For assistance dogs there have been two large umbrella organisations for many years:
- Assistance Dogs International (ADI)/Assistance Dogs Europe (ADEu)
- International Association of Assistance Dog Partners
Both are committed to setting standards in all areas of assistance dog training and assistance dog partnership. They also support the professional exchange of training organisations and educate the public about assistance dogs.
In both umbrella organisations many training centres of assistance dogs from all over the world are members. Training centres for assistance dogs must qualify for membership in both associations through a lengthy application process and prove that they meet the standards and quality in assistance dog training. All members are checked regularly and must provide information about all trained assistance dogs to their umbrella organisations. This ensures that the highest standards are maintained for each assistance dog trained there.
Together, ADI/ADEu and IADDP have already achieved a lot for the assistance dog industry in the last decades. They cooperate for different campaigns, especially to maintain quality standards in assistance dog training. Both umbrella organisations therefore see themselves as complementary and not as competitors. In the USA, the IAADP, Assistance Dogs International, Guide Dog Users Inc and Council of US Dog Guide Schools have joined forces in the CADO - Coalition of Assistance Dog Organizations to protect and advance the assistance dog industry. The Coalition was founded to form a united front, if necessary, to discuss problems with the government in the interest of assistance dog owners.
ADI/ADEu - clubs only
Only charitable or non-profit-making associations can apply for membership in the ADI/ADEu. Assistance dog schools or assistance dog trainers who work full-time or part-time in their own dog school may not become members of the ADI/ADEu. Member clubs of the ADI/ADEu are usually financed by donations.
For many years, the clubs within the ADI/ADEu only carried out external training. For a number of years now, the ADI/ADEu has also recognised self-training under certain strict conditions, provided that the clubs do not exclusively carry out such training.
Member clubs of ADI/ADEu undergo a review for membership and every five years thereafter, during which an ADI/ADEu auditor visits the club for a few days to ensure that the club is complying with all ADI/ADEu standards. During this accreditation process the examiner talks to staff, assistance dog owners, volunteers and club chairmen, checks files and documents, observes assistance dog owners and dogs in training and visits the training campus.
In the ADI/ADEu there are currently (as of 30.08.2019) 135 associations worldwide accredited members. 39 associations are currently in the status "candidate", i.e. in candidacy for an accredited membership.
IAADP - for clubs, assistance dog schools and assistance dog owners
The IAADP is an association of currently over 300 assistance dog organisations and several 1000 assistance dog owners on five continents.
Membership of the IAADP is open to both charitable/non-profit associations and commercial training assistance dog organisations. The IAADP accepts self- and external trainings from the beginning.
In addition, the IAADP is committed to representing the interests of assistance dog owners. Therefore, the IAADP has three different memberships:
Organisations that train assistance dogs can become "Provider Member".
These must apply for membership, which involves checking how they train assistance dogs and whether they meet the standards. As a member, they must comply with the standards of the IAADP, which includes that all assistance dogs they train must have received at least 6 months of public training from the member organisation.
In addition, every trained assistance dog must pass the IAADP "Public Access Test", which shows whether the dog behaves appropriately in public. IAADP member organisations must submit the Public Access Test and compliance videos for each assistance dog. In the IAADP, each individual assistance dog is thus constantly checked. No assistance dog is allowed to go into service without control of the umbrella organisation.
Assistance dog owners can become "Partner Member". Every assistance dog owner who has received an assistance dog from an organization or who has trained an assistance dog himself according to the required standards can become "Partner Member" in the IAADP. For this he must prove that his dog has been fully trained, where it was trained, what tasks the assistance dog performs and that it complies with the standards.
Assistance dog owners who become members can access the newsletter "Partners Forum" with global knowledge about the assistance dog movement, which was awarded by the "Dog Writers Association of America". In addition, there is the international hotline, for all questions concerning assistance dog problems. The IAADP members and the board represent the interests of the assistance dog movement in public. Members can participate in IAADP workshops and assistance dog owners in the USA receive additional benefits such as free veterinary treatment.
Assistance dog owners whose dog is currently still in training, sponsor families, veterinarians or anyone else who is interested in the assistance dog movement can become "Friend Members".
Our umbrella organisation
Our umbrella organisation is the IAADP. Since 2007 some of our founders were "Partner Members" of the IAADP and had close contact with the late IAADP Chairman Joan Froling. So it was clear for us that we also wanted to support the assistance dog movement with our organisation through an IAADP membership. We are a "Provider Member" of the IAADP, in order to be able to offer you the highest quality in assistance dog training and the security that an umbrella organisation still stands over us, which has only your best in mind. So you always know: The quality of every training of an assistance dog with us is also monitored by the umbrella organisation, which represents the interests of the assistance dog owners.
However, some of our founders have also worked in ADI/ADEu associations before they came to the German Assistance Dog Center T.A.R.S.Q., so that we have also absorbed the standards of the ADI/ADEu quasi with the mother's milk. All our assistance dog trainers learn from the beginning to work according to the standards of the ADI/ADEu and of course they also work according to all guidelines and standards of our umbrella organisation, the IAADP. This way you get the highest possible standards of assistance dog training.
Information for your partner membership in the IAADP
Help us to advance the assistance dog business and give your needs as an assistance dog owner a voice. As an assistance dog owner, you are very welcome to become a "Partner Member" of the IAADP.
The IAADP is a non-profit association founded in 1993 at the joint conference of the Delta Society and Assistance Dogs International.
The mission of the IAADP is
- to give assistance dog partners in the assistance dog industry a voice
- To provide an opportunity for assistance dog partners with guide dogs, signal dogs or other assistance dogs to work together on problems of common interest
- to promote the assistance dog-team relationship
Here you can see the minimum requirements your assistance dog should meet to become a partner member. If your dog has been trained by us, whether in self- or external training, he will meet all standards.
Registration as partner member
After your assistance dog team exam you can register as a partner member of the IAADP.
Here you can fill out the membership application online:
Please scroll down and then enter as partner member. Please enter our data at the training centre (only for those assistance dogs that have passed the assistance dog team examination in our examination committee), so that the member supervisor knows immediately that your assistance dog has been trained by us and has passed the examination. Then she can immediately assign your membership application, knows that your assistance dog complies with the standards and will usually not ask any further questions about your dog's tasks.
You will receive the exact dates and our ID as a training place at your assistance dog team examination. If you cannot find the card with the data, please contact your examiner.
As soon as you press the "submit" button (for submit), a payment page appears. There you can pay via PayPal or pay the annual membership fee with your credit card.
When you join the IAADP as an assistance dog team, you will receive a membership number, a membership card as an assistance dog partner and the "Partner Forum".
Especially for questions or problems on international travels you as a member can call on the help of the IAADP. Enclosed you will find the list of hotlines if you need help while travelling. We recommend that you take both the telephone number of your assistance dog trainer and the IAADP telephone numbers with you when you travel internationally and you have questions or problems regarding international access rights.
The IAADP helps families with a disabled relative, people with disabilities, assistance dog trainers, assistance dog organizations worldwide, new assistance dog programs, shops, students, medical staff, veterinarians,
Government officials, hospital staff, journalists, researchers and others with a personal or professional interest in the assistance dog industry. Although IAADP is not a law firm, they have a great deal of experience with the laws, regulations and court decisions, so they are happy to help with access issues on request. When calling, please do not forget the area code for the USA (001) and please note that communication with the IAADP is in English.
National Helpline (for problems in the USA)
Calls are answered by the:
International Helpline (for international travel)
Calls are answered by the:
Calls are answered by:
Here you will find further contact information about the IAADP, if you need it:
Please contact the IAADP in English.
Questions about membership
Change of address or name of the successor assistance dog
Assistance in the event of the death of the assistance dog