ICP Certification Information

Thank you for your interest in the Instructors' Certification Program (ICP). Below is an outline of the program and the requirements you must complete prior to attending an assessment for ICP certification as an Instructor, Young Horse Instructor, and/or a Young Event Horse Professional Horse Trainer.

To obtain ICP certification through the Instructors’ Certification Program, you will need to:

  • Become an ICP registered candidate by completing the ICP candidate application form and paying the $75 registration fee, which includes the ICP Workbook and the ICP Standards Booklet.
  • Obtain a written sign-off from an experienced eventing professional for your participation at the ICP level you choose. The sign-off page is the last page of the ICP candidate application form.
  • Student verification: at the highest level at which you will be seeking certification, three of your current students, or students you have taught in the past, must complete and sign the ICP student verification form and return it via email, fax, or U.S. Post.
  • Provisional certification: If you do not have students at the ICP level at which you are seeking certification, please review the regular vs. provisional ICP certification page.
  • Provisional certification is available for instructors at Level I-Novice, Level I-Training, Level II, and Level III. Provisional certification is not available for instructors at Level IV.
  • Provisional certification was developed for instructors who may live in an area where there are very few eventers, or for instructors who are just starting out and have not developed their student roster.
  • Once you have three students competing at the highest level at which you are certified, submit their student verification forms and you will receive a regular ICP certificate.

To obtain ICP YEH Certification through the Instructors’ Certification Program, you will need to:

  • Become an ICP registered candidate by completing the ICP YEH candidate application form and paying the $75 registration fee, which includes the ICP Workbook and the ICP Standards Booklet.
  • Obtain a written sign-off from an experienced eventing professional for your participation at the ICP YEH certification you choose. The sign-off page is the last page of the ICP YEH candidate application forms.
  • If you are interested in the YEH Instructor certificate, you need to have three of your current and/or past amateur and/or professional student riders/trainers of young event horses (4-/5-year-olds) complete and sign the attached student verification form (please make copies for your own records). Return the forms via email, fax, or U.S. Post.
  • You must obtain the recommendation of an experienced eventing professional on your ICP YEH candidate application form.

The levels of ICP certification are:

  • Level I / Novice - Instructors of riders through Novice level riding/training/competing and horse care
  • Level I / Training - Instructors of riders through Training level riding/training/competing and horse care
  • Level II - Instructors of riders through Training Level Three-Day Event, Modified, CCI*, Preliminary, CCI2*-S, and CCI2*-L riding/training/competing and horse care
  • Level III - Instructors of riders through Intermediate, CCI3*-S, and CCI3*-L riding/training/competing and horse care
  • Level IV - Instructors of riders through Advanced, CCI4*-S, and CCI4*-L riding/training/competing and horse care
  • Young Event Horse Instructor - Instructors of amateur and/or professional riders riding/training/competing young event horses, including horse care
  • Young Event Horse Professional Horse Trainer - Professional trainers of young event horses, including riding/training/competing and horse care

For Certification at Levels I/II you:

  • Must attend a Teaching of Dressage Workshop
  • Must attend a Teaching of Jumping Workshop.
  • Cost of each Level I/II Workshop is $400. ($800 total to attend both workshops at Level I/II)
  • It is acceptable to attend one workshop and then the other at another time during the year (ideally the Teaching of Dressage Workshop before the Teaching of Jumping Workshop).
  • Candidate Instructors must contact the workshop host to obtain a registration form and schedule.
  • ICP workshops and assessments can be found at on the USEA website.

For Certification at Levels III/IV you:

  • Must attend a three-day Levels III/IV Workshop.
  • Cost of Level III/IV Workshop is $500.
  • Candidate instructors must contact the workshop host to obtain a registration form and schedule.
  • ICP workshops and assessments can be found at on the USEA website.

For Certification as an ICP YEH Instructor you:

  • Must attend a 3-day ICP YEH Workshop.
  • Cost of ICP YEH Workshop: $400. ($800 if you are seeking both YEH certifications)
  • Already ICP certified instructors pay a reduced fee for a second spot.
  • Candidate instructors must contact the workshop host to obtain a registration form and schedule.
  • ICP workshops and assessments can be found at on the USEA website.

Workshop Attendance:

  • You may attend workshops before you complete the ICP candidate application form and register as an ICP candidate instructor.
  • If you are not seeking ICP certification, you may attend any ICP workshop as an auditor at a cost of $50/day, payable to the workshop host. We have many workshop participants who attend workshops for the educational value they provide.
  • Auditing does not fulfill the workshop attendance requirements for ICP certification.

ICP YEH Workshop and Assessment:

ICP YEH Workshops are conducted over three days.

  • The first day focuses upon flat/dressage riding/training of young event horses.
  • The second day focuses upon show jump riding/training of young event horses.
  • The third day focuses upon cross-country riding/training of young event horses.
  • Candidates at all ICP workshops must instruct each day at the workshop. The one exception to that is the individual going for the YEH Professional Horse Trainer certificate, who must attend the YEH workshop and ride in that workshop each day but does not instruct at that workshop.
  • Candidates for the YEH Professional Horse Trainer certificate must ride twice each day at a YEH workshop, once for the ICP faculty person and once without instruction each afternoon, both times on a YEH. For the second ride each day, he or she rides a YEH in the way he or she determines that particular horse should be ridden in a developmentally positive way in that particular phase on that particular day. The trainer shares their thoughts during and after the ride with faculty and other workshop participants why and how he or she is choosing to do what on that horse. All horses instructed and ridden at YEH workshops are 4-/5-year-olds or green older horses.
  • Discussion will follow every candidate instructor's workshop teaching or, in the case of a YEH workshop, also the candidate professional horse trainer’s riding, i.e. discussion by the faculty person, the YEH candidate instructor or candidate professional horse trainer, and all the other candidates at that workshop. This post-teaching or post-riding discussion is part of the learning process for everyone at that workshop, including the ICP faculty member.
  • An individual seeking both YEH certificates (YEH Instructor and YEH Professional Horse Trainer) may participate in one YEH workshop in both roles. In that case, he or she would instruct at least once during each Workshop day and also ride twice each day, as described above.
  • Young Event Horses are defined as 4- and 5-year-olds, although green older horses may be included at YEH workshops.
  • After participating in the YEH workshop, a person wanting to earn both YEH certificates may go to just one assessment and sign up for two spots in it. He or she will teach each phase during that one-day assessment and ride a YEH in each phase during that same day. If desired by the candidate, he or she could be scheduled on two successive assessment days, rather than just one.
  • At an assessment, the YEH candidate professional horse trainer will also have to demonstrate to the assessors his or her own “YEH product” by either riding a YEH in one phase’s time-slot whom s/he is currently developing OR, if that candidate lives too far from the assessment site to trailer a YEH to it, producing for the assessors a 25-30 minute video of him or her riding that horse at home on the flat, over show jumping fences, and over cross-country fences, with gallop included. In the latter case, at an assessment, he or she would ride other candidate’s YEHs in all three event phases, not in just two phases.

Recommendations for being mentored:

  • At the end of a workshop you may receive recommendations from the ICP faculty to do some additional independent study before you are ready for assessment.
  • Mentoring may be completed with already certified event instructors or other qualified professionals.

Eligibility for Assessment for ICP Certification:

  • After attending the required workshop(s) for your ICP level or ICP YEH certification, you are eligible to register for an ICP assessment.
  • Complete the ICP assessment registration form and submit it with payment to Nancy Knight at the USEA office.
  • Please be advised that being registered for an assessment does not mean you will automatically be certified.
  • Assessments are one day in length and cost $500.

To be assessed you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a current USEA member

You must also provide the following:

If you have completed any of these requirements through the USEF, USPC, USDF or any other entity that requires them, you may submit confirmation of completion; you do not have to complete them again.

  • Proof of current CPR and First Aid Certification
  • Proof of current Liability Insurance
  • Proof of Safe Sport Training
  • Proof of Concussion Protocol Training
  • Signed Code of Conduct
  • Nationwide Criminal Background Check to be submitted prior to assessment and then again at the end of every 4-year continuing education cycle.

You may obtain your CPR and First Aid Certification online from any of the sites listed below:

You may obtain a Nationwide Criminal Background Check online from either of the sites listed below:

Safe Sport Training: https://safesport.org/

Below is information on how to fulfill the Safe Sport Training requirement. Please forward your completion certificate to [email protected].

  • Go to the USEF Website www.usef.org
  • Click on “My USEF” in the top right-hand corner of the home page
  • Look below the login prompts and click on “Create New Account”
  • Tick “I Don’t Know” when asked if you have an existing ID
  • Input your First and Last names in ID Search and hit return.
  • If you do have an existing USEF ID # you will be prompted to log in or create a login.
  • If you do not have an existing USEF ID # you will receive the following message: “No search results”. Select “No, I am new to USEF” - click on the button beside “No, I am new to USEF” above the login information on the same page. Continue creating a new ID #

Complete the Concussion Protocol Training module and send completion certificate to [email protected]:

Please download, sign, and return the ICP Professional Code of Conduct to [email protected]:

Insurance Binder

Submit a copy of the binder page of your liability insurance policy, which is the page that lists your name, the current effective dates, and the policy limits.

These items may be submitted after you have passed your assessment; however, you will not receive your official ICP certification until all the required paperwork is included in your permanent ICP file.

ICP Cindy Burge Grant for ICP Assessment for Certification:

  • Contact your Area Adult Rider Coordinator for information about the ICP Cindy Burge Grant, which may be used to pay for assessment.
  • Each Area has their own application, deadline, and guidelines for awarding the Grant.

ICP Continuing Education:

  • There is a continuing education section included in the ICP Workbook which outlines the specifics of that program.
  • Every ICP certified instructor, ICP YEH certified instructor, and/or ICP YEH professional horse trainer is expected to fulfill the continuing education credit requirements every four years.

Please contact Nancy Knight at [email protected] or Lauren Gash at [email protected] with any questions.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Riding Helmet of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA