TCP Frequently Asked Questions

The USHJA Trainer Certification Program will undergo a restructuring period through 2020.  To learn more information or for answers to questions regarding current trainer status, open applications, or renewals, click here.

What are the fees to enroll in the Trainer Certification Program?

Program Fees:

  • The application fee for the current TCP program is $100 and includes a complimentary TCP Manual.  However, applications for the program are closed as of December 1, 2019 through the redevelopment period.  The application process for the new trainer education program will be announced during the 2020 competition year.
  • TCP Exam/Certification fee: $200

Educational Requirements:
Fees vary on the educational effort that the applicant chooses. Applicants must participate in one of the following educational efforts: 

  • Live TCP Clinic: Overall fee varies per TCP Clinic
  • Online Trainer Certification Course: $200 (includes a discounted annual membership of $99 to

May I purchase the manual without applying to the program?

Yes. Submit the TCP Manual Order Form to the USHJA office, along with the manual payment of $65. 
** The separate purchase of a TCP Manual will not reduce the price of the application fee if you apply to the program at a later time.

What is the general application process?

  • Attend a TCP Clinic or complete the Online Trainer Certification Course.
  • Submit the application, application fee and required documents to the USHJA office. USHJA will send a complimentary manual, which is your study guide for the exam. For information on the required document, click here.
  • Submit the completed application packet for approval.  Click here for a list of updated application submission deadlines.
  • Remit the $200 final exam fee once your application is approved.  The payment portal will be available through your online USHJA account.
  • An email with access to the final exam will be sent to the email address listed on your TCP profile once USHJA has received the program fee. You must pass the online exam with a score of 85% or higher by November 20, 2020
  • Certified Trainers: Passing the exam grants certification status and prompts the Certified trainer's profile to be posted on the website's Certified Trainers Directory. Newly certified trainers will need to build their online profile to be searchable within the directory.  Click here or instructions on how to build your online Trainer Certification Profile.
  • Provisional Trainers: Passing the exam grants Provisional status. A Provisional trainer  may submit a request to become a Certified trainer after working as a full-time professional trainer for at least three years.

What is a Provisional Trainer?

A Provisional Trainer is a trainer who has worked as a full-time professional hunter/jumper trainer for at least one year but who has not yet reached the required three full years for certification. A Provisional Trainer will have the opportunity to become a Certified Trainer after he has worked as a full-time professional trainer for at least three years.  To request a promotion to Certified Trainer, click here

Why does the USHJA require applicants to have full-time professional hunter/jumper experience?

The TCP program vaules the importance real, full-time experience. This means 40 hours per week working in the industry acting as a professional at a professionally-operated stable that takes pride in good practices and horsemanship. If the applicant only teaches on a part-time basis, he/she may nto be familiar wiht the most current industry standards. Certified trainers must have had exposure to what goes into all facets of being a professional horseman.

Can individuals from Canada apply to the program?

Yes, professionals who currently reside and train in the US or Canada may apply to the program, provided they meet all of the applicant requirements.

Will there be a "grandfathering" process for experienced professionals?

USHJA does not offer a grandfather exemption into the Trainer Certification Program.

If I am certified through another organization or certification program, will this automatically transfer to the USHJA program?

Each of the certification programs that are currently offered by the various organizations offer a wide variety of knowledge and require different experience levels in order to participate. Certification from another organization will not automatically provide you certification with USHJA.

Will trainers be required to have a specific level of certification in order to attend certain horse shows?

No. A trainer will not be required to be certified to attend a specific level of competition.

What is the format of the online exam?

Five sections comprise the exam with 30 questions in each section. The questions will be true/false, multiple choice and labeling. Applicants receive their score and receive their incorrect answers at the end of the exam.

Is there a maximum time allotted for taking the exam?

Applications submitted prior to December 1, 2019 will remain open through the 2020 competition year. Individuals with open applications must complete and pass the online exam by November 30, 2020 to achieve TCP certification.  Applicants may log into the exam two times.  Once logged in, there is no time limit for completing the exam.

May I retake the exam if I am unsuccessful in passing it?

If an individual is unsuccessful in passing the exam, he or she will have the opportunity to take the exam again within 30 days of the first attempt. If he or she is unsuccessful in the second attempt, he or she will not be certified.  Application into the new trainer education program would be permitted until 2021.

How do I maintain my certification?

Certification must be maintained and updated every five years.  Click here to view the Renewal requirements

How will a USEF suspension affect a member's Trainer Certification?

If an individual is suspended by the USEF, that individual's USHJA Trainer Certification or Provisional status will be suspended for the same time period. Upon completion of the USEF suspension period, the individual's USHJA Trainer Certification will be reinstated, absent good cause to the contrary. Reinstatement of the individual's USHJA Trainer Certification remains at the sole discretion of the USHJA.

What are the insurance requirements for certification?

USHJA requires that Certified Trainers be covered for their professional activities under a commercial/professional liability insurance policy. The official certificate of liability insurance must be requested from and issued by your insurance agent. The certificate must list your full name and coverage must include commercial general liability. The coverage must be in place and remain valid throughout the entire application and certification process. Click here for more information regarding  insurance requirements.