There are two ways for a dog to be certified as a Service Dog in BC:
- You obtain a Service dog from an organization accredited by ADI (Assistance Dogs International) or IGDF (International Guide Dog Federation). For example, in BC, there are two organizations with this accreditation: BC Guide Dogs or PADS.
- You obtain Guide & Service Dog Certification from the BC Government for your Service dog (that has not been trained by an ADI or IGDF organization) by taking the Standardized Certification Test with a Certified Validator (see information below).
Guide Dog & Service Dog Certification by the BC Government (Ministry of Justice)
Recognizing the great demand for Service Dogs in BC, the BC Government pioneered and launched a Guide & Service Dog Certification program in January 2016. This program allows dogs that have not been trained by an ADI or IGDF accredited organization to apply for and take a standardized public access test with a Certified Validator in order to be certified as a Service Dog in BC. This certification is valid across Canada and internationally. Here is a link to the BC Government News Release of the Guide & Service Dog Certification program.
Dog and Handler Team Certification
Teams that have been trained by Assistance Service Dogs BC Association must submit the following documents to Security Programs (Ministry of Justice) in order to take the certification test offered by the Justice Institute of BC. Assistance Service Dogs BC guarantees that a dog trained by our organization will pass the test. Furthermore, Assistance Service Dogs BC Association will pay the cost of the first certification test.
-A completed Application for a Guide or Service Dog Certificate
-A Medical Form Confirming Requirement for Guide Dog or Service, completed by a B.C. physician or nurse practitioner
-Written confirmation from a B.C. veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered
-A passport size and quality photograph of the applicant
For a full description of the BC Government Service Dog Certification program and Certification test click here.
Example of the Guide Dog and Service Dog certificate issued under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act
As of April 12, 2016 the current guide dog and service dog certificates will be upgraded with new security enhanced certificates that meet the current government quality standards.
For more information please visit the BC Ministry of Justice website.