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Equestrian Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Instructors, Teachers and Trainers

Whether you call yourself a coach, an instructor or a trainer you play a crucial role in the development of the sport and in lives of the riders, drivers and vaulters that you support.

It is you the coach, instructor, teacher or trainer that will ensure that individuals in equestrianism have positive experiences and therefore are more likely to continue in the equestrian activity and achieve their potential.

The BEF Code of Conduct for coaches, instructors, teachers and trainers is built on the principles of integrity, honesty, fair play and respect. These principles are integral, not optional, and apply to all levels of ability and commitment, including recreational participation and good level of horse and pony care as well as competitive equestrian sport.

This Code of Conduct sets out standards you are required to meet.

The BEF core values are integral to all involved in equestrian activity and coaches, instructors, teacher and trainers are asked to demonstrate:

  • Performance: That you will strive to successes in all your endeavours and deliver high standards in every session, lesson, class or workshop.

  • Partnership: No coach, instructor, teacher or trainer has all the answers and we ask that you collaborate and find solutions to shared issues and are open and honest at all times.

  • Professionalism: That you will remain objective and professional at all times. You act with integrity in an ethical way and treat everyone with respect.

  • Passion: You will be passionate in all your endeavours, working with others to the benefit of the rider, driver or vaulters.


When working with your participant, whether in training or competition, you will:

  •  Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment, especially when working with young participants. Most learning is achieved by doing.

  •  Show respect to others involved in the sport including judges, official and volunteers, other riders and teams, other coaches, instructors, teachers and trainers, spectators, parents/carers and equines.

  •  Adhere to the laws and spirit of the disciplines and competitions in which your riders participate

  •  Promote fair play and high standards of behaviour.

  •   Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting, demeaning or abusive language or


  •   Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of your participants (and the equine) above

    everything, including winning.

  •  Explain exactly what you expect of the participant and what they can expect from you.

  •  Ensure all parents/carers of all players under the age of 18 understand these expectations.

  •  Never engage in or tolerate any form of bullying, always appropriately challenge bullying behaviour.

  •  Develop mutual trust and respect with every participant to build their self-esteem

  •  Encourage each participant to accept responsibility for their own behaviours and


  •  Ensure all activities you organise are appropriate for the players’ ability level, age and

    maturity and for the capabilities of the equine. Recognise that no young participants under 18 can drink alcohol and no participant should

  • take non-prescription medicine or drugs not readily available over the counter (Participant should be aware of FEI and BEF rule related to performance enhancing drugs for humans and equines).

  •  Ensure good supervision of all participants, especially participant who are younger or more vulnerable.

  •  Recognise that young participants should not be exposed to extreme of heat, cold or unacceptable risk of injury.

  •  Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the BEF Safeguarding Policies and Procedures.

    o This includes that no coach, instructor, teacher or trainer should have sexual related contact with a participant, fellow coach, instructor, teacher, trainer or volunteer under the age of 18

    o To clarify this includes sexual innuendo, flirting, inappropriate gestures and term in person or through social media, texts and emails and taking part in sexting or otherwise sending inappropriate sexual images through technological systems.

  •  Treat everyone with the same degree of courtesy and respect regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and/or sexual orientation.

  •  Be a positive role-model, consider your behaviour, do not ridicule, or shout at pupils or use sarcasm

  •  Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all young participants at all times particularly pre, during and post training sessions and competitions.

  •  Be aware that your behaviour in your role is subject is scrutiny by others at all times. Ensure

    that your words and behaviour are not subject to misinterpretation by the pupils, parents/carers or onlookers. Ensure appropriate boundaries are in place. The line between a professional working relationship and undue informality is not crossed.

  •  Avoid giving advice of a personal or medical nature unless you are qualified to do so.

  •  All accidents must be recorded in line with the requirements of the Member Bodies.

    All coaches, instructors, teachers and trainers should actively involve parents and carers throughout all stages of a young person (under 18) training /coaching and ensure you have parental consent for all activity.

    It is recommended a coach, instructor, teacher or trainer is qualified by the achievements of a nationally recognised qualification and that they confine their delivery to areas where their training and competence are recognised by their Member Body.

  • Coaches, instructors, teachers or trainers working independently should be a minimum of UKCC Level 2 or Member Body equivalent.

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