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Supporting Skills in Assistance Dog Training 

An improved understanding of the benefits of assistance dogs has seen more people accessing them for a broader range of medical conditions.

Expanding assistance dogs into fields covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other health streams has also increased the demand for greater regulation and skilled delivery of assistance animal training.

Over the past year, the animal care and management industry has contributed to a national project to update and develop units of competency and skill sets for trainers of assistance dogs. 

As a result of consultation throughout the Trainers of Assistance Dog project, skill standards, comprising five units of competency and two skill sets, were updated. 

The newly developed skill standards will build the skills required to train assistance dogs for a broad range of purposes and to work with and instruct prospective handlers.

The new units have been included in Certificate IV Animal Behaviour and Training, and as a result of the project work, a specialisation in assistance dog training was created.

The updated skill standards will equip the animal care and management industry with the expertise to facilitate rewarding relationships between assistance animals and their handlers.

The new and updated units, skill sets and qualification are now published on the national training register (training.gov.au).

Read more about the Trainers of Assistance Dog project that updated and developed the units of competency

Skills Impact is a not-for-profit, industry-owned organisation that works across Australia to benchmark learning and skills standards for the industry. For more information www.skillsimpact.com.au