LEAP Practitioner Training
This Level 4 Diploma is accredited by Crossfields Institute who are regulated by Ofqual, providing you with a quality assured training course with external accreditation. The qualification promotes excellence in the field of EFL by offering qualified professionals in the field of coaching, teaching, riding instruction, social work, nursing, holistic therapy, forensic psychology a means of expanding their area of expertise into equine facilitated learning.
This course launched in 2020 and is accredited by Crossfields, who are OFQUAL regulated; providing learners with an assurance of the quality of the tutors and the assessment processes. It is designed for those who wish to pursue a career as an Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner but do not hold a Mental Health Qualification at level 4 or above.
The qualification promotes excellence in the field of EFL and consists of guided learning (taught Modules) and also independent study, total qualification time 370 hours.
It entails a commitment from yourself of at least 4 -6 hours a week. The course has 8 modules taught online and in person over a 12 month period of independent study, assignments, observational assessment, presentations, supervised practice, mentoring and independent learning between the blocks. The programme is designed for those who intend to pursue EFL (equine facilitated learning) as a career.
To study this qualification you need to demonstrate to the centre that you have:
A formally recognised qualification in coaching, teaching, riding instruction, social work, nursing, holistic therapy, psychology. We will consider applications from those who are trained in a different area of expertise and wish to qualify as an EFL Practitioner.
Minimum age of learner is 23
If English is not the first language, proof of spoken and written English at a level equivalent to IELTS 5 will be required.
Learners must have previously experienced the LEAP Method from a client perspective through attending a LEAP Introductory workshop, a one to one workshop with one of the LEAP Training team or a programme of EFL sessions with a LEAP Practitioner within 6 months prior to starting this qualification. Please contact the office to find out more about an online session.
Learners must have their own, or have access to equines, to enable them to practise the LEAP method throughout the qualification.
Learners must have experience with horses including horse care and management. They must be able to demonstrate knowledge of standard equestrian practises including horse care skills and basic horsemanship.
Due to the psychological demands of this qualification, learners must demonstrate the potential for self-reflection, self-directed learning, emotional resilience and ability to manage their own emotions. Participating in this programme may bring up unresolved or painful feelings and memories and learners must be willing and able to access therapeutic support outside the course if needed.
I have grown so much through this course, I am now planning my EFL business and building my dream… this stuff works
he blocks of learning and practical teaching were packed with hands on exercises, experiential learning and constant supervision and assistance. I would say the course is life changing if you give yourself fully to the exercise
I wasn’t expecting the training to be as supportive as it was; or how much you really needed to know and understand about yourself to be able to do the work at your best.
Online Training Material, webinars, research articles and much more
LEAP Care Cards
Symbology Language Cards
A beginners list of Clean Language/ Coaching questions to ask clients
Access to the ENTIRE Training Library including research articles
Access to the private members area
1 year membership to LEAP Practitioner Members Area
1 years access to Monthly InterVision with two of the tutors.
In this module, learners will be introduced to the qualification and the LEAP Method. Learners will learn how to tune into their own body and begin using their body as a sensing device in human-human and human-horse communication and learn how to moderate arousal levels in themselves and their clients.
Learners will learn to carry out client assessments and understand when to refer on to a mental health professional. Learners will observe and assess a client’s needs, strengths, current emotional state, skills development and how to design a programme to support the client’s goals from EFL sessions.
Learners will learn how to facilitate exercises that promote the recognition, establishment and maintenance of healthy boundaries and their own energetic fields, through experiential exercises with horses.
Learners will learn to facilitate exercises that build trust and relationship between client and horse, calling on energy skills and body-based awareness skills learnt in modules 1 and 3.
Learners will learn to adapt the LEAP Method of EFL for working with young people, including the use of the LEAP Care Cards, the importance of rituals with young people and the LEAP Relational horsemanship approach. They will learn essential skills specific to working as part of a Multi-Disciplinary Team for children and young people in care or educational settings.
Students will learn to adapt the LEAP Method for EFL when working with organisations, including leadership programmes, coaching and group work.
Using the principles of relational horsemanship, learners will learn essential skills in order to be able to hold and manage the physical and emotional care of an EFL herd. They will learn how to develop, understand and adjust their relationships with their equine partners, to create an effective EFL environment for clients.
Learners will learn about the policies, protocols and procedures necessary to underpin their EFL practice. They will learn how to develop facilitation skills, the importance of ethical practice and the parameters of EFL work; including when to refer clients on to a mental health professional. They will also be introduced to the structure of ongoing support available through LEAP membership.
The qualification promotes excellence in the field of EFL and consists of guided learning (taught Modules) and also independent study, total qualification time 370 hours. It entails a commitment from yourself of at least 4 -6 hours a week. The course has 8 modules taught online and in person over a 12 month period of independent study, assignments, observational assessment, presentations, supervised practice, mentoring and independent learning between the blocks. The programme is designed for those who intend to pursue EFL (equine facilitated learning) as a career.
1 year free membership after graduation with LEAP
In graduation you will receive branded clothing
An online monthly call to discuss treatment and EFL/P work within a team besides supervision, peer supervision and case discussions. It is an interactive learning method in a group of EFL/P practitioners who are engaged in client work. A great place to come and listen and learn from those who are doing the work on a daily basis.
"Since graduating from her original LEAP training in 2015, Danielle has bridged onto the Diploma course in order to have a nationally recognised qualification. Danielle has become a Senior Practitioner with LEAP as well as a Clinical Supervisor and loves working with her peers to their practice. Danielle runs a busy Community Interest Company in Derby working with a neurodiverse range of children and young people who often struggle to engage in more traditional therapies."
Senior EFP Practitioner, Pony Partnership C.I.C
“Since qualifying with LEAP in 2018, I have cofacilitated Equine Facilitated Learning groups of key stage 3 children from a pupil referral unit with fellow senior LEAP Graduate, Danielle Mills at her site Pony Partnerships in Derbyshire. I have been fortunate to gain more experience within this specialised field of equine therapy which has complimented by mental health nursing. I really recommend this course. Thank you LEAP team! Kudos!”
Our purpose at LEAP is to provide safe and healing Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) for individuals and groups, and to provide high quality, professional training to enable our Practitioners to create ethical, safe and healing client experiences.
We have been leading the field of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning since 2006 and have been training our approach since 2013, making us THE most established training providers in the UK for this work. We offer a number of training courses, workshops and professional development as well as working with individuals wishing to have Equine Facilitated Therapies.
£150 (excl vat) application and processing fee is non-refundable
Crossfields Institute Level 4 in Equine Facilitated Learning: The LEAP Method
Onboarding/Starting out (online)
Putting into Practise
Pulling it all Together
3rd July 2023
13th - 16th October 2023
27 - 28th April 2024
13th - 14th July 2024
Monthly calls on a Friday afternoon
Director & Senior EFP/L Practitioner
Jo-Anne Karlsson is the Owner and Director of LEAP and is a key member of the Senior Therapeutic Team. Jo-Anne was among the first graduates of the LEAP EFP/L Practitioner Training Programme and now runs her own successful private practice in and around Berkshire.
Programme Director & Senior EFP/L Practitioner
Sarah worked for many years in blue chip organisations providing change programmes and coaching for management teams. While completing her MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy, Sarah studied with LEAP as an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist (EFP) and after graduating with a distinction, she went on to launch Life on Dreams Limited.
International Horsemanship Trainer & Instructor
Lisa has spent her life working with horses; she has travelled worldwide working and training with some of the world’s top horsemen. She has trained and spent time with Ray Hunt, Leslie Desmond, Phil Rodey, Philip Nye and Steve Halfpenny. Lisa teaches our Horsemanship courses and offers a relational way to work with our horses.
Senior EFP/L Practitioner & Tutor
Victoria graduated from the US based Counselor Training Programme at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota – the world renowned rehabilitation centre – in 1993. Victoria graduated with LEAP in 2016 and joined the training team in 2019. She runs EFP programmes from Addiction treatment centres in the south east as well as having a busy private practice in Kensington London.
Senior EFL Practitioner & Tutor
Heidi enjoyed a successful 20-year-long corporate career, holding senior roles in organisations including RHM Group, Greggs PLC and Edmund Nuttall Ltd and also acting as Consultant to a number of organisations, including the Environment Agency.
Senior EFP/L Practitioner & Tutor
Ivan completed the Level 5 Diploma in EFP with LEAP in 2017 and set up a Community Interest Company delivering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to young people and adults in January 2018 at the same time as setting up in private practice full time.
Register with HMRC.
Within three months of starting trading, you must register with HMRC. You will be responsible for paying any tax liabilities and you will be liable for paying National Insurance Contributions (Class 2 and Class 4). We advise you seek professional advice from an accountant who can take note of your particular liabilities that are likely to be affected by other factors. For example, your work history, business structure, planned or actual turn over, any other income source etc.
When you register you will need to provide the following information: address, NI number, date of birth, telephone number, email address, the nature of your business, start date of self-employment, business address, business telephone number, your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) (only if you have done self-assessment previously), the business UTR (unless it’s a new business) and also the same information for any business partners you may have.
It is unlikely that your turnover will be sufficiently large for you to need to register for VAT if in doubt your accountant can advise.
Keep financial records
You must keep up to date and accurate records of all your transactions- who pays you what, what you pay and for what. Some people prefer to do this in a physical book, others use spreadsheets, or your accountant may offer an online system so you can each keep track of the accounts on a day-by-day basis. An online system will allow you to see your balance sheet, cash flow and profit and loss you’re making. The important thing is to keep accurate information that will keep HMRC happy and will make things easier for you to run your business.
There are advantages and disadvantages to any business structure and for this reason we suggest you speak to an accountant before deciding so you can make a fully informed decision. Within the EFL field you may consider being a Community Interest Company (CIC) or have aspirations to set up as a charity. A CIC is also a limited company that existed to benefit its community rather than private shareholders.
Most of us start out as a sole trader or limited company when we first start out, if we consider the difference of the two structures in terms of liability, flexibility, registration paperwork and expense of business operation.
We are often asked about insurance requirements of running an EFL Practise. There is not clear answer we can give as everyone is working in a slightly different way. We of course can recognise several risks involved in running an EFL Practice but the variant of how practitioners work; some work from home, other from a livery yard/riding school, some are employed or working out of a field, make it impossible for LEAP to provide a definitive answer. We have outlined below the different types of insurance available and advise you speak to an insurance specialist about your individual situation and business set up to get a bespoke quote for you.
While there is no legal requirement for you to have professional liability insurance, there are two compelling reasons. Firstly, LEAP and other professional organisations, for example ACCPH require you to demonstrate that you have such insurance if you are to become or remain one of their members. Most credible supervisors would require you to have such insurance before agreeing to supervise your work. Most referring organisations would require you demonstrate that you have such insurance before offering you work.
Secondly, the cost of not having might lead into bankruptcy or severe financial hardship. The cost of mounting a legal defence if sued, then paying financial compensation if you lost the case, could easily run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. While this rarely happens, there is a risk it might. Even if allegations of inadequate or harmful service are proved to be unfounded, defence costs are still likely to be significant.
Or third-party cover, this covers you against bodily injury to a third party or damage to a third parties property as a direct result of your negligence. The cover is normally offered with choices on the limit of indemnity usually £1/2 or 5 million.
This provides cover for any bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by your employees because of the business’s negligence. Employers’ liability is a requirement under the Employers Liability Act 1969 and should be in place for anyone working on your behalf whether full time, part time, voluntarily or in training. It is often a requirement to also take out public liability cover.
This provides cover against the death and/accidental injury to horses/ponies that are in your care, custody or control in respect to a claim that is made against you by the owner. This is typically liveries, but you may use other people’s horses as part of your EFL Practise. A benefit will be paid for veterinary fees and/or the current market value, up to the limit of indemnity in the event of an accident, disease or mortality of the horse.
This provides cover for death, theft and straying, legal liability, vet fee cover, personal accident, saddlery and tack depending on your individual policy. Policies often cover your horse being used for leisure activities so you may need to advise your provider of a change of use and speak to an insurance specialist to understand the best cover for you.
All insurers require that you comply with current Health & Safety Guidelines as well as ensuring that you have appropriate risk assessments in place. While LEAP cannot provide any risk management advise, it may be useful to look as the following sites which can act as reference points and contain information on risk assessments along with good practice advice for general equestrian businesses:
For some Practitioners the idea of working from home is the last thing that want to do for others it may initially seem like a good idea and an easy option and certainly it seems less risk financially if you already have your horses at home. In some ways it is more convenient; you don’t have to travel and if a client fails to turn up you can simply carry on with your normal day, maybe even sneak some quality horse time in for yourself!
Despite the initial attraction there are some important things to consider before making that choice.