Assistance Dog Assessments

  •  6 assessments total.

  • 4 of the 6 assessments can be done online. 2 have to be done face to face.

  •  Each assessment level bronze to gold is made up of 3 parts - practical assessment, written assessment & self reflection.

  • Once you pass your foundation assesment you will get a Pawsitive Squad lead sleeve but cannot train your dog in places pet dogs are not allowed.

  • Once you pass your foundation, bronze and public access initial assessment you will recieve a Pawsitive Squad jacket and be able to begin public access training in places pet dogs are not usually allowed with permission from that business/ organisation.

  • Foundation to gold assessments cost £25 each.

  • Public access assessments cost £8.50 per hour for group assessments and £20 per hour for 1-2-1 assessments.



All Pawsitive Squad assistance dogs go through 6 assessments - levels foundation to gold plus an initial public access assessment and a full public access assessment. The 4 foundation to gold assessments can be done either fully online or  partly online and partly face to face.


How do we pass each level?

To pass each of the four levels foundation to gold assessments you must complete 3 things:

  1.  A practical assessment - this can be done face to face or via zoom group/ 1-2-1 session. We occasionally allow the practical assessment to be recorded by the family and emailed over however this is only possible if the both live versions are not suitable due to disability. 

  2. Written assessment in the virtual learning zone. This consists of 10 questions (except at gold level which is longer). The answers to the questions are all covered within the virtual learning module. The virtual learning modules are available as written information or audiobook. For customers who are unable to complete a written assessment this can be done as zoom question and answer session.

  3. Self-reflection of your dog’s level. This is a simple tick box survey. You are asked to tick off everything you feel your dog can reliably do as well as share any behavioural issues your dog has. 


For the two public access assessments the assessor has a list of behaviours they must see. You will be asked to do a series of exercises and the assessor will grade each from 1-5. As part of our public access assessments we also complete our canine anxiety & welfare profile which is a unique assessment tool we have created to assess your dog’s welfare and anxiety in relation to assistance dog work and training. If your dog demonstrates that they are unhappy or anxious working as an assistance dog you will not pass the assessment even if they perform the behaviours/tasks well enough. 


At what age can my dog do each assessment level?

Age is not the main indicator of whether a dog can do an assessment level. However as broad guidance:

  •  Foundation - age 10 weeks + (this assessment is about temperament and not training)

  •  Bronze - aged 16 weeks + (basic obedience assessment)

  •  Public access initial assessment - 20 weeks + (assessing that the dog is safe and has adequate basic obedience to start training in places dogs are not usually allowed in).

  • Silver - 6 months + with a minimum of 120 hours of training.

  • Gold - must be minimum of 10 months old with a minimum of 18 hours of training (must demonstrate reliable tasking, obedience and not display anxiety.)

  • Full public access assessments - must be a minimum of 12 months old. (must be able to demonstrate reliable tasking, obedience and public access skills in a variety of public settings).


How will I know if I’m ready for the next assessment?

Within the virtual learning zone modules, we outline what your dog needs to be able to do for each assessment. It is up to you to decide when you book into an assessment based on your own reflection of your dog’s level and abilities, however we are always here to advise you if you are unsure if your dog is ready. If you have attended regular zoom class but not applied for the assessment level, we feel your dog is at we will encourage you to do so. 


Once we pass our final public access and gold assessment what does this mean?

It means your dog is a fully qualified assistance dogs with reasonable adjustment rights to public access under the Equality Act, 2010. 


For an audio recording of this page please click the play button (triangle in a circle) in the media player grey rectangle.

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