Candidate Program


Not-for-profit assistance dog programs interested in joining ADI may do so as a Candidate program. Candidate programs are established not-for-profit or charitable programs that are working towards achieving Accredited Member status.

All Candidates MUST adhere to all ADI Standards and pursue accreditation to achieve Accredited Member status in ADI within five years.  Candidate programs pay annual dues, must submit the required annual census and information documents, and the accreditation fees when they are ready for the accreditation process.  Candidates may apply for the accreditation process after two years as a Candidate in good standing. 

Candidate Program Privileges:

  • Networking and education with international assistance dog programs from around the world.
  • Support of our staff and accredited members to assist with further developing thier operations to meet ADI Standards and complete the accreditation process.
  • Attend ADI Conferences, seminars and business meetings as observers. Candidate programs are also invited to attend the ADI Regional Chapter events.
  • Receive the ADI ENewsletter.
  • Participate in ADI’s closed Facebook Group Pages (Directors, Training Directors, Puppy Raiser Managers, IWDR Database Group, etc.)
  • Program listing and link to their website from ADI’s website.

Candidate Program Limitations:

  • Do not have voting rights within ADI.
  • May not use the ADI logo, claim that they are a member of ADI or that they meet ADI Standards.
  • Are not allowed to nominate any individual, nor have a representative stand for elected positions or committee membership with ADI.

Becoming a Candidate Program

The Candidate program must:

  • Have placed a minimum of five assistance dog teams that have worked successfully for a minimum of one year under their current operating program.
  • Have a website that is updated and current with all information including contact information.
  • Have a name that meets ADI Board approval and cannot contain any terms that could mislead the public, such as certified, accredited, approved, qualified, etc.

A yellow Labrador Retriever is sitting next to a young girl in a wheelchair. The dog is sniffing the girl's hand. The dog is wearing a blue assistance dog vest.

The following items are required to submit with your Candidate Application Packet:

  1.   A completed Candidate Application Information form

Download the ADI Candidate Application Packet
(Effective January 1, 2019, the candidate application fee is $500)

  1.   Proof of not-for-profit status, registered charitable status and/or 501(c)(3) designation
  2.   Mission Statement 
  3.   Business Plan
  4.   Current Annual Budget
  5.   Organization's Complaint Policy
  6.   Letter from Board President in support of the nomination
  7.   List of board members and current occupations
  8.   Completed Letter of Recommendation Form from a current ADI Accredited Member*
  9.   Reference Letters from three (3) assistance dog clients who have worked with their assistance dog successfully for a minimum of one (1) year** 
  10.   Candidate Application Processing Fee (Non-refundable)

*Optional – if your program is having difficulty in obtaining a letter of recommendation from an ADI Accredited member, you may elect to invite a member of the Candidate Review Committee for a site visit and in-person interview. The site visit and interview would be at the applicant program's cost for all travel expenses including an overnight stay in a hotel, if needed. All attempts will be done to keep the costs as low as possible.

**All Reference Letters from clients must be dated within the past three months and submitted with your Candidate Application Packet in sealed envelopes directly from the clients. Please ask your clients to sign their name over the envelope seal. Please do not have the reference letters sent under separate cover. They will not be accepted.

The Candidate Application Packet, ALL required documentation, and non-refundable processing fee must be completed and returned to:A young boy is holding a handle attached to a blue assistance dog vest on a yellow Labrador Retriever. An adult woman is walking behind the boy and dog holding the dog's leash. The team is on a baseball field and the people are wearing uniform shirts.

Assistance Dogs International
PO Box 276
Maumee, OH 43537-0276


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