The below standards for animal assisted interventions are being applied.
Animal assisted work is based on definitions of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO).
The encounter between the animals and the people involved embraces dignity and respect.
The alignment of the animal assisted work follows ethical principles of the specific professional field, as well as sound ethical fundamentals, that serve to the benefit of humans and animals.
Animal assisted work demands the maintenance of a relationship that is characterized by an intense partnership with vertebrates, that also incorporates knowledge about the animals’ preferences and needs.
No wild animals should be integrated in animal assisted interventions. (List of recommended animals).
Measures for the comfort of the animal will be applied once symptoms of stress and discomfort are detected.
Each animal that is being worked together with and kept will be cared for in a species-appropriate way. The definitions of the IAHAIO for animal assisted interventions, and the guidelines for the well-being of the engaged animals (like the recommendations of the veterinary association for animal welfare in Germany) are fundamental framework.
The characteristics of quality comprised in the guideline “Quality development and quality assurance in the field of animal assisted interventions” by Dr. Rainer Wohlfarth and Prof. (em) Dr. Erhard Olbrich (deceased) are to be observed in context with the education and training.
People who graduate from the continuing education and training programs claim the position of a specialist in animal assisted intervention according to ISAAT guidelines. They are primarily able to plan, execute and evaluate animal assisted interventions by themselves, and work as a leader or teammate on multi-disciplinary projects.
This is being executed in a three-fold relationship between the specialist, the animal, and the client in an individual or a group setting. Simultaneously, important matters must be taken into account, like considerations that accommodate animal ethics, interventions aimed at the client, the knowledge and ability of the specialist based on their professional background, and team specific communications and organization matters.
Three items need to be assured:
- while applying a targeted intervention for and with a client, the needs of the animal that becomes part of the work must be accommodated throughout the process.
- the effort of the animals do not become the sole focus. Instead, it should be a team effort.
- the specialist’s invention is being planned, monitored, and secured by multiple quality assuring measures and will result in a successful outcome in cooperation with the animals.
The basic education for human-dog-teams encourages to assist compromised people who seek alleviation from their discomfort, autonomy, and personal and social integration, within the professional field of a human team member or through competent inclusion. The sessions are being processed targeted, under consideration of ethical guidelines.
ISAAT follows the Definitions of the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) and a definition, that expands the IAHAIO’s parameters (Sorry only a deepl translation)
(Sorry only in German!)In cooperation with experts, ISAAT developed a framework curriculum for the continuous education of the Specialist for Animal assisted Interventions. The framework curriculum is currently being discussed in the boards of ISAAT and serves presently as an informal guideline for the continuous education. The draft of the framework curriculum can be downloaded here (Sorry – actually only in German!)
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