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Instructors' Certification Program

Instructors are essential to the training of riders and their horses for humane, safe, and skilled participation in the sport of eventing. Started in 2002, the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) educates all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. 

Sponsored By:


  • Identifies essential training principles for riders and horses, drawn from time-tested sources and from experience with today’s competition challenges;
  • Offers to instructors materials, workshops, and mentor opportunities that present these training principles in a developmental sequence;
  • Certifies instructors at a specific ICP Level of teaching knowledge and proficiency, inviting them to continue to learn – and to achieve a higher level of certification, if they so desire;
  • Supports enhancement of certified instructors’ knowledge and skill through ICP’s Continuing Education  Program requirements;
  • Provides an atmosphere of professional openness and support to all instructors so that on-going sharing and learning are facilitated.

To register with USEA’s Instructors’ Certification Program, ask questions, and/or obtain further information about ICP, contact Nancy Knight at (703-669-9997) or Sue Hershey at (412-963-6359), both located within the Eastern Time zone.

The ICP does not require a candidate instructor to enter the Instructors’ Certification Program at the lowest ICP Level. Rather, a candidate instructor determines which ICP Level best matches his/her highest level of teaching knowledge and skill based upon a self-evaluation of his/her own history of riding, competing, and learning/teaching.  Then he or she attends the appropriate Workshop(s), receives feedback on his/her teaching from the Workshop(s) faculty member, and confirms the ICP Level at which he/she wants to be assessed at an ICP Assessment.  

How to Become an ICP-Certified Instructor

1. Contact Nancy Knight for an ICP registration form.  Complete that form and return it to Nancy. Read the ICP Standards Booklet and the ICP Workbook  which you will receive once you register with ICP.  Also, before attending an ICP Workshop, begin your reading/reviewing of ICP required and recommended readings, which are listed in both the Standards Booklet and the Workbook.

2. Submit verifications of your instruction from three of the highest-competing students whom you are teaching and/or have taught.

3. Attend the required ICP Levels I/II Workshops Pair or the required Levels III/IV Workshop as a candidate instructor. Choose the level I/II or III/IV Workshops in accordance with the definition of ICP levels. Find Workshops on the ICP calendar page of this website; contact a Workshop host to enter a Workshop.

4. After attending the required Workshop(s) appropriate to your ICP Level, contact Nancy Knight to sign up for an ICP Assessment.

5. Prepare, attend, and pass your Assessment!

6. Once certified, complete the ICP Continuing Education Program requirements during each 4-year continuing education cycle for as many years as you wish to remain current with your ICP certification. To remain current as an ICP-certified instructor, you must remain a USEA member at any level of USEA membership; possess current professional liability insurance; possess a current CPR/first aid card; and be in the process of fulfilling ICP’s Continuing Education activities credits.

More Information

  1. ICP Levels Defined
  2. The Regular ICP Certificate and the Provisional ICP Certificate
  3. Segments of the Instructors’ Certification Program: ICP Workshops, ICP Assessments, and ICP Continuing Education

Order your ICP Standards Booklet | ICP Workbook

Click here for information on how to become an ICP YEH Instructor and/or ICP YEH Professional Horse Trainer

*Additional note: ICP Sponsor, Stable Secretary offers 50% off their Stable Secretary subscription to all USEA ICP instructors in their first subscription year, and 25% off their second year of subscription. 

USEA Official Corporate Sponsors