Horse Education Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

During public consultation for the development of the 2017-2020 IRC Skills Forecast and proposed Schedule of Work, and during the recent Safety in Equine Training project it became apparent that there are no specific units that describe the work undertaken by horse trainers to educate horses (i.e. the process that a person undertakes to ensure a horse is educated so that it is able to be safely ridden for either racing or recreational purposes).

In addressing these skill needs, this project will identify and fill gaps in current qualifications, skill sets and units of competency from the ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package. Development of units that cover the work roles associated with the tasks of horse education will support a process for trainee horse educators to be taught the skills and knowledge in how to educate horses with the highest level of animal welfare standards, whilst also supporting the safety of the learners undertaking their training.

Also being reviewed and developed as part of this project are skills around horse branding and identification, and horse transport.

Skills Impact and the Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development. This project is being carried out at the same time as the Animal Incident Management Project.

 

 

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Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Forestry and Timber’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Project Plan

This project will identify and fill gaps in current qualifications, skill sets and units of competency from the ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package to address skill needs for educating horses.  A focus of the project will be to develop units of competency that provide recognisable training that fosters a safe environment for learners whilst ensuring the highest level of animal welfare standards for horses being educated.  

Also being reviewed and developed are skills around horse branding and identification, and horse transport. A key part of this project will be identifying the most suitable qualifications in which to include these units of competency and looking for opportunities to develop skill sets to encourage broad usage. 

This project is being carried out at the same time as Animal Incident Management Project.

Scroll down to view the units that will be developed to cover gaps in job roles and skilled activities around horse education, horse branding and identification, and horse transport.  

As part of the development process, Skills Impact will conduct a number of activities to support industry involvement, including engaging with Subject Matter Experts, facilitating face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars, and conducting site visits.  

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Relevant occupations
  • Horse educators (Breakers)
  • Horse trainers (for Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Recreational horses)
  • Stablehands
Key deliverables

Development of units of competency to support safe training when educating horses, identifying and branding horses, and transporting horses. These units will be added to existing qualification elective banks, and may also be used to develop a series of skill sets.   

 

Timeline

July – August 2018
Initial scoping

September 2018 – February 2019
Development of draft materials

February 2019
Drafts available for broad consultation

March – April 2019
Validation of final drafts

April – May 2019
Finalisation of Training Package components

April – May 2019
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

June 2019
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

 

Project Team
Lucinda O’BrienTraining Package Support Officer, Skills Impact, Lucinda@SkillsImpact.com.au
Diana McNaughtonNational Industry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact, diana@skillsimpact.com.au
Sue HamiltonIndustry Skills Standards Contractor

 

The Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, as part of their responsibility to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure the project meets industry stakeholder needs.

 

Skill sets and units

Below is a list of skill sets and units proposed for development, and the units that may be impacted by this project.

Skill sets that may be developed as part of this project include (but are not limited to):

  • ACMSSXXXX3 Horse education skill set 
  • ACMSSXXXX4 Horse Branding 
  • ACMSSXXXX5 Horse Transport 
  • ACMSSXXXX6 Horse Identification 

This project seeks to ensure that trainee horse educators are taught the skills and knowledge in how to educate horses with the highest level of animal welfare standards. The following skills and knowledge requirements have been identified, which may provide the basis of new units of competency.  

  • Apply Advance Horse behaviour and Equine learning theory  
  • Educate horse to be mounted  
  • Educate horse to be ridden 
  • Develop a horse education plan 
  • Educate a single standardbred horse to wear a harness 
  • Educate horse to long rein 
  • Educate non-horse equines (donkey and mules)  
  • Educate pack equines  
  • Reeducate equines to new environment or activity

The following units of competency may be impacted during this project. This impact may involve the units being included in new qualifications and skill sets or receiving minor updates to address skill gaps.  

 

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications, skill sets and units.

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Of course, all and any interested industry participants are encouraged to engage in the consultation of this project, when the draft qualifications, skill sets and units are available for feedback via this webpage and workshops that take place around Australia. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. This list simply helps us to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project.

 

Opportunities for stakeholder input:

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in February 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in March and April 2019. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the skill sets and units. It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would love your input and help. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link above. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Danni on 03 9321 3526 or dmcdonald@skillsimpact.com.au.

Development

Development work on this project is underway. In November, the team held workshops with stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify job roles and current gaps in training for safely educating, transporting and identifying horses. The information gathered from these workshops determined that a number of already exist that address some of the skills required in these areas. It is therefore proposed to review these existing units and strengthen the aspects around understanding horse behaviour, creating horse education plans selecting appropriate methodologies and client liaison. Areas that are not covered at all in existing units (including educating horses to be driven, and for pack work) are proposed for development.

A list of components proposed for review and development can be found below, with drafts available for review and comment in the New Year.

Click the ‘Project Plan’ menu above for more information about the project scope, timeline, deliverables and project contacts. This project is being carried out at the same time as Animal Incident Management Project.

Consultation Workshops – Registrations Open!

Thank you to those stakeholders that have been involved and provided feedback and advice so far. The revised draft skill sets and units will be made available on this webpage for public consideration and feedback from February 2019 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above). Face-to-face consultation workshops will also take place across states and territories, with a webinar planned for those unable to attend in person. Registrations for these workshops are now open. Please feel free to register for a workshop near you by clicking the corresponding link.

Face-to-face consultation workshops

Tues 5 Feb ‘19, 10am – 12pm AEDT – Hobart – register here

Thurs 7 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm ACST – Darwin – register here

Tues 12 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm AEST – Brisbane – register here

Thurs 14 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm AEDT – Canberra – register here

Tues 19 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm AWST – Perth – register here

Thurs 21 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm ACST – Adelaide – register here

Wed 27 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm AEST – Sydney – register here

Mon 4 March ’19, 10am – 12pm AEST – Melbourne – register here

Consultation webinar

Wed 13 Feb ’19, 10am – 12pm AEDT – Webinar – register here

 

*updated* Proposed units of competency and skill sets for development and review

Following input during workshops with subject matter experts, the following skill sets and units of competency are proposed for development and review. Drafts of these documents will be made available in February 2019.

Proposed new skill sets

*Note: new skill set titles to be confirmed

  • Educate horses for driving
  • Educate pack equines

Proposed new units
*Note: new unit titles to be confirmed

  • Educate horses to harness for driving
  • Educate equines for pack work
  • Apply large animal identification techniques

Units to review

  • ACMPHR401 Interpret equine behaviour
  • ACMPHR403 Evaluate equine training methodologies
  • ACMPHR408 Educate and train performance horses
  • ACMHBR301 Transport horses
  • ACMMIC401 Implant microchip in cats and dogs.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Drafts Available

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the additional changes made to four new units of competency. The documents were made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review from 7 – 21 March 2019. To view the draft documents, including comments that were made on them from people using the feedback hub, please click on the document links below.

They were revised based feedback that was received on the initial drafts, between 30 January – 4 March 2019.

This feedback suggested a separate unit on basic or beginning education (groundwork). Stakeholders noted that Elements 1 and 2 were almost identical in ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding, ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving and ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses and suggested extracting these elements to create a separate unit based on this content. This would provide greater flexibility for training in the industry, allowing (for example) horse studs and those not wanting to carry out the whole education process to train what is relevant to them. Stakeholders also indicated that the revised unit should be a prerequisite for the riding, driving and pack horse units.

Further Draft Units

The table below provides an overview of the key changes that have been made to units as a result of feedback from the national consultation workshops and the Skills Impact Feedback Hub. Please note minor wording edits/suggestions have not been listed below. Click here to download the Microsoft Word versions of the units.

Revised unit code & titlePrevious draft code & titleKey feedback / changeLink
ACMEQU4XX Educate a horse in initial basic handlingElements 1 and 2 from:

  • ACMEQU4X7 Educate a horse for riding
  • ACMEQU4X8 Educate a horse for driving
  • ACMEQU4X9 Educate a pack horse
Elements 1 and 2 in ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding, ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving and ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses used as basis for this unit and developed further based on consultation feedback.View unit
ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses to be riddenACMEQU4X7 Educate a horse for riding
  • Wording in title changed.
  • Elements 3 and 4 developed further and consultation feedback incorporated.
  • Feedback suggested adding prerequisite ACMEQU4XX Educate a horse in initial basic handling (new)
  • Other prerequisites to be considered:
    • ACMEQU206 Perform horse riding skills at walk, trot and canter *
    • ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely*
    • ACMEQU205 Apply knowledge of horse behaviour
View unit
ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses to be drivenACMEQU4X8 Educate a horse for driving
  • Wording in title changed
  • Elements 3 and 4 developed further and consultation feedback incorporated.
  • Feedback suggested adding prerequisite ACMEQU4XX Educate a horse in initial basic handling (new)
  • Other prerequisites to be considered
    • RGRPSH203 Perform basic driving tasks*
    • RGRPSH201 Handle racehorses in stables and at trackwork – this is the only driving unit available
View unit
ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horsesACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses
  • Elements 3 and 4 developed further and consultation feedback incorporated.
  • Feedback suggested adding prerequisite ACMEQU4XX Educate a horse in initial basic handling (new)
  • Other prerequisites to be considered
    • ACMEQU206 Perform horse riding skills at walk, trot and canter *
    • ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely*
    •  ACMEQU205 Apply knowledge of horse behaviour
View unit

*Note about prerequisites:

  • Chains of prerequisites can create barriers for learners and delivery issues.
  • Government policy is to minimise prerequisites where possible.

 

Initial Drafts

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft units of competency and skill sets addressing educating horses. The drafts were made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review from 30 January – 4 March 2019. To view the draft documents, including comments that were made on them from people using the feedback hub, please click on the expandable document menus below.

Industry input was sought to determine whether the draft documents accurately reflect the skills required to educate horses, taking in to account the safety and welfare the horses, and people.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which will be available for industry validation in March 2019.

Summary of consultation to date

Feedback on the draft documents was collected via the online feedback hub, face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars throughout February and early March. Face to face meetings and webinars were held with subject matter experts in November and December to identify who the key audience would be for the skills being addressed in these draft materials, and how to address the various level of skills required. Ongoing targeted consultation with subject matter experts has been undertaken throughout the development of the draft materials to assist with industry-specific language and content requirements.

These new units have been developed to address gaps in skills required to safely educate horses for different purposes. One new unit has been developed specifically for skills around horse identification. The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Draft unitWhat the unit is aboutLink
ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding
This unit has been revised and is available for further feedback above
Horse starting or beginning education, and to further develop skills for riding for intended purpose or discipline. (Note: also suitable for other domestic equines)View unit
ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving
This unit has been revised and is available for further feedback above
Educating horses in foundation skills and further development of driving skills for an intended purpose. (Note: also suitable for other domestic equines)View unit
ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses
This unit has been revised and is available for further feedback above
Educating horses to carry loads and work with other horses over different terrains and for varying purposes. (Note: also suitable for other domestic equines)View unit
ACMEQUXXX Apply horse identification techniquesAccurately identifying horses using a range of methods including horse physical features, permanent and temporary forms of identification and industry sources of information on horse identification. (Note: also suitable for other large animals/livestock).View unit

These units have had minor updates to make them flexible enough to cover incidents involving large animals. One microchipping unit has been reviewed to strengthen performance evidence requirements. The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Draft unitWhat the unit is aboutWhat has changed in the unitLink
ACMPHR401 Interpret equine behaviourDeveloped for independent individuals or managers working with horses, this unit is about interpreting and applying knowledge of equine ethology, cognition and learning to ensure that the behavioural needs and welfare of horses are met while maintaining a safe working environment.Minor changes to Performance Criteria and Assessment Requirements for clarity and consistency of terminology. Animal welfare strengthened.View unit
ACMPHR403 Evaluate methodologies and develop equine education and training programsDeveloped for individuals who have responsibility for overseeing or implementing education and training programs for horses, this unit is about reviewing, evaluating and selecting specific equine education and training methodologies and techniques to achieve stated objectives within welfare, workplace and safety requirements.Proposed change to title (was previously Evaluate equine training methodologies). Proposed prerequisite unit added.

Minor changes made throughout unit for clarity.

View unit
ACMHBR301 Transport horsesSafely and efficiently transporting horses to a destination.Minor changes to strengthen animal welfare and safety. Revised Performance Evidence to reduce duplication with Performance Criteria. Additional points added to Knowledge Evidence.View unit
ACMMIC401 Implant microchip in cats and dogsAseptically performing microchip implantation procedures on cats and dogs, with minimum discomfort to the animal, for identification and traceability purposes.Changes to Performance Criteria for clarity. Performance Evidence requirements strengthened.View unit

These skill sets address targeted skills areas in responding to incidents involving large animals, and provide pathways to a number of ACM Animal Care and Management qualifications. The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Draft skill setWhat the skill set is aboutLink
ACMSSXXXX1 Horse Education for RidingEducating horses for riding, including equine behaviour and equine learning theory and methodologies, and the application of these methodologies, to horse starting education and the development of skills for an intended riding discipline or purpose.View skill set
ACMSSXXXX2 Horse Education for DrivingEducating horses for driving, including relating equine behaviour and equine learning theory and methodologies, and the application of these, to horse starting (beginning) education and the development of skills intended for driving discipline or purpose.View skill set

The following skill set is currently being developed for the RGR Racing and Breeding Training Package as part of the Retraining Horses & Greyhounds to New Environments Project. This skill set has also been listed here for review due to cross-over of content between the two training packages. The draft document can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

RGRSSXXXXX5 Horse Re-education and Transitioning Skill SetView unit

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Validation

Thank you to those who participated in the validation process for the final draft units of competency and skill sets for educating horses. The final drafts were available on this webpage for feedback and comment from 25 March – 7 April 2019.

The units and skill sets have been revised to include greater flexibility for training in the industry. Skills and knowledge requirements for animal welfare have been improved, as well as the skills learners are required to develop to safely handle horses. The final draft units and qualifications that were available for industry validation are listed below.

The final drafts will shortly progress through to the Finalisation stage of the project which includes quality assurance of the documents and review and feedback from the State/Territory Training Authorities. They will then be forwarded to the Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Validation means checking and confirming that the documents are logical and factually accurate.

Summary of consultation

Prior to the Validation period, the draft units and skill sets were available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review, from 30 January – 4 March 2019, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage menu above. Further feedback was sort from 7 March – 21 March 2019 for ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding, ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving and ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses along with new unit ACMEQU4XX Educate a horse in initial basic handling, all of which were developed as a result of feedback received during February – March 2019. During the Drafts Available phases, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, at national face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars, and via phone calls and emails. The units were drafted with guidance from Subject Matter Experts, made up of workplace experts and industry. A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below.

Download Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions

Microchipping Cats and Dogs

One unit relating to the microchipping of cats and dogs has been reviewed alongside this project. It can be found under the “Revised Units” expandable menu below. Thank you to those that provided feedback on this unit.

 

Industry consultation and feedback has determined synergies between this project, the Retraining Horses & Greyhounds to New Environments Project and the Horse Breeding Skills Project. Anybody involved in the education of horses are encouraged to also review these projects, in particular the new units developed for transitioning and re-homing and the breeding qualifications.

Feedback suggested a separate unit on basic or beginning education (groundwork). Stakeholders noted that Elements 1 and 2 were almost identical in ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding, ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving and ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses and suggested extracting these elements to create a separate unit based on this content. This would provide greater flexibility for training in the industry, allowing (for example) horse studs and those not wanting to carry out the whole education process to train what is relevant to them. Stakeholders also indicated that the revised unit should be a prerequisite for the riding, driving and pack horse units.

Unit code and nameChanges made to previous draftLink
ACMEQU4XX Educate horses in initial basic handlingNew unit developed after initial consultation based on elements 1 and 2 of ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses for riding, ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses for driving and ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horses. Minor changes to Performance Criteria, Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence for clarity.Download final draft unit
ACMEQU4X7 Educate horses to be riddenMinor changes to Application, Performance Criteria and Performance EvidenceDownload final draft unit
ACMEQU4X8 Educate horses to be drivenMinor changes to Performance Criteria, Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence for clarity.Download final draft unit
ACMEQU4X9 Educate pack horsesMinor changes to Performance Criteria, Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence for clarity.Download final draft unit
ACMEQUXXX Apply horse identification techniquesMinor changes expanding unit application.Download final draft unit

 

These units have had minor updates to strengthen animal welfare skills.

Draft unitChanges made to previous draftLink
ACMPHR401 Interpret equine behaviourMinor changes to Performance Criteria and Assessment Requirements for clarity and consistency of terminology. Animal welfare strengthened.Download final draft unit
ACMPHR4XX Evaluate methodologies and develop equine education programProposed change to title (formerly ACMPHR403 Evaluate equine training methodologies). Proposed prerequisite unit added. Minor changes made throughout unit for clarity.Download final draft unit
ACMEQU3XX Transport horsesProposed change of sector from Performance Horse to Equine, title formerly ACMHBR301 Transport horses. Minor changes to strengthen animal welfare and safety in performance criteria. Revised performance evidence to reduce duplication of Performance Criteria and additional points to knowledge evidence.Download final draft unit
ACMMIC401 Implant microchip in cats and dogsChanges to Performance Criteria for clarity. Performance Evidence requirements strengthened.Download final draft unit

 

These skill sets address targeted skills areas in responding to incidents involving large animals, and provide pathways to a number of ACM Animal Care and Management qualifications.

Draft skill setChanges made to previous draftLink
ACMSSXXXX1 Horse Education for RidingThis skill set reflects the work required to educate a horse for riding. Additional units of competency including prerequisites added to strengthen safety.Download final draft skill set
ACMSSXXXX2 Horse Education for DrivingThis skill set reflects the work required to educate a horse for driving. Additional units of competency including prerequisites added to strengthen safety.Download final draft skill set

 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Finalisation

Horse Educators are experts in horse communication, they understand horse psychology and body language to build trust and achieve partnership. Horses are capable of amazing things, but before a horse can to learn to race, jump, show or participate in dressage, it needs to be educated to wear riding equipment and learn to be ridden.

Horse educators may work in a breeding stud or work independently, supporting a variety of industries where horses are used. Situations with horses can be dangerous and safety is of utmost importance. Horse educators need to be equipped to handle a range of situations when educating a horse. They also need to have high level riding and/or driving skills.

National skills standards for Horse Educators have been developed as part of this project, which involved extensive industry consultation over a 10 month period. They were approved by the Animal Care and Management Reference Committee (IRC) and endorsed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), at their meeting on 13 August 2019 (see here).

The new and revised units of competency are published on the training.gov.au website, within the ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package. They are available for use by registered training organisations (RTOs). RTOs can find information to help them adopt to the new changes in the Companion Volume, which provides additional information about the impacts of regulation and licensing implications and workplace health and safety on their training.

Key outcomes

Five new and three revised units of competency have been developed for the various skills for educating horses, from basic handling skills, to Interpreting equine behaviour, transporting horses and educating horses to be ridden and driven.

Microchipping Cats and Dogs

One unit relating to the microchipping of cats and dogs has been reviewed alongside this project. The review addressed how learners would aseptically perform microchip implantation procedures to correct standards, for identification and traceability purposes.

Summary of consultation

The units and skill sets were drafted in consultation with a Subject Matter Expert Working Group. Feedback was received from the broader industry via 10 public consultation events, including face-to-face workshops, a webinar and two different stages when the draft documents were made available on the website for comment – as part of the ‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’ stages. Input was received from 43 stakeholders.

The ‘Finalisation’ stage includes the development and publishing of a validation summary for each project. A summary of feedback and how it has been considered and applied at each stage can be downloaded below.

Please find below links to the final documents, that are published on the training.gov.au website.

Click here to download the Case for Endorsement