In 2016, the FEI created a Working Group on FEI Officials following feedback from the “Officials” sessions (Career Pathway, Education and Appointment & Remuneration) at the FEI Sports Forum earlier that year. Chaired by FEI 2nd Vice President Mark Samuel (CAN) and including representatives from various stakeholder communities as well as supported by the FEI Education Department, the new Working Group was tasked with developing proposals for the improvement and harmonisation of the management, education, and career progression of FEI Officials across all disciplines.
Fifteen Recommendations were brought forward in response to their remit to improve the quality of Officials, their education, opportunities and experiences, as well as the systems in place to manage Officials which in turn will ensure the smooth running of FEI events, and ultimately horse welfare.
Recommendation 3 of the Working Group specifically refers to the introduction of a competency-based evaluation system with the goal of replacing the age limit, which has now been developed by the FEI Education Department and is ready for implementation.
Note: The FEI Education Framework will continue to be developed alongside the FEI Competency-based Evaluation System in order to regulate and administer the status of FEI Officials. The on-the-job performance and the monitoring system will be implemented in the transfer up process which will be an essential part of the FEI Education Framework.
The aim of the FEI Competency-based Evaluation System is to ensure that FEI Officials fulfil all the requirements of their job description and are up-to-date with the current FEI Rules and Regulations, regardless of their age.
The intention of this evaluation system is to include all the different competencies required and assess them in the most objective manner; by discipline, by level, by function and by role, and on a regular basis.
The different competencies to be assessed at each level are:
- Knowledge of FEI Rules and Regulations
- Soft skills in order to interact effectively and harmoniously
- English language proficiency
- Physical fitness level required for the job
The objective is to test according to the level, with standardised and FEI approved assessments, carefully crafted by experts. The assessments will either be done online via the FEI Campus website and/or in-person.
The three main advantages of this new system are:
- Provide an opportunity for inactive as well as retired (above the age limit) Officials, to re-enter the system if they can comply/complete with the requirements.
- Provide the same universal, fair and transparent evaluation process to ensure a standardised level of competency.
- Provide a more effective process, which is less time consuming and less expensive for all Officials to comply with the requirements of the FEI education system.
The FEI CES assessment system works on a 3-year cycle. All FEI Officials will be required to take the online assessment in years 1 and 2, and attend an in-person maintenance course (including an assessment) in year 3. This new cycle effectively replaces the current refresher system and abolishes the age limit.
To ensure a smooth start, the FEI Competency-based Evaluation System will be introduced progressively in phases over the coming years.
In the first phase (2020), the knowledge of FEI Rules and Regulations will be evaluated, either through an online assessment, or through an in-person maintenance course with assessment. There will only be one assessment per discipline, except for Jumping which has three.
Additionally, each official will have to personally certify that they are “Fit-to-officiate” according to the requirements of the role as an Official.
In the first phase, top Officials will also be invited to undertake a separate English language proficiency assessment and will have one year to meet the required level.
The second phase, will see the development of assessments per level/per category for each discipline.
In the third phase, the soft skills evaluation will be added to the CES assessment for top Officials.
To start the process in 2020, the FEI have divided all Officials in two separate groups depending on their actual refresher status:
- Group A: Officials currently up-to-date with their refresher cycle will be invited to take the online assessment on FEI Campus from 16 December 2019 to 15 December 2020. Officials in Group A can continue to officiate in their current status until 31 March 2020. However, should they wish to officiate after 31 March 2020, they will need to have successfully completed the CES online assessment prior to officiating.
- Group B: Officials who have not done a refresher course since 31 December 2016, will have to take part in an in-person maintenance course with assessment before 15 December 2020 and can continue to officiate in their current status until that date. Officials in this group wishing to officiate after 15 December 2020 will need to have successfully completed the in-person maintenance CES and assessment prior to officiating.
On 16 December 2019, each FEI Official will receive an email with all the details about which group they belong to and next steps.
More About … the online assessment:
The online assessment can be taken from 16 December 2019 until 15 December 2020, and will be accessible on the FEI Campus website.
To login with FEI Campus and access the FEI CES, Officials will need to use their FEI ID and password. An automatic email will be sent to all Officials that do not have a password and they will have 14 days upon reception to answer the email and activate their online account.
The online assessment will feature a series of 50 questions related to Rules and Regulations of a given discipline as well as veterinary and legal topics. A passing grade of 80% is required to succeed and each participant will be entitled to 2 attempts. Each attempt will have a time limit of one hour (1:00) and cannot be interrupted or paused once started. Results will be given at the end of the evaluation.
Before taking the online assessment, each participant will have the opportunity to train with a mock exam and get used to the testing environment. The mock exam will consist of a series of 10 random questions taken from the same pool of questions as the final assessment. There is no time limit for the mock exam and it can be taken as many times as wished to prepare for the online assessment.
There are two scenarios/outcomes:
- If the Official successfully (80% or more) completes the first or second attempt, they are immediately notified and entitled to officiate for another year.
- If the Official fails the two attempts they will then be invited to attend an in-person maintenance course (see description below) with assessment. Please note that in this case, the Official will not be able to officiate until they have attended and successfully completed the in-person maintenance course and assessment.
More About … the in-person maintenance course with assessment:
In-person maintenance courses and assessments will take place throughout 2020 for Officials that have been requested to attend either due to their refresher status (Group B) or because they have failed the online assessment twice.
The in-person nature of the course means that Officials will have more time to ensure they master all aspects of their theoretical officiating role, before taking the assessment.
The assessment which forms part of the in-person maintenance course is the same format as the online assessment featuring a series of 50 questions related to Rules and Regulations of a given discipline as well as veterinary and legal topics. A passing grade of 80% is required to succeed and the Official will have only 1 attempt with a time limit of one hour (1:00) which cannot be interrupted or paused once started. Results will be given at the end of the evaluation.
Following the assessment, an interview with the course director will take place to discuss results and notify Officials of their status:
- If successful, the Official will be entitled to officiate for another year.
- If unsuccessful at the in-person assessment, the official will be transferred to the next lower level.