At the Working Animals Federation of Australia, we passionately believe that all people have the right to equal access, inclusion and dignity and to live full and active lives.

The Working Animals Federation of Australia (WAFA) is committed to meaningful professional self-governance. WAFA’s self-governance foundation comprises and depends upon a variety of codes and standards, supported by our Steering Committee and WAFA Members and Credential-holders. As an independent certification body we aim to provide quality assurance and rigour in all aspects of our operations.

Originally conceived in early 2015, the Working Animals Federation of Australia took its official form on April 19, 2020. Presently, we are in the stages of seeking formal recognition as a social enterprise by Social Traders, a step that underscores our commitment to fostering positive societal impact through our endeavours. Our commitment to social impact is ingrained in everything we do. We strive to elevate standards for working animals, with an initial particular focus on assistance, therapy, and detection animals.

Industry Partners

Our Values

We provide free access to Fact Sheets, Webinars and Continuing Education Opportunities to help you.

With everyone on the same page, we can do great things.


Our Purpose:

Our purpose is to elevate the standards and well-being of working animals through accreditation, advocacy, consultation, education, and research.  We do this by empowering individuals and organisations to make a positive impact in the sphere of assistance, therapy and other working animals while fostering a culture of respect, collaboration, and innovation.

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Our Vision:

Our vision is to create a world where working animals are valued, respected, and provided with the highest standards of care and support; enabling them to enhance the lives of individuals and communities globally. Through our dedication to excellence, collaboration, and advocacy; we aspire to be leaders in advancing the welfare and recognition of working animals, driving positive change and building a more compassionate and sustainable future for all.


Our Values:

We uphold the highest standards of integrity in our accreditation processes and advocacy efforts, ensuring transparency and fairness for all involved in the working animal sphere.

We treat every individual and every animal with respect, recognising the invaluable contributions they make to society and their right to dignified treatment.

Through collaboration with stakeholders, experts, and communities, we work together to create meaningful change and enhance the well-being of working animals.

We embrace innovation in education and research to advance the field of working animals, fostering creative solutions that address emerging challenges and improve outcomes.

Our dedication to customer focus ensures that the needs of our clients and partners are at the forefront of everything we do.

We are committed to excellence in accreditation standards, advocacy initiatives, consultation services, and educational programs; striving for the highest quality outcomes for working animals and their humans.

We value diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, recognising the unique strengths and perspectives that each individual and animal brings to the working animal sphere.

We promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility in our practices, supporting initiatives that prioritise the long-term well-being of working animals, their environments, and the communities they serve.

Through teamwork and collaboration, we foster a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals can thrive, working together to achieve our shared mission of enhancing the lives of working animals.

We empower individuals and organisations within the working animal sphere, providing them with the knowledge, resources, and support needed to make a positive impact in their communities.

We embrace a growth mindset, continually seeking opportunities for learning, development, and innovation to drive positive change and improve outcomes for working animals and their caregivers.

We actively engage with communities to raise awareness, foster understanding, and promote best practices in the care and use of working animals, building stronger connections and partnerships.

We prioritise the well-being and work-life balance of our team members, recognising that a healthy, supportive work environment is essential for achieving our mission and serving our community effectively.

We believe in open communication and transparency, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration where ideas are freely shared, feedback is valued, and dialogue is encouraged to drive positive change within the working animal sphere.

We are committed to ensuring accessibility for all members of our community, recognising that inclusivity is fundamental to our mission. We strive to make information readily available in various formats, including community language translations, easy English, AUSLAN, and formats which are accessible to those utilising various forms of assistive technology.

 By removing barriers to access, we aim to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds and abilities to fully engage with our resources, fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment.


Our Aims

To establish and uphold rigorous accreditation standards for the welfare and training of working animals, ensuring their well-being and effectiveness in assisting individuals and communities.

To democratise rigorous, independent accreditation processes, making them more accessible to Australians engaged with assistance, therapy, and other working animals. This includes providing equal access to accreditation standards and certifications comparable to those of established organisations like Assistance Dogs International (ADI), thus eliminating financial and other barriers that prevent certain individuals and organisations from obtaining such memberships.

To advocate for the rights and welfare treatment of working animals on local, national, and international levels, promoting policies and practices that prioritise their welfare and dignity.

To provide expert consultation services to individuals, organisations, and governments involved in the care, training, utilisation and regulation of assistance, therapy and other working animals, offering guidance and support to enhance their effectiveness and impact.

To offer comprehensive education and training programs for handlers, trainers and professionals in the working animal sphere, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to provide optimal care and support.

To enhance recognition and accessibility of assistance animals throughout the Australian community, while simultaneously reducing instances of discrimination against them.

To conduct research and knowledge dissemination initiatives aimed at advancing the understanding of working animals’ needs, capabilities, and contributions, driving innovation and best practices in their care and utilisation.

To collaborate with stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, academia, and industry partners, to foster a supportive ecosystem for working animals, promoting cooperation and collective action towards shared goals of improving their welfare and recognition.

Our Services:

  • We provide membership and gold-standard accreditation to industry operatives and handlers with an accompanying set of Professional Standards and Codes of Ethics
  • Regular e-news updates on the industry, research, educational topics and our program
  • Continuing professional development opportunities
  • Free community education (including the free ‘Assistance Animal -Knowledge Assessed’ program for local businesses)
  • Free downloadable resources for community and industry members
  • A search function to connect handlers, trainers and other professionals 
  • Training in self-advocacy for Assistance Animal handlers and free advocacy support in discrimination matters.

Our website is one of the key ways that members can communicate and collaborate with each other and the WAFA office.  This is your website so please email any comments or suggestions for improvement to:

Our Current Projects:

  • Development of an accreditation system for other classes of Working Animals including those in security, entertainment, film and TV. 
  • Endorsement of our national symbol and PAT to denote Assistance Animals with legally protected public access rights.
  • Development of nationally-accredited undergraduate and postgraduate study options for allied health professionals and trainers.
  • National standardisation of the industry including assessment of Assistance Animals for public access.
  • Access to safe and clean toileting areas for working animals in public locations.
  • Development of a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal allowing industry operatives and researchers to publish.
  • Collaboration with industry partners to facilitate public access for Assistance Animals and decrease discrimination in real estate, public transport, accommodation, hospitals and airlines.
  • This is your Federation, so please email any recommended or preferred projects to: