At the 2018 FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, it has been decided that a Head of FEI Officials will be appointed, who will oversee FEI Officials and their career development, and who will deliver on recommendations of the Officials Working Group.
Since the Working Group on FEI Officials began its work 18 months ago, 13 recommendations for improvements to the appointment, education, and evaluation of FEI Officials have been developed.
Mark Samuel (CAN), FEI 2nd Vice President and Chair of the FEI Officials Working Group provided an update on progress at the FEI Sports Forum.
Samuel said: “The FEI will be appointing a Head of FEI Officials, based at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, who will be entirely responsible for FEI Officials’ education and development pathways. The FEI plans to extend the number of FEI Officials in FEI events across all disciplines as equestrian sport grows worldwide. We are therefore focusing on delivering more of our education material for our Officials on FEI Campus, the free e-learning gateway launched last year.”
FEI Campus is an FEI Solidarity project and is expected to become the virtual reference point for millions of equestrian fans globally, as well as for athletes and FEI Officials.
Soenke Lauterbach (GER), Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation and a member of the FEI Officials Working Group: “FEI Campus is a great on-line platform designed for FEI Officials with blended learning in mind. Language training has also been highlighted today as a key part of our international FEI Officials’ skills set. We urge FEI Officials to sign up for these subsidised courses offered on FEI Campus.”
Göran Akerström, FEI Veterinary Director: “The mentoring and evaluation of candidates for FEI Veterinarians is vital. We will be implementing systems for all of our disciplines into 2019.”
Panel: (Members of the FEI Officials Working Group)
- Mark Samuel (CAN), FEI 2nd Vice-President, Chair of Group IV and Chair of the FEI Officials Working Group.
- Soenke Lauterbach (GER), Secretary General, German Equestrian Federation
- Peter Bollen (BEL), President of the Association of Jumping Organisers (AJO)
- Frances Hesketh-Jones (ITA) FEI Jumping Course Director.
- Brigitte Mathias (NAM) Secretary General, the Namibian Equestrian Federation
The FEI Officials Working Group has also made a recommendation for the FEI Officials' Code of Conduct with rules and regulations about the FEI Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy and the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse.
Especially interesting is the second page which describes the "Conflict of Interest" issue:
I commit to avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is defined as any personal, professional or financial relationship, including relationships of family members that could influence or be perceived to influence objectivity when representing or conducting business or other dealings for or on behalf of the FEI.
I will maintain a neutral, independent and fair position towards Athletes, Owners, Trainers, Grooms, Organisers, other Officials and stakeholders. Financial and/or personal interests will never influence my officiating duties and I will spare no effort to avoid any such perception.
I will not engage in nationalistic judging. Activities that lead or may lead to a conflict of interest when officiating at an FEI Event include but are not limited to:
- Acting as a Chef d’Equipe or being responsible /co-responsible for selecting teams and/or individuals or training Athletes within a NF present at the Event, if the teams and/or individuals participate in a competition falling within the level and age group of the authority of the Official.
- Being the Owner/part-Owner of a Horse taking part in a competition that I am officiating at.
- Being in a situation of financial dependence or gaining financial profit from participating Owners, Athletes, Trainers or Organisers (excluding any payment(s) permitted under the FEI Rules and Regulations, such as per diems). The same rule applies with regard to National Federations or other organisations involved in the Event, if the dependence exceeds a regular employment. Employees of participating National Federations cannot act as President of the Ground Jury, President of the Appeal Committee, Chief Steward, Veterinary Delegates, or Course Designer at Official International Events, International Championships and Games.
- Having a close personal relationship with an Athlete competing in a competition that I am officiating at.
- Having recently treated a Horse competing in a Competition that I am officiating at.
On becoming aware of a potential Conflict of Interest I undertake to promptly notify the FEI HQ (or where the conflict only arises and/or is identified on-site, the President of the Ground Jury) of any of the above or other possible conflicts of interest or circumstances that may be perceived as such.
The document does add on its third page:
Conflicts must be avoided whenever practicable. However, conflicts may be linked to experience and expertise that is necessary to qualify Officials. The specific balance between conflict and expertise is regulated by the General Regulations and the relevant Sport Rules.
Read the full document of the FEI Officials' Code of Conduct here.
Photo © Lukasz Kowalski
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