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‘Public interest test’ for Accredited Registers provisionally met by Athena Herd

We have published our report on Athena Herd CIC’s application for a preliminary assessment against Standard One of our Standards for Accredited Registers. Also known as ‘the public interest test’, Standard One checks whether the benefits of activities of the roles registered are likely to outweigh the risks. 

We offer an initial assessment against Standard One to check whether a Register falls within the scope of the Accredited Register programme, ahead of a submitting a full application.  

Athena Herd holds a register of roles working in ‘Equine Facilitated Learning’. Its registrants combine working with horses with other therapies such as counselling to help promote self-awareness and wellbeing. This includes work within the community and vulnerable groups. 

We found that overall, the public interest test is provisionally met although we recommended some areas to consider before a full application for accreditation. You can read our full report here


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at
  8. More information about Athena Herd is available at
  9. More information about how we assess Standard One for Accredited Registers is available here.