Ofqual Regulated – Level 5 Diploma in the IFEEL Method of Equine Facilitated Human Development

Professional competency in the practice of the IFEEL Method EFHD involves attaining a level of proficiency in seven key disciplines, providing a powerful training modality that safely and professionally facilitates human learning, behaviour change and growth.

    1. Human psychology: the neuroscience and psychological principles behind human development.
    2. Clinical and wellbeing assessment protocols for formulation of relevant EFHD plan and evidence clients change process. (IFEEL collates qualified EFHD facilitator client data for research in order to prove efficacy of IFEEL Methodology).
    3. Facilitation skills and human change processes with focus on client’s safety, stabilisation, regulation and containment – key functions of successful sustainable human development and change.
    4. Group dynamics: managing intra and inter-personal relationships (and conflict) safely.
    5. Equine psychology, behaviour, ethology and welfare in ‘Equine Centred’ relational horsemanship skills.
    6. EFHD Activities: the tools, techniques and applications of working with horses as co-sentient partners for human development and change.
    7. Supervision, mentoring, assessment and mapping of Facilitator’s own personal and professional development and accountability.


Course format and length

This is a part time programme and it is taught through a combination of on-site modules and distance learning elements, typically delivered over an 8 month period. The modules are delivered via blocks of online and onsite training with the IFEEL Q faculty. Please see the schedule for your chosen intake to see the breakdown of online vs onsite.

Study method

Written assignments, a reading list, case studies, horsemanship theoretical and practical assignments, a supervised client session and a focus on practical skills work.


You can see the full faculty profiles on this page. All IFEEL faculty are experienced in EFHD and bring many different skills and knowledge to the courses, including traumatologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, autism specialists, business coaches and horsemanship instructors.

There is a high student to faculty ratio, typically at a 3:1 faculty member to student ratio, ensuring you get the 1:1 time you need.

In addition to this, one of the faculty becomes your dedicated mentor, who you have four 1:1 calls with during the course. You are also in a mentorship group with your mentor and at least 1 other student for tutorials and two group calls.

Professional competency in EFHD involves attaining a level of proficiency in seven key areas:

1. Understanding and applying human development frameworks:
The neuroscience and psychological principles behind human development

2. Understanding and applying facilitation frameworks:
Facilitation skills and human change processes with focus on client’s safety, stabilisation, regulation and containment – key functions of successful sustainable human development and change. Clinical and wellbeing assessment protocols for the formulation of relevant EFHD treatment plans and to evidence the clients change process. (IFEEL collates qualified EFHD facilitator client data for research in order to prove efficacy of IFEEL methodology).

3. Understanding equine psychology, behaviour, ethology and welfare:
Theoretical knowledge in order to improve equine ethical standards.

4. Relational horsemanship skills:
Relationship based skills and awareness.

5. Using EFHD activities:
The tools, techniques and applications of working with horses as co-sentient partners for human development and change.

6. Personal and professional development:
Supervision, mentoring, assessment and mapping of facilitator’s own personal and professional development and client ethical considerations and accountability.

7. Understanding mind-body awareness:
Increasing self-awareness for both clients and facilitators.

IFEEL Q is currently the only organisation to offer EFHD training courses that blends these seven key disciplines together into a powerful training modality that safely and professionally facilitates human growth and change.

Course educational accreditation

Ofqual and Crossfields

The Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in Equine Facilitated Equine Development is the first Ofqual regulated qualification in equine therapy in England in recognition of the high quality training we provide. Ofqual is the regulator of qualifications and examinations in England and this means that you can be confident of a high quality learning experience. (Find us on the Ofqual Register).

This course is quality assured by Crossfields Institute’s Quality Assurance Team and has an External Quality Assurer with Crossfields who is an independent person who manages the quality of the programme and visits us to monitor the quality of assessments, ensuring qualifications are delivered in line with regulatory requirements. In addition to our Internal Quality Assurer who is responsible for ensuring that consistent and reliable assessment decisions are made by the assessors and for monitoring the quality of the assessment process for all learners. This ensures that you can be confident in the quality of the programme.

This course is Level 5 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework, click here for more information on what that means.

Course professional accreditation

National Council of Psychotherapists (NCIP)

The Level 6 and 7 courses, which this Level 5 Diploma is the first part of, are professionally accredited with the NCP and are on the NCIP Approved Training Courses list. This mean the course has met all the requirements including a minimum number of classroom training hours, supervision during and after training, opportunities for group interaction, the chance for students to experience and practise the intervention taught on the course and the regulations regarding minimum number of core staff, complaints procedures, continual assessment, Code of Ethics, insurance and feedback systems therefore ensuring student welfare and graduate professional credibility.
Students are eligible to gain student membership once enrolled on the course and on graduating from the full level 6 or 7 diploma students can gain full professional membership and can work towards the advancing professional membership categories. The NCIP ensure that all their registered members have full insurance, supervision and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and agree to a code of ethics in regards to clients thus ensuring the highest standards for client welfare.

Standards for Assisted and Facilitated Equine Professionals (SAFE Professionals)

SAFE Professionals promotes Practitioner standards in regards to the quality of qualifications, levels of CPD, supervision, insurance and professional membership and the equine code of ethics, in order to promote the best standards in client care and equine welfare and wellbeing.

  • Become a professional EFHD Facilitator.
  • Gain the Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in Equine Facilitated Human Development (VRQ) certificate (Cert. EFHD).
  • Start a professional practice with insurance and professional membership.
  • Learn on a course which has professional and educational accreditation, which ensures a high quality learning experience.
  • Become a member of Standards for Assisted and Facilitated Equine Professionals (SAFE Professionals) (MSAFE) and have a SAFE Professionals website directory listing.
  • Become a student member of National Council of Psychotherapists (NCIP) on enrolment and work towards advancing membership grades.
  • Increase your earning potential through adding skills to your existing practice or by starting your own private practice.
  • Learn more about yourself and grow as a person.
  • Be on the forefront of this exciting and evolving field on the UKs only Ofqual regulated level 5 EFHD qualification.
  • Learn with a diverse, passionate and dedicated faculty.
  • Learn in a friendly and supportive environment from professional facilitators.
  • Make meaningful connections with your cohort and become part of a network of practicing professionals.
  • Gain a new level of equine understanding and relational horsemanship skills.
  • First step onto further learning on our more advanced courses and a career path to psychotherapeutic practice.
  • Complete a professional qualification which works around your other family, work and life commitments.

Our course attracts individuals from all a variety of different backgrounds , from mental health professionals, professional business coaches and consultants, equine professionals, health and well-being practitioners and those who wish to develop a professional practice in EFHD.

Our students travel from all over the world to attend, past students have come from Spain, Austria, South Africa, Lebanon, all over England, Wales and Scotland. The course format works well for those traveling from further afield due to the 5 days blocks with distance learning in-between. The minimum age to attend the course is 21, and we have had students whose ages range from anywhere between 23 to 72.

Each cohort has a limited number of places, with no more than 12 students attending. This gives more participation time for each individual and enables the course to be more responsive to the students’ needs.

There are no previous qualifications required to apply for this course. For full prerequisites, please click here.

For full details on how to apply, please click here.

Fast Track Courses

The Fast Track course is for those that have previously trained elsewhere and are looking to upgrade their existing training and gain an accredited and Ofqual regulated qualification. Please email directly to discuss your personal path – admin@ifeelmethod.com

We are now offering flexible, blended (online and onsite) training across the UK and Europe.
2023 prices are now in effect. Contact us today to book your place for the 2023 Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in the IFEEL Method of EFHD (RQF). Your place on the course is secure upon successful application and payment of the Deposit and Registration fee.

Level 5 – 2023

Diploma in Equine Facilitated Human Development: £8,450

Full Fee Payment Discount: The 5% discount is only available if paid in full 30 days prior to the commencement of the IFQ Training Qualification Programme that you have registered onto.

Early Bird Full Fee Payment Discount:
is only available if paid in full by the advertised offer date.


Please visit our Calendar of events to find out our complete listing of Taster Days, Workshops, CPD Days, Level 5 and Level 6 Diploma courses.

There are no entry requirements to join this course in terms of previous degrees and/or experience.  However, we do require prerequisite workshops to be undertaken to ensure that you are fully prepared to take on the year of training.

What prerequisite courses must I do?

In order to start the Facilitator Training, students must complete the prerequisite process which is the equivalent of 3 days. This can be done through attending workshops run by IFEEL QIFEEL Q Faculty members or SAFE Professionals Members, and can also include individual EFHD sessions with an IFEEL Q Faculty member. Please sign off your prerequisite workshop arrangements with us before booking external workshops so we can ensure it covers the material you need to be adequately prepared for the Facilitator Training programmes.

These prerequisites give the faculty a chance to meet and assess the student’s suitability for the course and to act as a personal development opportunity for the student before embarking on the training. Additionally, students draw on their prerequisite experience as part of their training studies.

To find out more about training, prospective students can join our Online Taster Days. Following that, you will be invited to have a 1-1 call with a senior Faculty member to check suitability of the courses, discuss specific needs and address any questions.

Please click here to register your interest.

What previous training, qualifications or certificates do I need to start the training?

Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in EFHD: No previous psychological or equine training qualification is required in order to become an IFEEL EFHD Facilitator.

Crossfields Institute Level 6 Diploma in EFPT: Completion of the Level 5 Certificate in EFHD or previous counselling/psychotherapy training in addition to 50 hours of supervised professional practice (in EFHD or counselling/psychotherapy).

Level 7 Diplomas: Completion of the Crossfields Institute Level 6 Diploma in EFPT.

What will be my scope of practice?

After the completing the Level 5 Diploma in EFHD, you will be able to work 1:1 with an individual using the IFEEL Method of Equine Facilitated Human Development (EFHD), a behaviour change process for human development, growth and learning. After completing this course, only clinically qualified practitioners can work with mental health clients and only trauma and PTSD qualified practitioners can work with trauma and PTSD clients.

After completing the Level 6 Diploma in EFPT you will be able to practice as a trauma informed facilitator in both a 1:1 and group setting.

After completing the Level 7 Advanced Diploma in EFPT, you will be able to work with more complex conditions, i.e.  PTSD, using a systematic evidence based approach.

For all courses, in order to work with specialist client groups you need to have specialist training, for example with young people.

For more details, please contact us to discuss.

Do I need to own horses to do the training?

All applicants must either own their own horse(s) or have routine access to a particular horse in order to practice with the horse throughout the training period and have at least three years or 2,000 hours of horse experience; these are essential requirements for the Level 5 and Level 6 programmes. This experience can include owning horses, riding lessons, participation in show circuits, instructing and/or training etc. We will consider applications from individuals who are fully committed to the training but who need additional support in their horsemanship.

Is the training right for me?

Due to the physical and psychologically demanding nature of EFHD, applicants must be physically fit, mentally and emotionally stable and exhibit a level of personal maturity. The programme is designed for people who have already started to move beyond a survival orientation to a creative, emotionally vital thriving lifestyle. People with a history of mental illness may want to consider whether this programme is appropriate for them. Those who have processed significant life challenges with professional therapeutic support are encouraged to apply. A reminder that this is a Level 5 course and independent study is a large part of the course.  We provide 150 hours of guided learning, with an expected total hours to complete the course of 400.

Do I need insurance?

During the course you will be required to gain student case study cover with an insurance company for professional indemnity insurance and public liability. This can be gained through Balens and IFEEL Q have a group policy with Balens. Once graduated, you can gain full practitioner insurance for practice. For the purpose of insurance only, IFEEL Qualifications Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Balens Limited, Bridge House, Portland Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 2TA.


For full information about fees, please click here.

If you are interested in training with IFEEL Qualifications then the application process is as follows:

  1. Contact us to arrange your free consultation.
  2. Complete the prerequisite workshop process.
  3. Complete an application form. Applications can be made after completing your first workshop, but students will not be fully accepted until all the prerequisites have been met and they have a formal letter of acceptance. A non-refundable application fee is payable on submission of your application to the course.
  4. Interview with IFEEL Faculty member. After the application form has been received, along with the application fee, prospective students may be invited for an interview with a member of the faculty. This is done either by Zoom or telephone. The purpose of the interview is for both the student and the faculty to ensure that the course is right for the student, that the student has the necessary information and support and to give both parties a clearer sense of whether the level of mutual commitment required by a programme such as this is a viable undertaking.
  5. Receive a letter of acceptance.
  6. Secure place with a deposit or full fee payment (discount for those that pay in advance). Once the deposit or fees have been received, the student is fully enrolled and will receive all their pre-study materials.


Professional Competency

Professional competency in the practice of the IFEEL Method EFHD involves attaining a level of proficiency in seven key disciplines, providing a powerful training modality that safely and professionally facilitates human learning, behaviour change and growth.

 Level 5 - Testimonial


For more testimonials about the courses and our faculty – See more.

Hand and Horse

Human Development

Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in the IFEEL Method of Equine Facilitated Human Development  Diploma certifies you as an IFEEL Method EFHD practitioner who can facilitate individuals.

Entry Requirements: No previous qualifications required.

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Take the first step to a fulfilling career.

IFEEL Qualifications Ltd. provides Qualifications and Programmes for those wishing to train to become a professional Equine Facilitator.
We offer a range of courses which cater for individuals from all backgrounds and also specific courses for qualified psychotherapists.
Please visit our Calendar to find out the current courses on offer, or contact us to discuss your individual career pathway.
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Accreditation & Regulation