To maintain the current legislative arrangements with no amendments for the certification process for guide, hearing or assistance dogs, with practice improvements to be implemented for the Public Access Test.
The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 requires all dogs to pass a Public Access Test before they can be certified to access public places, public passenger vehicles and places of accommodation. The test sets out the minimum standards for approved trainers or training institutions for training guide, hearing or assistance dogs to ensure they can safely and effectively access places, and the handler can control the dog.
The test has three main areas and elements are assessed as pass or fail:
In addition to these mandatory requirements, some approved training institutions also ensure regular reviews and retesting of dogs. Many approved training institutions also comply with recognised national or international guides. No other state or territory legislates minimum training standards for dogs, and benchmarking is generally a matter of self-regulation.
Similar to recommendation 1, this approach allows government to have a regulatory role in setting standards for approved trainers and training institutions without creating additional and unnecessary regulatory burden.
However, given the Public Access Test is integral to the certification process, it is proposed to work with key stakeholders to improve the workability of the current test to strengthen its effectiveness and usability to:
Access a copy of the current Public Access Test.