Would you like to enhance your growth, learning and wellness through partnering with equines? Then you might be ready to become a certified equine facilitated wellness professional!

Pro-EFW Professional Designations

Please note that regardless of professional and personal backgrounds, there is a need for specialized training and certification in equine facilitated wellness for everyone.


Mental Health Professionals (MHPs) have credentials and experience in the mental health/human services field, and are members of a professional association. They have training and experience in the field of EFW, as well as cross-training in equine behaviour and safety. These practitioners will partner with Equine Professionals (EPs) or Equine Coaches (ECs) when engaging in EFW work with clients. However, depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise, some work with clients may be done on a one-to-one basis without the presence of an EP/EC.


Equine Facilitated Learning Professionals (EFLPs) have credentials and experience in areas such as education, nursing, life coaching, team building, leadership training, literacy training, etc., and may be members of a professional association (if applicable). They have training and experience in the field of EFW, as well as cross-training in equine behaviour and safety. These practitioners will partner with EP/ECs when engaging in EFW work with clients. However, depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise, some work with clients may be done on a one-to-one basis without the presence of an EP.

Equine Professionals (EPs)/Equine Coaches (ECs) have credentials and experience in the realm of equines, as well as cross-training in the mental health/human services and/or education fields. These professionals may work in differing capacities with a variety of clients depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise. They may choose among the following options:


  • To be a co-facilitator with a MHP working in the realm of mental health and related issues. These sessions may have a psychotherapeutic focus.
  • To be a co-facilitator with an EFLP working in the realm of equine facilitated learning. EPs may do some limited individual work with clients if they have the appropriate training.
  • The Role of the Equine Coach can also be to co-facilitate and in addition
  • To be an Equine Coach who assists individuals in deepening their connection with their equines by bringing EFW concepts, approaches and insights into their existing equine business. The EC uses the EFW approach for both recreational and competitive riding, as well as for a wide range of equine activities and exercises done on the ground. This work may be done without the presence of an MHP or EFLP. It should be noted that to be an EC, individuals must be certified in this capacity through Equine Canada or another reputable organization.

Dually Certified EFW professionals are those who meet EFW certification requirements for both the MHP and EP, or EFLP and EP designations. Tri Certified EFW professionals are those who have achieved certification in all three designations. Dually and tri certified practitioners are fully qualified to ensure the safety and well-being of both clients and equines in equine facilitated activities, and they are able to work with clients within the limits defined by their scope of practice without having another professional present. However, if they want to go beyond their scope of practice, they must partner with another EFW professional who complements their knowledge, experience and skills.

Pro-EFW Certification Outline

Thank you for your interest in Pro-EFW certification. We are proud of our certification which maintains high standards for the practice of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW). The association was formed by a group of independent professionals across Canada, who came together to develop the philosophy and principles that guide safe practice for our equines and the public. One of the first distinctions of the approach is that the equine is perceived as a sentient being.
The certification may seem rigorous, it prepares professionals for high-quality competent practice, either as a Pro-EFW Equine Professional, Mental Health Professional or Learning Professional depending on your area of practice and expertise.

The Pro-EFW certification process offers:


Flexibility of time -The certification process is a journey that will take a minimum of 2 years, with spaces in between your training for integration and practice. There is no time limit to complete the Pro-EFW certification process.


Possibility of seeing clients while completing your certification. 


The ability to work alone with clients when your scope of practice supports your area of expertise.


Can be completed concurrently with certification process

Equine Professional

Credentialing: Diploma / Portfolio

Applied Professions: Equestrian Canada, CanTRA, Centered Riding, etc.; OR completion of a portfolio detailing one’s experience, including supporting documentation from two professionals in the equine industry.

Experience: 2500 Hours

Professional Association Membership: If applicable

Professional Liability Insurance: If applicable

Learning Professional

Credentialing: Diploma/Degree/ Portfolio

Applied Professions: Teacher, Educational Assistant, Nurse, Life Coach, Addictions Counsellor, Social Worker, Child and Youth Care or a related field of coaching, teaching or leadership.

Experience: 2500 Hours

Professional Association Membership: If applicable

Professional Liability Insurance: If applicable

Mental Health Professional

Credentialing: Graduate Degree

Applied Professions: Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Medical Doctor with Psychotherapy training, Registered Social Worker, Child and Youth Care, holding a minimum of a Master’s Degree and/or Registration with a Provincial or Territorial College.

Experience: 2500 Hours

Professional Association Membership: Required

Professional Liability Insurance: Required

Pro-EFW Trainings

Pro-EFW Trainers are independent and set their own prices for mentoring. You can review all Pro-EFW Trainers at: www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org/training


Duration: 30 hours approx. $650 + tax


  • Offer an introduction to the field of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW)

Covers topics such as

✓ Pro-EFW philosophy, principles and ethics;

✓ role of the equine as a sentient being;

✓ safety considerations when working with equines and humans.


This training is offered as a combination of distance learning (on-line) and on-site training



Duration: 30 hours approx. $1600 +tax


  • Teach core EFW concepts, principles, ethics and safety considerations.
  • Provide opportunities to engage in experiential exercises, interactions with equines and practice sessions.
  • Create an initial individualized Scope of Practice statement outlining what can and cannot be incorporated into candidates EFW practice.

It is optimal for candidates to allow themselves enough time to absorb, integrate and begin practicing the concepts and approaches learned in the training before attending Focus Training.

At this point participants must apply for certification if they wish to work towards their Pro-EFW Certification and be considered candidates as opposed to participating in Focus Training for their own personal growth.

Foundations Training


DURATION: 35 hours approx. $1600 +tax


  • Further develops and explores EFW concepts, principles, ethics and safety considerations.
  • Includes practice sessions and hands-on opportunities.
  • Candidates outline the areas where additional experience and/or training is needed to meet identified training and education goals in their Certification Progress Plan.
  • Candidates identify their appropriate Levels of Expertise.


Pre Requisites: 

  • Submit Personal Progress Plan 2 weeks prior to Focus Training

Complete1 hour of mentorship prior to Focus Training with your Pro-EFW Trainer



Duration: 35 hours approx. $1500 +tax


  • Provides candidates the opportunity to integrate their EFW knowledge, experience and skills into their particular area of expertise.
  • Ensures that candidate’s professional requirements (eg. confidentiality, compliance with relevant ethical codes, record keeping, etc.) are being met.
  • Helps candidates update Scope of Practice and Personal Progress Plan, outlining the areas where additional experience and/or training is needed to meet identified training and education goals.


Pre Requisites: 

  • Submit Scope of Practice draft, 2 weeks prior to Integration Training
  • Submit Personal Progress Plan, 2 weeks prior to Integration Training
  • Complete hour 2 of mentorship prior to Integration Training with your Pro-EFW Trainer

Complete 15 hours of practice in EFW

Integration Training

With Mentor Guidance

Mentoring Sessions

(10 hrs, cost $80 to $150 /hour)

  • Minimum 10 hours of mentoring with a Pro-EFW Trainer or Mentor to discuss: session evaluations, case consultations, discussing difficult clients and/or reviewing your Scope of Practice, completion of EFW Skills documents and practice hours, etc.
  • At the request of the certification candidate or at the discretion of the Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor, more than 10 mentoring hours may be required.
  • Minimum of 4 of the 10 mentorship hours must be with your Pro-EFW Trainer.
  • 4 session evaluations must be submitted to your Pro-EFW Trainer or Mentor.


  • Mentorship hours with your Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor may be completed in person, by phone, Skype or video conference and can be supported with email contact.
  • After Foundations Training, certification candidates are expected to practice under the supervision of a Pro-EFW Trainer or Mentor.

Each Pro-EFW Trainer and/or Mentor charges an hourly fee for the mentorship hours and sets their own fee, please confirm this fee with your Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor.

EFW Skills Checklist

  • Outlines skills needed to safely and ethically practice EFW, such as safety, horsemanship, EFW and forms / procedures.
  • Short written and video submissions required to demonstrate competence.
  • The skills required will vary depending on what designation you are seeking: MHP, LP, or EP.

Practice Hours

85 hours

Practice hours may include:

  • Maximum of 20 hours assisting a Pro-EFW Professional with group facilitation during workshops or training. (NB: Only time spent facilitating may be counted).
  • Maximum of 15 hours in practice sessions with other Pro-EFW certification candidates or Peer Experts.
  • Must be direct client contact in EFW sessions, either individual or group. Does not include planning, debriefing or note taking.
  • 15 practice hours must be completed prior to Integration
  • Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor does not have to be present during sessions

Certification candidates are expected to work under the supervision of an approved Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor.

Scope of Practice

Defines your credentials and experience

  1. working with people
  2. working with equines
  3. working in the field of EFW


  • EP’s Level of Expertise working with people or MHP/LP’s Level Expertise working with equines
  • Areas NOT qualified to provide services and referral procedure
  • Informed consent
  • Professional liability and /or commercial insurance


Your Scope of Practice will evolve after subsequent training, education, experience and practice.

Additional Requirements


Current Standard First Aid


Pro-EFW membership in good standing

You can become a Pro-EFW member and support our community at https://www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org/join


Agreement to abide by Pro-EFW Code of Ethics

You can read more about Pro-EFW Ethics and Principles at https://www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org/overview


Professional and/or Commercial Liability Insurance

Certification Candidates are eligible to apply for insurance after Foundations Training.

Appropriate insurance is required in order to practice.


Recommendation for Certification as a Pro-EFW Professional

Once you have completed all of the required training and requirements, your Pro-EFW Trainer/Mentor will make an attestation and recommendation for your certification to be submitted with your Final Certification package to review.

Maintaining Certification

  • Participate in 20 hours of education related to EFW every 3 years and submit records of content and attendance.
  • Maintain a signed agreement to indicate you will continue to abide by Pro-EFW’s Code of Ethics.
  • Update Scope of Practice Agreements as changes occur, or at a minimum of every two years.
  • Renew your Pro-EFW certification yearly (includes Pro-EFW membership).
  • Maintain Professional credentials and memberships as applicable.
  • Demonstrate ongoing proof of insurance.
  • Maintain your Standard First Aid Certification.

Certified Pro-EFW Professionals must maintain the above requirements and renew their certification yearly to remain on the Pro-EFW website. 

You must be an Pro-EFW member in good standing (annual fee of $40)
to APPLY for CERTIFICATION. Please purchase your Annual Membership and choose a Certification Stream.

You must renew your certification annually. The Annual membership ($40) is now included in your renewal fee.

**Candidates that are MID-STREAM in their certification process (began process before 2020 and completed the initial certification payment), please note that fees have changed for 2020. To complete your certification review fee at 2019 rates

please view:
Final Certification Payment 2019 >>



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