Frequently Asked Questions

How does the application process work?

PADs Foundation accepts preliminary applications year round after an initial phone call to discuss the training process. Subsequently all applications will be completed through our secure online platform, currently under development.

Please note: submitting a full application does not mean the applicant is automatically approved for membership.

It is necessary for your Dr or psychiatrist to complete our downloadable questionnaire and vets form as part of the registration process.

Where do we offer membership?

Throughout the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What does membership give me?

Firstly you will receive a membership card which is renewable every 12 months, so that both you and your dog are regularly assessed. Your preliminary membership will allow you to use our Assistance Dog In Training tabard so that both you, your trainer and your dog can go into public places, however any establishment may refuse you entry if your dog misbehaves. This is also the case though when your dog is fully trained. Please see our Paws For Access page.

Upon successful application you would be considered as an In Training Member with the charity. You would then work through the in training process to pass the international access standard and so you will be legally recognised under the 2010 Equality Act.

Full membership requires annual vet and dog behaviour checks.

How much does it cost?

Membership costs approximately £15.00 a year which covers the costs of the membership card and postage. The Assistance Dog and Assistance Dog In Training tabard will be the cost of us buying and embroidering the PADs Foundation logo. We will also be selling T shirts, fleeces and dog fleece blankets for your dog to lie on when out in due course. We are currently fundraising to promote public awareness, provide online training materials, provide stickers that you can ask friendly shops to put in their windows. We will be putting a list of national chains and other places including shops, restaurants, cafes and music venues soon.

Am I able to train my own dog?

Yes, that is one of the main reasons PADs Foundation is in existence, but you and your dog have to pass our Public Access Test which usually takes between 18 to 24 months of training. This can be done by you but we recommend using a positive enforcing dog trainer who is familiar with both you and your needs and the Public Access Test. The main reason why owner training, with or without a trainer, is so important for psychiatric assistance is because you and your dog will get to know each other and the training of your dog will be able for and with you. We will be adding training advice for you in due course. Please note that we do not train dogs.

Please see our Getting Started section

What is a suitable dog to be an Assistance Dog?

See breed list

What are the age requirements?

Currently you must be 18 or over.

How am I deemed fit to have a Psychiatric Assistance Dog?

As part of the application process, your psychologist or doctor that is familiar with your mental history will need to verify that you are fit enough to both look after a dog and be safe with one in public places. Your condition must have been officially diagnosed at least 12 months previously to your application date and must be a significant mental health condition:

  • PTSD
  • Severe Depression
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Bipolar
  • Dissociative episodes

Public Access Test

We provide all the training information you need for your dog to be legally recognised as an assistance dog in the uk

If you have any additional questions, please contact us here or email: