For trainers

Trainers and employee trainers of training institutions who want to certify guide, hearing and assistance dogs must be approved under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (the Act).

The training institutions, contacts and locations, currently approved under the Act are:

The trainers currently approved under the Act are:

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

Suitability for approval as a trainer/training institution

The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (the Act) sets out clear criteria on whether a person or entity is suitable for approval as an approved trainer or training institution.

A trainer will be assessed by experienced technical assessors as suitable for approval if they are able to:

  • train reliable guide, hearing or assistance dogs that are:
    1. able to perform identifiable physical tasks and behaviours for the benefit of a person with a disability; and
    2. safe and effective in public places, public passenger vehicles, or places of accommodation;
  • select dogs that are able to meet the individual needs of a person with a disability;
  • provide ongoing and regular support to the handlers of trained guide, hearing or assistance dogs;
  • demonstrate recognised qualifications/experience in dog training and disability studies;
  • show membership of recognised guide hearing or assistance dog industry body e.g. International Guide Dog Federation, Assistance Dogs International;
  • maintain sound record keeping procedures;
  • maintain policies and procedures for confidentiality, privacy and complaints; and
  • return positive history screening results to demonstrate they are safe to work with people with disability.

To apply for approval as a trainer, or employee trainer of a training institution, the following forms need to be completed and returned to the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs inbox ghad@communities.qld.gov.au.

Public Access Test

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. Refer to Public Access Test, Certification and Handler Identity Card form (PDF, 448 KB) Public Access Test, Certification and Handler Identity Card form (RTF, 426 KB).

The Public Access Test establishes a minimum standard for guide, hearing and assistance dogs to be certified under the Act.

The Public Access Test aims to meet the objectives of the Act and is designed to assess if a guide, hearing or assistance dog is:

  • safe and effective in a public place, public passenger vehicle, or place of accommodation; and
  • able to be controlled by –
    •  the primary handler of the dog; or
    •  the primary handler of the dog with support of an alternative handler.

The Public Access Test can only be conducted by a trainer, or an employee trainer of a training institution approved under the Act.

In order for a prospective handler to be issued with a handler’s identity card, their dog must pass a Public Access Test within seven days of the dog being certified.

Certification of guide, hearing and assistance dogs

It is a requirement under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 that a dog be certified by an approved trainer or training institution before a handler’s identity card can be issued by the approved trainer or training institution.

Certification means each dog must pass the following criteria:

  • is able to perform identifiable physical tasks or behaviours to assist the person in a way that reduces their need for support
  • has passed the Public Access Test conducted by the approved trainer or training institution within seven days before being certified
  • is not a restricted dog as defined under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 (PDF)
  • 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 institution can certify the dog.

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

Is your feedbackThis field is required

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.