Organizations that produce, train and assess service dogs may apply to become an approved service dog organization. Applicants will be assessed based on the Alberta Training Standard, which is equivalent to the standards for Assistance Dogs International.
Types of service dog organizations
There are 3 categories of approved service dog organizations:
Organizations that raise, train and place service dogs that meet the requirements of the Service Dogs Act and Service Dogs Qualifications Regulations and provide ongoing client supports.
Organizations that provide advanced or upgraded public access training to service dogs that have been trained at a school not recognized by the Government of Alberta or whose training was owner-managed.
Organizations approved by government to conduct Service Dog Qualification Assessments (PDF, 212 KB).
All schools accredited by Assistance Dogs International, as well as candidate schools, are included on the Qualified List regardless of their location.
All other organizations must have:
- an Alberta Corporate Registration and conduct business in the Province of Alberta
- a minimum of $2,000,000 liability insurance
- standards and processes demonstrating positive reinforcement training/assessment techniques
Organizations must follow the Alberta Training Standard.
Placement on the Qualified List may be revoked at any time if an organization does not operate in a manner consistent with the Alberta Training Standard.
How to apply
Step 1. Contact the Service Dog Assessment Team
Contact the Service Dog Assessment Team to discuss your organization’s requested categories, readiness, the application process and the timelines involved.
Applications submitted without a phone interview will not be considered.
Step 2. Complete your application
If your organization is eligible to apply, you will be notified by the Service Dog Assessment Team, who will provide an application form and assessment documents to help prepare the application.
The application package includes:
- application form
- standards and ethics
- required documents chart
- qualification manual guidance notes
- on-site review procedures
- common questions and answers
- annual statement of compliance form
Step 3. Submit your application
Complete the application and supporting documents. Submit all documents via hard copy (in a binder) or digitally (on a flash drive) to our office.
Once the application and supporting document package has been received, it will be reviewed by the Service Dog Assessment Team. If they have any questions, they will contact you.
Step 4. Schedule an on-site review
The Service Dog Assessment Team will contact you to schedule an on-site review. Your staff and volunteers may be scheduled for interviews.
The Service Dog Assessment Team will review all aspects of your organization’s operations and will prepare an assessment report. They may provide recommendations to you and arrange a second evaluation before submitting the assessment report.
After you apply
The Service Dog Assessment Team will make a recommendation regarding placement on the Qualified List.
If your application is successful
If your application is approved, a Qualified List Agreement with government will be sent to you to sign. You will need to submit an Annual Statement of Compliance and proof of liability insurance.
If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is not approved, you will get a report detailing the areas on your application that need improvement.
If the improvements are made, you may then be recommended for placement on the Qualified List.
Funding may be available for approved organizations. See grants for service dog organizations.
Connect with the Service Dog Assessment Team:
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]
Government of Alberta, Guide and Service Dogs
Civil Society and Community Initiatives Branch
Seniors, Community and Social Services
4th Floor, 9920 108 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2M4
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