Exams and Certification

The AHCB Hippotherapy Certification Exam, an entry level examination, was first administered in 2014 after AHA and AHCB determined the need to develop an entry level test of competency to recognize those individuals who have met the eligibility requirements and basic educational standards of the profession.

The first Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist Exam was rolled out in 1999.  In 2006 the AHCB celebrated a new achievement when a therapist from British Columbia, Canada, became the first therapist outside the US to pass the exam.  In 2012 a therapist from Seoul, South Korea became the first therapist outside of North America to pass the exam thereby acknowledging AHCB’s attainment of worldwide recognition.

Update on the Coronavirus Outbreak

As the response to the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, AHCB realizes this has been a busy and stressful time for each of you, personally and professionally. Visit the Professional Testing Corporation website for updates on testing availability.

Due to guidelines regarding COVID-19 and social distancing, all candidates will be required to bring and wear a face mask or face covering while they are in a Prometric test center at all times or their exam will be terminated. Both medical masks or cloth face coverings are acceptable. Masks with exhale/one-way valves are prohibited to use at the test center, due to the lack of viral particle filtration provided by these masks. Mask with wearable technology are also prohibited. Any test taker that comes to the test center without a mask or with one of the prohibited masks described above will not be allowed to test, marked as a “no-show” and will not be eligible for a free reschedule.

PTC is committed to keeping candidates safe during their testing experience while also protecting the integrity of the exam. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions regarding the certification application please contact Professional Testing Corporation. Phone: 212.356.0660. www.ptcny.com

If you have questions regarding certification renewal, please contact:

HPCS: Jann Goodman, bldrmoun@aol.com
AHCB Certification: Linda Frease, lafrease@verizon.net
If you have any general questions, please contact Carol Huegel, hippopt@aol.com

Comparison of the Certifications in Hippotherapy

AHCB Hippotherapy Certified

Formal recognition of basic knowledge in the use of equine movement in therapy practice. May acknowledge themselves as “AHCB Hippotherapy Certified.”


Rationale

  • Promote personal & professional growth in the industry
  • Provides a measurable standard of knowledge for hippotherapy provides
  • Supports communication & justification with the public, third-party payers & other professionals

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be currently licensed or certified in the United States or the equivalent in other countries to practice as a therapist in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language pathology; or, practice as an assistant in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy.
  • At least 1 year of full-time (2,000 hours) experience in the practice of respective discipline.
  • Completed AHA Level I/Part I & Level II/Part II Equine Skills and Treatment Principles courses or equivalent graduate courses.
  • Minimum of 25 hours of 1:1 direct treatment in hippotherapy prior to the application deadline (not including treatment experience that is part of an educational course or mentoring process).
  • Experienced and comfortable working with horses and can ride safely and independently at the walk and trot.

Exam Length

150 multiple choice questions – 3 hours


Visit our AHCB Hippotherapy Certified exam page for current dates and fees.

Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist (HPCS®)

Formal recognition of advanced knowledge in the use of equine movement in therapy practice. May use “HPCS” in professional title to indicate advanced clinical certification.


Rationale

  • Offers a higher level of certification for those with more advanced experience and in-depth knowledge in the principles and application of hippotherapy
  • Specialty certification indicating expertise in hippotherapy
  • Same as AHCB Hippotherapy Certified

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be currently licensed or certified to practice as a therapist in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language pathology, in the United States or the equivalent in other countries.
  • At least 3 years of full-time (6,000 hours) experience in the practice of respective discipline.
  • Minimum of 100 hours for 1:1 direct treatment in hippotherapy practice in the 3 years prior to application deadline (not including treatment experience that is part of an educational course or mentoring process).
  • Experienced and comfortable working with horses. Independent and skilled riding ability.

Exam Length

250 multiple choice questions – 4 hours


Visit our Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist exam page for current dates and fees.