While a growing number of organizations and trainers claim to provide qualified dogs to assist those with medical conditions, there are, unfortunately, no industry standards or requirements for these Service Dogs. We have seen cases where immature puppies and untrained rescue dogs are placed with clients. Or, clients only receive a week-long seminar with little monitoring or follow-up to support what they need. Worst of all, these poorly-trained and inadequately-placed dogs can cost the client thousands of dollars and put their lives at risk.
Since its beginning days as a scientific research project for Type 1 Diabetics, NICST has assumed the responsibility of establishing its own standards for quality, ethics, and performance. In addition to adopting the standards of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), our organization has developed and continues to evolve its own standards, because we believe that the public deserves to be served with ethically-trained service dogs.
Since it’s beginning days as a scientific research project, D4D (NICST’s flagship program) has assumed the responsibility of establishing its own standards for quality, ethics, and performance.
We take our mission, training dogs to save lives, seriously. With the utmost responsibility. All of our programs abide by the following standards:
NCIST’s Industry-Leading Standards
- SAFETY: Our dogs are trained to provide accurate and reliable support for every client. We value the safety and health of our dogs and clients.
- EDUCATION: Our comprehensive training educates you about the risks, rewards, and responsibilities of a Buddy Dog or Service Dog. We know that the success of the team depends on both the client and the dog, so we teach the skills and provide the support for successful and sustainable partnerships.
- INTEGRITY: Our industry-leading practices ensure that our dogs are trained to perform designated tasks reliably and accurately. We also ensure that our dogs are mature, socialized, and skilled in basic obedience in order to comply with requirements under ADA and ADI.
- MEASURABLE OUTCOMES: Our ethical, scientific-based processes track our dogs’ performances throughout training and placement to ensure that minimum levels of performance are defined and met. We rely on measurable outcomes to ensure the performance of our life-saving teams.
- TRANSPARENCY: Our ethics require us to disclose all information to our clients regarding costs, terms and conditions, and resolutions in cases of disputes. We review contracts with clients, inform them of their rights, and disclose all relevant information.
- FAMILY: Our teams receive support throughout the dogs’ working life. We ensure that standards continue to be met by requiring annual recertification and providing continued support for our life-saving teams.
Since 2007, Dogs4Diabetics, NICST’s flagship program, has been a fully-accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI). ADI has established an accreditation process to ensure that organizations that train medical assistance dogs operate at the highest level of integrity. ADI inspects:
- Safety and cleanliness of the training facility
- Fair and ethical treatment of clients
- Proper health care for the dogs
- Humane training methods for the dogs
- Criteria for screening suitability of both dogs and clients
- Criteria for matching dogs and clients
- Criteria for administration of all program operations
- Compliance with all legal regulations
Together, with ADI and its other accredited members, NICST works to improve the standards of the industry to ensure that dogs are treated humanely, clients are served ethically, and training is professional and held to its standards.