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Phase III is the third Phase of the Pennsylvania Qualified Instructor (PQI) training program.  Phase III is the certification phase.



**If the Phase III Candidate is not working with a current program, the Candidate may request an alternative site in consultation with the PACTH Education Committee (contact the PACTH office for details).


Candidates for Phase III: 

  • Must have successfully completed Phase I
  • Must have successfully completed Phase II
  • Phase II must have been completed within the last 3 years**
  • Maintained PACTH membership
  • Document requisite teaching hours***

**If candidate does not apply for Phase III within three years of completing Phase II, the candidate will be required to audit Phase I or Phase II to ensure the Candidate is current with standards and best-practices.

***Instructor Level Candidates are required to document at least 100 teaching hours -- minimum of 75 hours must be in a therapeutic setting.  Master Level Candidates are required to document at least 300 teaching hours -- minimum of 200 hours must be in a therapeutic setting.


  • Application form
  • Self-appraisal form
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Verification of teaching hours
  • Two personal references (may not be family members)
  • Two professional references (may not be family members)
  • Application fee

Complete the application form and the self-appraisal form (if hand-written, please be sure it is legible). 

Make a copy of current program or personal insurance binder. 

Provide a list of teaching hours -- be sure to note whether hours are in a therapeutic setting. 

Request two personal references (may not be family members) - referee should place reference in a sealed envelope and sign their name on the seal. 

Request two professional references (may not be family members) - referee should place reference in a sealed envelope and sign their name on the seal.  Professional references should address teaching (therapeutic or otherwise), riding abilities, management style, etc. and the referee should include their qualifications.

Application fee is $250.**  Make checks payable to CECTH.

PLACE ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS AND APPLICATION FEE IN AN ENVELOPE AND SEND ENTIRE PACKAGE TO THE COUNCIL OFFICE.  DO NOT SEND APPLICATION COMPONENTS INDIVIDUALLY.

**In addition to the application fee, the Candidate will be required to supply the evaluators with travel expenses (example:  mileage X current IRS business rate, meals, housing as necessary), at the time of the Phase III.  Every effort will be made to assign Evaluators who are located as close to the Candidate as possible, but dates, days and times available will influence assignment of Evaluators.


Once the application package is received, the Candidate will be contacted by the Council office (please provide e-mail information).  Based upon information provided (days, dates, times) an Evaluation Team will be assigned.


On the scheduled day, the evaluators will:

  • Ensure the currency of the liability insurance
  • Review program forms (referrals, waivers, goals, lesson notes)
  • Review Candidate's lesson plan(s) for evaluation lesson(s)
  • Evaluate facilities (safety, accessibility, etc.)
  • Observe interaction with students prior to- and post- lesson
  • Observe and evaluate lesson(s) using standard rubric

The Evaluators will review one or two lessons, based upon disabilities.  The lesson(s) must include at least two riders. The Candidate must teach to both cognitive and physical disabilities.  If, appropriate (age, ability, goals) the Candidate may teach one lesson showing ability to teach both cognitive and physical disabilities.

Guidelines for Lesson(s) Evaluation

Following the evaluation:

  • Evaluators will meet and combine notes/scores
  • A comprehensive report will be written
  • Candidate will be notified of the outcome (report included)
  • If successful, PQInstructor certificate will be sent
  • If unsuccessful, options will be provided by the Council office