The Gold Standard of Assistance Animals

Join the Working Animals Federation of Australia and gain a competitive edge with our accreditation program. Prove your quality and credibility with Assistance Animals through our globally recognised standards.

The Working Animals Federation of Australia (WAFA) offers optional accreditations that can be pursued instead of, or in addition to, recognitions from Assistance Dogs International (ADI), International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), or state/territory government recognition (currently available in SA, WA, ACT, and QLD only).

Choosing WAFA accreditation comes with unique benefits that set us apart from other options:

  1. Comprehensive Theoretical Knowledge: Our accreditation process includes comprehensive theoretical education. This covers important topics such as zoonotic diseases and Australian legislation, providing a depth of knowledge that may not be covered in other programs like ADI.

  2. Marketing Advantage: As a WAFA accredited member, you gain the right to use our post-nominals and logos. This can significantly enhance your marketing efforts, providing visible proof of your commitment to quality and professionalism.

  3. Assessment under Australian Government ASQA Qualifications: Our accreditation process aligns with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) qualifications. This ensures that our members meet nationally recognised standards of competency and quality.

Choose WAFA accreditation to enhance your skills, credibility, and marketability in the industry.

Our Working Animals Federation of Australia (WAFA) Credential is a professional certification that verifies that you are dedicated to upholding strong principles of ethical behaviour whilst showing your clients or peers that you are committed to the assistance animal industry and to developing yourself as a professional.

Earn Your Accreditation with Working Animals Federation of Australia: A Pathway to Quality and Trust

Join the Working Animals Federation of Australia’s (WAFA) esteemed accreditation program for a one-time fee and embark on a journey towards excellence. Our accreditation process is not just a badge of honour, but a testament to your commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare and professionalism in the industry.

To maintain your accreditation, we require annual fulfilment of certain requirements and continued membership with WAFA. This not only ensures your commitment to quality but also keeps you updated with the latest best practices in the industry.

Accreditation Options for Independent Handlers

The Gold Standard of Independent Handlers

This pathway is designed for individuals who currently own a prospect, an assistance animal in training, a preliminary or a fully qualified assistance animal, and who are not affiliated with a WAFA self-accrediting training organisation.

We offer three levels of recognition that correspond to the stages of training. Please note, these levels do not replace the need for most handlers to work with a professional trainer:

  1. Bronze – Prospect: For those who are in the early stages with a potential assistance animal.

  2. Silver – In Training: For those who are actively training their assistance animal.

  3. Gold – Qualified: For those whose assistance animal has completed training and is fully qualified.

Benefits of this pathway include independent third-party evidence of ability, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to mentor other handlers, and use of our nationally recognised public access logo to minimise discrimination.

Requirements for each level include completion of minimum nationally recognised units of competency, completion of logbooks, quizzes, video submissions, and theory education on infectious disease, Australian law, and self-advocacy.

Accreditation Options for Professionals

The Gold Standard for Trainers

This option is available to students or current trainers in the industry. It is recommended for those who currently work or volunteer in the sector.

Benefits include independent third-party evidence of ability, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to mentor other trainers, and use of our nationally recognised post-nominals and logos as evidence of ability. Trainers also have the ability to become an IWAF Holistic PAT assessor.

Requirements include completion of a minimum nationally recognised qualification, logbooks of experience, criminal history checks, submission of policy and procedure, and in-house training.

The Gold Standard of AA Prescribing Occupational Therapist (OT)

This option is available to students or current OTs in the industry. It is recommended for those who currently work or volunteer in the sector.

Benefits include independent third-party evidence of ability, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to mentor other OTs, and use of our nationally recognised post-nominals and logos as evidence of ability and those people who provide paperwork on ADs for NDIS, etc.

Requirements include completion of minimum nationally recognised units of competency, case studies, criminal history checks, submission of policy and procedure, and in-house training.

The Gold Standard of Public Access Test Assessors (Holistic PAT )

If you are a WAFA-accredited assistance animal trainer, you can upgrade your accreditation to Holistic Public Access Test Assessor. It is recommended for those who currently work or volunteer in the sector.

Benefits include independent third-party evidence of ability, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to mentor other PAT assessors, and use of our nationally recognised post-nominals and logos as evidence of ability. Assessors also have the ability to conduct the IWAF Holistic PAT.

Requirements include completion of a minimum nationally recognised unit of competency, logbooks of experience, and in-house training.

Assistance Animal Awareness Community Educator Accreditation

If you’re interested in educating communities about assistance animals, consider our Assistance Animal Awareness Community Educator Accreditation. This accreditation is akin to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), enabling you to present our programs to the community and retain any charges incurred.

Benefits of this accreditation include independent third-party evidence of your ability, continuing professional development opportunities, the chance to mentor others in the field, and the use of our nationally recognised post-nominals and logos as evidence of your qualifications.

To achieve this accreditation, you must complete a specific unit of study and our in-house theory/practical training. To maintain your accreditation, you are required to submit evidence of 4 units of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually, maintain your membership with WAFA, uphold Work Health and Safety (WHS) standards, and undergo regular criminal checks.

By earning this accreditation, you can play a vital role in raising awareness about assistance animals, while also enhancing your professional development and credibility in the field.

Accreditation Options for Organisations

The Gold Standard for Accredited Training Organisation

This option is available for training organisations who wish to have their programs accredited. This accreditation is for a program, not an individual.

Benefits include independent third-party evidence of efficacy, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to participate in research and communicate with peers, and use of our nationally recognised logos as evidence of ability.

Requirements include completion of minimum nationally recognised units of competency, case studies, criminal history checks, and in-house training for all staff. Submission of policy and procedure is required for the business as a whole.

All staff receive individual access to the WAFA members-only website.

The Gold Standard for Self-Accredited Training Organisation

This option is available for training organisations who wish to have their programs accredited. This accreditation is for a program, not an individual. This accreditation allows the organisation to accredit their handlers as reaching WAFA standard.

Benefits include independent third-party evidence of efficacy, continuing professional development opportunities, opportunities to participate in research and communicate with peers, and use of our nationally recognised logos as evidence of ability. All handlers trained by this organisation have the use of our nationally recognisable PAT logo.

Requirements include completion of minimum nationally recognised units of competency, case studies, criminal history checks, and in-house training for all staff. Submission of policy and procedure is required for the business as a whole.

All staff and handlers receive individual access to the WAFA members-only website.

Why Choose WAFA Accreditation?

 

  1. Third-Party Independent Proof of Quality: Our accreditation serves as an independent proof of your quality and credibility. It’s a seal of trust that your clients will recognise and appreciate.

  2. Competitive Advantage: In a competitive industry, our accreditation gives you an edge. It demonstrates your commitment to the highest standards, helping you stand out from the crowd.

  3. Continuous Improvement: Our accreditation pathway is based on the highest standards available worldwide. But we don’t stop there. We continuously strive to improve our standards, ensuring you’re always at the forefront of industry developments.

Join us today and let your journey towards excellence begin with WAFA accreditation.

What Does it Take to Earn Accreditation?

Earning a WAFA accreditation is a rigorous process that provides legitimacy and credibility to Credential-holders. Each of the credentials requires the same key components:

Education

Experience

Mentor Coaching & Ongoing Professional Development

Performance Evaluation & Exam

What Does it Take to Earn Accreditation?

Evaluate Your Education and Experience

The education you’ve already started or completed, coupled with how much experience you have in working with animals, can help you decide which Credential to pursue and what application path you will use to apply.

Gather or otherwise make a note of all the working with animal-specific education you plan to use toward credentials. Locate the program certificate(s) from the program(s) you have completed, as you will need to upload a copy into your credential application.

Identify the best credential for you

Once you’ve gathered or noted the education and work experience hours you have completed with animals within your specified field, you may complete the Credential Path Survey. This survey will walk you through your education and coaching experience to help you understand for which credential level and application path you are eligible to apply.

At the conclusion of the survey, the credential level and path will be indicated and you will have access to review the required elements to be included in that application. Or, if you’re ready to apply, you will be able to create an application at the level indicated by the survey. Based on your responses to the survey, you will be directed to any one of the following:

Gather your Accreditation evidence & Apply

You will need to upload into your application a copy of your education certificate(s) from the working animal education program(s) you have completed. The certificates may be a PDF file or an image file, such as JPEG or PNG.