Certification Overview – Therapy, School & Visiting Dogs

Overview of Training and Certification in Canine Assisted Interactions (CAI)

This unique and comprehensive training programme provides dog and handler Certification taught by the leaders in the industry.

Beginning at the Level 1 Learner level, dog-handler teams have the opportunity to progress at their own pace through the Certification levels. Teams working all the way through to the professional level are awarded a Certificate in Animal Assisted Interactions (Canine)* and Practitioner Certification

Please note: There are no CAI courses in Australia accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). This course is therefore not a Nationally Recognised Training Course or VET course under Australian law.

Infographic of LTW Certification pathway from L1 to L5
Certification Process Infographic

Why train with Lead The Way Institute?

    Since 2006 we have led the industry, Certifying well over 600 Dog and Handler teams. Our graduates excel in multidisciplinary animal assisted interactions (AAI) including animal assisted therapy (AAT), animal assisted education (AAE) and informal animal assisted activities (AAA). Teams work in a range of settings, such as mental health, education and schools, allied health, rehabilitation, medicine, welfare, disability, and other human-service settings. We are currently the only organisation in Australia to offer Advanced and Professional level dog-handler Certifications.

    Our highly qualified and experienced staff continue to set the standards for training and Certification in AAI. We are not just professional dog trainers, we are experienced professionals in human-animal interactions and the human-animal bond including psychologists, mental health professionals, educators, vet nurses and animal scientists.

    Continually refined and re-developed, our courses bring together Australia’s leading experts to provide you the most sought after canine assisted intervention and interaction (AAI) Certifications in the country.

    About Us

    We pride ourselves on our professional affiliations

      Ongoing Support

      Lead The Way Institute has a suite of services which can support you and enhance your training journey.

      • Dog Training Classes are available from puppy and introductory levels all the way through to Advanced!
      • Organisational consultancy, Professional Development and Workshops are a fantastic way to get your workplace or school on board with the therapy dog programme. We often provide workshops to teachers on how to integrate their new therapy dogs in a whole school approach, and parent workshops to help families with any questions they may have. We consult with organisations who wish to explore their options or the best way to get started in AAI.
      • Professional and clinical supervision, mentoring and coaching groups offer individuals with the chance to network with other CAI professionals who share their passion and interest, whilst being guided by our experienced facilitators.
      • Training a second dog or a second handler is easy with Lead The Way. Up to three people may be certified to work with one dog (subject to approval). Advanced (Level 4) handlers are eligible to Certify MultiDog groups. Speak to us for more information.