History of the International Group for Equestrian Qualifications (IGEQ)
The International Group is an independent voluntary organisation of national equestrian federations (currently 31 member countries), formed in 1992 following a forward thinking initiative by the Italian Equestrian Federation and 15 like-minded countries, with a view to comparing and harmonising equestrian instructor qualifications world-wide. Formerly known as the International Group for Qualifications in Training Horse & Rider.
It established a recognised procedure to measure the level of equestrian instructor qualifications across international boundaries at 3 agreed international levels.
In 1995 the Equestrian Passport was introduced for instructors holding recognised eligible qualifications for riding, driving and vaulting. Work continues on harmonisation of qualifications for instructors of disabled competitors.
This agreement also enables instructors holding a qualification at International Level 1 or 2 to enter the next level examination in any of the member countries (subject to national legal requirements). It should be emphasised this does not mean instructors will be awarded a certificate from another federation at their current level - they already hold a recognised certificate from their own country. However, success in an exam at the next level in another country will result in a certificate from that federation.
Trainers' clinics and international examinations are further features of the Group's work. Clinics have been generously hosted by Germany, Italy, Hungary and the UK . International exams have taken place at Level 3 ( UK 1994), Level 2 (France 1995), Level 1 & 2 ( Italy 1998), Vaulting ( Austria 1999) and a Level 3 ( Norway 2001). These examinations were of particular value to instructors from countries that have no certification system, helping them to gain a recognised qualification and become eligible for a passport.
In 2001 the Group worked closely with the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) to introduce an FEI Accredited Trainers List. Accredited Trainers must be Level 3 passport holders and be recommended by their federation. The first FEI Accredited Trainers were appointed in December 2001.
Other groundbreaking initiatives, currently under discussion, are the harmonisation of Rider Licences/Competence tests and harmonisation of qualifications for Competition Coaches.
Applications for membership of the Group from interested federations are most welcome, whether they currently have instructor qualifications or not.
The Group's work since 1992 has made a major contribution to international co-operation within the equestrian world and paves the way for further exciting cross border developments in training and education.