At this year’s FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday the 4th of April, the Session 1, 2, 3 & 4 were dedicated to many points connected with the Officials.

The conclusions outlined below were reached during the three FEI Sports Forum 2016 sessions dedicated to FEI Officials, i.e. Career Pathway, Education and Appointment & Remuneration. The FEI Secretary General presented the results of the debate during the Forum’s fourth session, as follows:

Session 1: Officials Career Pathway

 Horsemanship was a key requirement for any FEI Official.

 The criteria for promotion and status maintenance needed to be simplified.

 Only some criteria for promotion and status maintenance could be harmonised across all disciplines. Each discipline needed to have flexibility to accommodate specific requirements.

 It would be very important to evaluate the performance of FEI Officials on a regular basis. This however would not be possible without proper job descriptions which did not currently exist.

 The age limit could be dropped as soon as job descriptions had been developed and a regular evaluation process had been agreed upon.

 In case of ethical misbehaviour or of taking wrong decisions, an FEI Official should be sanctioned. This would however only be possible once clear reporting procedures had been put in place which was not currently the case.

 Older FEI Officials should be involved in mentoring systems to help younger FEI Officials grow and develop.

Session 2: Officials Education

 The FEI should take leadership on the organisation of FEI Courses including the evaluation of education needs per region, identification of proper venues, appointment of Course Directors and their remuneration.

 The FEI should establish an educational calendar, for example by the end of a year for the following year. This would help saving costs and provide planning security.

 The FEI should provide regular statistical updates on the balance between existing FEI Officials and officiating opportunities per region. The FEI Groups should be involved in this process.

 The costs for education (course fees, course director remuneration, average flight and hotel costs, etc.) could be reduced through e-learning within FEI Campus.

 The entry requirements for FEI Courses were considered to be adequate with the addition of horsemanship which was strongly supported.

Session 3: Officials Appointment & Remuneration

 The appointment by the FEI of Officials to all FEI Events did not appear realistic. It was however suggested that the FEI appoint key officials, e.g. Foreign Judge and Chief Steward, to all mid-to-higher level events.

Rotation of Officials was recommended for all FEI events especially when Officials would not be appointed by the FEI.

 The number of Officials per event and the criteria for their appointment should be reviewed.

 There was a debate whether there would be a conflict of interest if the FEI appointed Officials paid by the Event Organisers. It was therefore recommended to study the feasibility of appointment and remuneration being done by the same entity.

 The remuneration of FEI Officials should be reviewed taking into consideration factors such as the level of event and level of the FEI Officials or degree of responsibility.

 Creating a more professionalised layer of FEI Officials, especially at top level, should be studied.

 The command of the English language of some FEI Officials was insufficient and should be checked in a stricter way prior to FEI Courses.

 It was felt that the rules were sometimes too strict (“black & white”) and the resulting lack of flexibility in combination with lack of horsemanship and common sense lead to inadequate decisions.

The FEI Secretary General announced that she would propose to the FEI Bureau the creation of a working group that would evaluate the situation and come up with proposal to the FEI Bureau in due course.