Therapy Dogs International (TDI) is a leading organization in the field of therapy dog work, promoting the use of trained and certified dogs to provide comfort, support, and companionship to individuals in need. As part of its certification process, TDI relies on certified evaluators to assess and approve dogs for therapy work. In this blog post, we will explore what it takes to become a TDI Certified Evaluator and the important role they play in promoting the healing power of dogs.
What is a TDI Certified Evaluator? 🧐
A TDI Certified Evaluator is an individual who has undergone specialized training and certification to assess the temperament, behavior, and suitability of dogs for therapy dog work. According to TDI, a certified evaluator is “an individual who has demonstrated the knowledge, skill, and ability to evaluate potential therapy dogs and their handlers for registration with TDI.”
Certified evaluators are responsible for administering standardized tests that assess a dog’s temperament, behavior, and obedience skills. These tests evaluate a dog’s suitability for therapy dog work and assess their ability to remain calm and well-behaved in different environments and situations.
Certified Evaluators play a critical role in the certification process, as they are responsible for assessing dogs and their handlers to ensure that they meet TDI’s standards for therapy work. This includes evaluating a dog’s behavior, temperament, obedience, and overall suitability for therapy work.
👥 How to become a TDI Certified Evaluator
To become a TDI Certified Evaluator, there are several requirements that must be met. These include:
- Experience working with dogs: TDI requires that Certified Evaluators have a significant amount of experience working with dogs in various settings, including obedience training, agility training, and other dog-related activities.
- Attend TDI Evaluator workshop: Certified Evaluators must attend a TDI Evaluator workshop, which provides training on TDI’s evaluation process, standards, and guidelines.
- Pass the TDI Evaluator exam: Following the workshop, Certified Evaluators must pass a comprehensive exam that tests their knowledge of TDI’s evaluation process and standards.
- Adhere to TDI’s Code of Ethics: Certified Evaluators must follow TDI’s Code of Ethics, which outlines the ethical standards and behavior expected of TDI volunteers.
- Ongoing education and training: Certified Evaluators must continue to stay up-to-date on TDI’s evaluation process and standards through ongoing education and training.
Once an individual has met these requirements, they may apply to become a TDI Certified Evaluator. If accepted, they will be able to evaluate dogs for therapy work and contribute to TDI’s mission of promoting the healing power of dogs.
🧐 The Role of a TDI Certified Evaluator
The role of a TDI Certified Evaluator is a critical one, as they are responsible for assessing dogs and their handlers to ensure that they meet TDI’s standards for therapy work. This includes evaluating a dog’s behavior, temperament, obedience, and overall suitability for therapy work.
During the evaluation process, Certified Evaluators observe the dog’s behavior in a variety of settings, including in public places, around other dogs and animals, and with people of all ages and backgrounds. They also assess the handler’s ability to control the dog and maintain a safe and respectful environment during therapy visits.
According to TDI, the evaluation process “is designed to measure not only the dog’s behavior but also the reliability, safety, and compatibility of the dog and its handler.” By evaluating both the dog and its handler, Certified Evaluators ensure that therapy visits are safe and effective for all involved.
👍 The Benefits of Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator
If you have a passion for therapy dog work and are looking for ways to give back to the community, becoming a Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Certified Evaluator may be an excellent option for you. TDI Certified Evaluators are essential to the success of therapy dog programs and play a critical role in ensuring the safety, well-being, and professionalism of therapy dog teams.
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator offers many benefits for individuals who are passionate about therapy dog work and are looking for ways to give back to the community. Here are some of the key benefits of becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator:
1. Make a Difference in Your Community 🌍
One of the primary benefits of becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator is the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in your community. Certified evaluators play a critical role in ensuring the safety, well-being, and professionalism of therapy dog teams. By helping to evaluate and certify therapy dogs, you can help to improve the lives of individuals in your community who can benefit from the comfort and companionship of a therapy dog.
By becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator, you will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community. You will help ensure that therapy dogs and their handlers are properly trained and certified to provide comfort and support to those in need, including hospital patients, nursing home residents, and individuals with disabilities.
2. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills 🧠
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator requires specialized training and certification. This training can help you to expand your knowledge and skills in the areas of dog behavior, temperament, and obedience. You will learn how to assess a dog’s suitability for therapy dog work and develop the skills to administer standardized tests that evaluate a dog’s temperament and behavior.
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator can also provide opportunities for personal growth and development. You will gain valuable knowledge and experience in the field of therapy dogs, and will have the chance to develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.
As a TDI certified evaluator, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in the field of therapy dog work. You will gain experience evaluating dogs and handlers, providing feedback, and working with people from diverse backgrounds. This experience can be valuable if you are interested in pursuing a career in animal-assisted therapy or related fields.
3. Networking Opportunities 🤝
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator can also provide networking opportunities with other individuals and organizations in the therapy dog community. As a certified evaluator, you will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of therapy dog teams and organizations, which can help you to build connections and relationships with other professionals in the field. You will have the opportunity to connect with other therapy dog handlers and evaluators, as well as with organizations that utilize therapy dogs, such as hospitals and nursing homes. You will have the chance to meet and collaborate with other evaluators, therapy dog handlers, and healthcare professionals. These connections can lead to new opportunities and partnerships.
4. Personal Satisfaction 🥰
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The opportunity to help dogs and their handlers achieve their certification goals can provide a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Certified evaluators play an essential role in helping therapy dog teams to make a positive impact on the lives of others, which can be incredibly rewarding.
Working with therapy dogs and their handlers can be a rewarding experience. As a TDI certified evaluator, you will have the opportunity to play a crucial role in the therapy dog evaluation process, helping to ensure that therapy dogs are safe and effective in their role. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to improve the lives of people in need.
5. Flexibility and Freedom 🐾
As a TDI Certified Evaluator, you will have the flexibility to choose when and where you conduct evaluations. This can be a great benefit for those who have busy schedules or other commitments. Additionally, you will have the freedom to work independently or as part of a team, depending on your preferences.
As a TDI certified evaluator, you have the flexibility to conduct evaluations at your own pace and on your own schedule. This can be a great benefit if you have a busy schedule or other commitments.
5. Contribution to the Field 🏆
Finally, becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator is a valuable contribution to the field of therapy dogs. By sharing your knowledge and experience, you will help to ensure that therapy dogs and their handlers are properly trained and certified, which can ultimately improve the quality of care for those in need.
📜 Requirements to Become a TDI Certified Evaluator
Becoming a TDI Certified Evaluator requires meeting certain qualifications and completing training to ensure evaluators are equipped to evaluate therapy dog teams. The following are the requirements to become a TDI Certified Evaluator:
- Experience: The applicant should have experience working with therapy dogs and their handlers for a minimum of two years. This experience can come from being a therapy dog handler, an instructor or evaluator for other therapy dog organizations, or through other related experience. You must have experience working with therapy dogs and a strong understanding of their behavior and needs. This can include working as a therapy dog handler or in a related field such as animal-assisted therapy or veterinary medicine.
- TDI Membership: The applicant must be a member of TDI in good standing for at least one year. You must be a current member of TDI in good standing to become a Certified Evaluator. This includes completing the membership application and paying the annual membership fee.
- Attend an Evaluator Workshop: TDI offers workshops for individuals interested in becoming Certified Evaluators. These workshops provide training on the evaluation process, including how to conduct evaluations, evaluate dogs and handlers, and complete evaluation forms. Workshops are held at various locations throughout the country and are led by experienced TDI evaluators.
- Pass the Evaluator Exam: After completing the workshop, you will need to pass the TDI Evaluator Exam. This exam tests your knowledge of TDI policies and procedures, as well as your ability to evaluate dogs and handlers. You must achieve a score of at least 85% to pass the exam.
- Continuing education: Once you become a TDI Certified Evaluator, you will need to complete continuing education requirements to maintain your certification. This includes attending TDI workshops or other approved training programs, as well as completing evaluation assignments.
- Age: The applicant must be at least 21 years old.
- Character: The applicant must possess good character and reputation, and be able to act in a professional manner when interacting with therapy dog handlers.
- Recommendation: The applicant must receive a recommendation from a TDI evaluator, instructor, or board member.
Once the requirements are met, the applicant can attend the TDI Certified Evaluator course to complete the certification process.
👨💼 Responsibilities of a TDI Certified Evaluator
As a TDI Certified Evaluator, you are responsible for conducting evaluations of dogs and their handlers to determine their suitability for therapy work. This includes assessing the dog’s behavior and temperament, as well as the handler’s ability to control and work with the dog in a therapeutic setting.
TDI Certified Evaluators have several important responsibilities, including:
- Conducting Evaluations: TDI Certified Evaluators are responsible for conducting evaluations to determine if therapy dog teams meet the TDI standards. They evaluate the therapy dog’s behavior, obedience, and temperament as well as the handler’s handling skills. This is the primary responsibility of a TDI Certified Evaluator. You will need to follow the TDI evaluation guidelines and procedures to assess dogs and handlers for therapy work. This involves observing the dog’s behavior, including their reactions to different stimuli and their interaction with their handler and strangers. You will also need to evaluate the handler’s ability to control the dog and their suitability for therapy work.
- Providing Feedback: Evaluators must provide feedback to therapy dog handlers to help them improve their skills and prepare for future evaluations. After the evaluation, you will need to provide feedback to the dog’s handler. This includes explaining the results of the evaluation, offering suggestions for improvement, and answering any questions they may have. You will also need to fill out the evaluation form and submit it to TDI.
- Maintaining Standards: Certified evaluators must maintain TDI standards when evaluating teams to ensure the safety of the therapy dog, the handler, and those they will be interacting with during therapy visits. As a TDI Certified Evaluator, you will have access to personal information about dogs and handlers. It is important that you maintain the confidentiality of this information and only share it with TDI as necessary.
- Upholding TDI Values: Evaluators must uphold TDI values and promote responsible and ethical behavior among therapy dog handlers. As a representative of TDI, you are expected to uphold the organization’s standards and values. This includes treating all dogs and handlers fairly and respectfully, and conducting evaluations in a professional and impartial manner.
- Continuing Education: TDI Certified Evaluators must participate in continuing education programs to stay up to date on industry developments and maintain their skills.