Coach Development in South Africa



We can be proud in South Africa that Equine and Equestrian Coaches, Practitioners and Professionals are at the forefront of the Equestrian Qualifications Structure.  Everything is in place in terms of Professional Membership and Certification. 

Young people entering the Qualifications pathway participate in assessments from their 16th year for Module 1.  To complete the qualifications system (Modules 1-7), candidates may expect to take a minimum of 6 years to complete the syllabus which involves knowledge, practical and workplace assessments as well as external assessments.  This is a minimum standard only, with practical experience (formal and informal) being a pre-requisite.  All candidates are required to register their details on the EQASA website ( for a once-off fee.  Candidates are encouraged to attend courses at approved Independent Training Providers which are listed on the Professionals Website ( to ensure suitable qualified, experienced Mentors are present to deliver the syllabus subject matter and to be assured that safety and welfare of the horses and people are the top priority.  Certificates are presented per module.




The SA Qualification directly aligns with the International Group for Equestrian Qualifications minimum matrices.  This ensures that Coaches (Riders, Trainers, Instructors) with SA Qualifications at International Levels 1-3 (South African Modules 5-7) are eligible to hold International Passports (issued through EQASA and to remain current are stamped by EQASA on an annual basis) this enables them to Coach/Instruct/Train overseas.  These passports represent qualifications that are officially recognized by the FEI through a MOU with the International Group for Equestrian Qualifications (IGEQ).  South Africa is a member of this Group and Mrs Pieterse (MD of EQASA) is the SA Executive Representative for Region 6 which includes Canada/South Africa/Malawi and Mauritius.  Coaches up until now have achieved this status either through successful completion of the current Qualifications System or via the RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) process administered by EQASA, undertaken by a Panel of Peer Reviewers, Assessors and Moderator. 

All member countries participate in hosting the IGEQ Annual Conference, the hosting Country organizes Examiner/Trainers’ clinics and visits to their top equestrian facilities to share and encourage best practice for assessments always with the welfare of the horse being top priority.  All conference delegates are shown practical examples of the different levels of rider training and explanation of the examination criteria used. 

The IGEQ (International Group for Equestrian Qualifications) has compared and harmonised equestrian instructor qualifications and based on this have produced the International Equestrian Passport (IGEQ passport) administered by EQASA in South Africa.   When undertaking the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to map experience and proof of learning to the SA Qualifications system, the FEI Certificates of Achievement (Levels 1-3) can be used as part of the portfolio of evidence as well as being submitted as proof of on-going development to acquire Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.