L.E.A.D.

Lifelong Education for Assistance Dog instructors

L.E.A.D.-Phase I

Many of the problems that exist in the assistance dog sector today can be directly attributed to the fact that there is no standardised, experience-oriented and recognized training path or certification.
People who decide to take up this important and complex profession are therefore forced to work without professional recognition.

Pfotenpiloten, together with experienced European partners, has spent 14 months evaluating possible ways to establish a curriculum and certification for future assistance dog trainers.
We are happy that we could win some of the best assistance dog schools in Europe for this purpose. Now the next step is to establish an independent non-profit organisation. It will be called L.E.A.D. This stands for “Lifelong Education for Assistance Dog Professionals”.

If everything goes according to plan, there will be a detailed teaching programme available online free of charge as early as 2023/24, as an Open Educational Resource (OER), as well as an independent and practice-based examination/certification.

A lack of educational opportunities and a lack of generally recognised qualifications in the assistance dog sector are a recurring cause of problems. If trainers (have to) improvise and do their work as lone fighters instead of being embedded in a supporting network of professional colleagues, this harms everyone – assistance dog owners, assistance dogs, supporters and, last but not least, the trainers themselves.
We are very happy to be able to initiate important changes here with L.E.A.D. and support from the EU.

**Pfotenpiloten does not train assistance dog teams and do not aim to build up a school for trainers themselves.

Many of the problems which exist in the assistance dog sector today stem from a lack of a praxis-oriented, recognizedd education and certification processes for trainer/instructors. Therefore, individuals who decide to start this important and complex career have no choice other than to work without professional accreditation. At the moment, Pfotenpiloten, along with experienced, reputable European partners, has, for over 14 months, been evaluating possible ways to establish a curriculum and certification for future assistance dog trainer/instructors. We are delighted that we were able to bring together some of the best assistance dog schools in Europe to take part in this process. Now the next step is to found an independent nonprofit organization. This organization will be called L.E.A.D  which stands for “Lifelong Education for Assistance Dog Professionals”.

If everything goes as planned, there will be a free, online, accessible curriculum in 2023/2024 as an Open Educational Resource (OER), as well as an independent, praxis-oriented exam and certification process.

Missing educational structures and recognized qualifications in the assistance dog sector continuously cause complications and problems. When trainer/instructors (have to) improvise and work as isolated individuals instead of within a broad, supportive network of professional colleagues, it harms everyone involved – assistance dog handlers, the assistance dogs, sponsors and, last but not least, the assistance dog trainer/instructors themselves.

Wir are delighted to support important changes in this respect together with L.E.A.D. and the support of the EU.

**Pfotenpiloten does not train or instruct assistance dog teams and does not aspire to develop a school for assistance dog trainer/instructors.**

Länder mit L.E.A.D.ern

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