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Part of the mission of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is to establish standards for the assistance dog Industry – ensuring that dogs are treated humanely, clients are treated with respect and dignity, and training is delivered in a professional way at all times. Assistance Dog users trust their lives and safety to their dogs, so everything related to the training of both the dogs and people must meet extraordinary criteria.

Over many years, members of ADI have developed an accreditation manual and procedures to evaluate the quality standards of assistance dog programs. Areas evaluated include: safety and cleanliness of the training facility, fair and ethical treatment of clients, proper health care for the dogs, humane training methods for the dogs, criteria for screening suitability of both dogs and clients, criteria for matching dogs and clients, criteria for administration of all program operations and compliance with all legal regulations.

When a member program is ready for accreditation, a trained assessor spends several days at the training facility. The assessor interviews staff, clients, volunteers and applicants in addition to reviewing paperwork and files in order to make sure that all of ADI’s standards are being met. Currently approximately 100 ADI programs have been accredited (by ADI and/or by the International Guide Dog Federation). All programs are required to be re-accredited every 5 years in order to maintain their voting membership in ADI.

Members or Candidate programs that want to apply for accreditation 0r re-accreditation should review the accreditation documents linked below. The first step in the process is to complete and send the one-page application form along with the application fee. Once the application and fee have been processed, a representative of ADI will contact the program regarding the next steps in the accreditation process.

ADI organizations based in Europe should contact the European secretariat for their application.

Accreditation Survey Procedures (pdf)
Updated January, 2014

Accreditation Manual (pdf)
Updated January, 2014

Instructions for Accreditation Pre-packet Binders (pdf)
Updated January, 2014

Common Questions & Answers (pdf)
Updated January, 2014

Accreditation Application (pdf)
Updated January, 2014

Accreditation Annual Statement of Compliance (pdf)
March 2009