners and other equestrians,” said EC Director of Sport Development, Douglas Duncan. “That is why a recognized Coach Status is so vital; so that we can ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all participants that is reflective of the quality and professionalism of equestrian coaches across Canada.”

EC will implement the new Coach Status Program in phases over the next four years. Coaches who wish to deliver existing EC programs (e.g. Learn to Ride/Drive) will need to obtain their Licensed Coach Status in 2021 before instruction. There will be no formal requirements to hold a Coach Status at EC sanctioned competitions in 2021. However, we recommend that all coaches use 2021 to familiarize themselves with the new Coach Statuses and apply for their chosen status. By 2025, all coaches will need to be Certified in order to obtain the valid Licensed Coach Status that will be required.

EC is committed to creating a safe, high-quality experience for all who participate in equestrian sport across our country. The new Coach Status Program is a reflection of that commitment and an investment in the future of equestrian sport in Canada.

To learn more about the new Coach Status Program, visit the EC Coach Status website or email [email protected]


What Does It Mean To Be A Certified Equestrian Coach?

Canada's equestrians, both new and  experienced, are looking for direction and guidance that can be found through a mentor or coach. These individuals play a role that brings together the  love of a  sport with skill and learning. As with many sports, the coaches who impart information  and  help  develop the skills that set athletes up for success also need to be cultivated and developed. The Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation (NSEF) is the partner to help develop your coaching skills.

The NSEF administers a program recognized by, and in partnership with, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and Equestrian Canada (EC).The Coaching Program includes the disciplines of  Driving, English and Western and includes training opportunities and competency based evaluation for certification.

The Coaching Program is formatted to develop skills of planning, encouragement, equestrian knowledge and technical competency.

What is the Coaching Program?

In general, The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a federal government-initiated program designed to give the public knowledgeable and qualified instructors and coaches at every level of all sports.The Equestrian Coaching Program provides NSEF members an opportunity to be recognized within the equestrian community and provide accreditation to their own facilities.  

The certification process is available in four different streams: Instructor, Competition Coach, Competition Coach Specialist and High Performance Coach. Specialization within disciplines is introduced at the Competition Coach Specialist level. 

These levels are non-progressive, meaning that you do not need to take one before you take another. They are independent and should be taken according to the student base you are teaching. Whether you are interested in coaching beginners or have a passion for the competitive world, there is a coaching stream suited to you. Over time, you may find your focus changes or expands, at which point we would encourage you to explore another certification appropriate to your clientele.

Why Be Certified?

The NCCP Equestrian Coaching Program is formatted to develop skills of planning, encouragement, equestrian knowledge and technical competency.

A career in coaching takes great mentors, practice, education and time. As with any profession, coaches work in a world that is constantly evolving and progressing. Equestrian coaching requires diligence to safety and an understanding of the learning needs of your students. Through this Coaching Program, candidates are certified to have proven strengths and education in all areas. Courses available to candidates  continue  to  reinforce good practice techniques and give coaches the opportunity to connect with peers and mentors to learn new techniques and exercises.

As a certified coach, recognition of achieving a standard of coaching skills provides potential clients with a measure of your skills, rather than just relying on word of mouth. Continuing education and required professional development, including first aid, assure clients of your commitment to stay current in the sport. Independent insurance companies also provide discounts for farm and facility insurance to certified active coaches.

Professional designation is granted upon successful certification of the NCCP Equestrian Coach Program.



The NSEF is responsible for the delivery and administration of the NCCP Instructor, Competition Coach and Competition Coach Specialist as outlined below:                                                                                                               


A certified Instructor specializes in the instruction of children and adults learning to ride, establishing foundational riding skills with an eye on safety.

Available certifications for Instructor:

  • English

  • Western

  • Driving


A certified Competition Coach introduces riders to the competitive environment. More advanced skills in the development of a competitive training program, performance analysis and mental preparation for competition are required to become certified at this level.

Available certifications for Competition Coach:

  • English

  • Western 


A certified Competition Coach Specialist (CCS) has a discipline specialty, and is developing riders competing at the provincial and national levels. These coaches have more in depth knowledge of developing training plans for athletes, requires a working knowledge of the Equestrian Canada competition rules for the level and discipline they’re teaching.

Although a CCS is trained specifically for one discipline area, she/he is expected to be conversant in all English or Western disciplines. 

Available certifications for Competition Coach Specialist:

  • Dressage

  • Eventing

  • General Performance

  • Jumping

  • Reining

  • Speed Events


This program is administered by Equestrian Canada.

High Performance 1 (HP1) Coaches will be working with athletes and horses in the late Learning and Training to Compete and early learning and Training to Win stages of LTED.
Athletes will be competent to compete at provincial and national championships, entry level international competitions, North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (team & individual) etc.

Available certifications for High Performance 1:

  • Dressage

  • Eventing

  • Jumping

  • Reining


  For more information please contact us at [email protected] or or 902-425-5450 ext. 337

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