Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

For trainers

Trainers who want to certify guide, hearing and assistance dogs must be approved under the legislation. Trainers employed at approved training institutions can be approved by that institution.

The institutions that are currently approved under the Act are:

  • Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Association for the Blind of Western Australia
  • Association of Australian Assistance Dogs (NQ) Inc
  • Canine Helpers for the Disabled Inc.
  • Guide Dogs Queensland
  • Guide Dogs Victoria
  • Guide Dog Associations of SA and NT Inc
  • Lions Hearing Dogs Incorporated
  • Royal Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Tasmania (Guide Dogs Tasmania)
  • Seeing Eye Dogs Australia
  • Service Dog Training - Hans van Heesbeen, Director
  • Smart Pups Assistance Dogs for Special Needs Children Inc

Trainers currently approved under the Act are:

  • Anthea Holmes
  • Carmel Kaczmar
  • Craig Murray
  • Tracey Murray

Approved trainers, employee trainers and puppy carers must carry an identification card to comply with the regulation. They must also ensure the certified dog is wearing the appropriate badge on a coat or harness.

Suitability for approval as a trainer

A person is suitable for approval if they are able to:

  • train reliable guide, hearing or assistance dogs that are:
    • able to perform identifiable physical tasks and behaviours for the benefit of a person with a disability
    • safe and effective in public places and public passenger vehicles; and
  • select dogs that are able to meet the individual needs of a person with a disability; and
  • provide ongoing and regular support to the handlers of the trained guide, hearing or assistance dogs.

To apply for approval as an individual trainer or training institution, please complete the following forms and return to the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Initiative:

Certification of guide, hearing and assistance dogs

A trained dog must pass a public access test to be certified. An approved trainer or training institution can only certify a dog for a person with a disability if the dog:

  • is able to be used as an aid by a person with a disability for which the dog has been trained
  • has passed a public access test conducted by the approved trainer or approved training institution within 7 days before being certified
  • is not a restricted breed defined under the Local Government Act 1993
  • is desexed and vaccinated
  • has not been declared a dangerous dog under a local law.

Once a dog has passed the public access test and meets the other eligibility requirements set out under the Act, the approved trainer or training organisation can certify the dog. 

For more information about the obligations of an approved trainer, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Public Access Test (PAT)

A significant component of certifying a guide, hearing or assistance dog under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (the Act) is the successful completion of a Public Access Test (PAT) form (PDF, 293 KB) Public Access Test (PAT) form (RTF, 18 KB).

The PAT establishes a minimum standard for guide, hearing and assistance dogs certified under this legislation.

The PAT aims to ensure that the objectives of the Act are fulfilled and is designed to assess if a guide, hearing or assistance dog is:

  • safe and effective in a public place or public passenger vehicle; and
  • able to be controlled by the handler of the dog.

The PAT can only be conducted by an approved trainer or an employee trainer of an approved training institution approved under the Act.

In order for a prospective handler to be issued with a Handler Identity Card, their dog must pass a PAT within seven (7) days of the dog being certified.