Programs interested in joining ADI may do so as a Candidate program. Candidate programs are established nonprofit 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. Candidates may apply for the accreditation process after two years as a Candidate in good standing.

Our membership is guided by the following principles:

  1. Under no circumstances can an organization be a member unless it has direct responsibility for the operational training and placing of assistance dogs and assures the long-term support of the clients and dogs.
  2. The overall ethics of the organization must be “charitable” and must be stated by the organization.
  3. Where several separate structures/entities work together, only the structure/entity as described sub 1 and 2 can apply for membership.

Current Candidate Programs

Click here for a list of current ADI candidate programs

Candidate Program Privileges:

  • Networking and education with international programs from around the world
  • Attend ADI Conferences, seminars and business meetings as observers. Candidates are also invited to attend the ADI Regional Chapter events
  • Receive the ADI and regional chapters’ newsletters
  • Program listing and link to their website ADI’s website.

Candidate Program Limitations:

  • Do not have voting rights
  • May not use the ADI logo or claim that they are a Member of ADI or that they meet the 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
  • 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.

All new Candidates must submit the following items with their request

1. A completed Candidate Nomination Application Packet

Click here to download the ADI Candidate Nomination Packet
(Effective January 1, 2019, the candidate application fee is $500)

2. Proof of nonprofit status, registered charitable status and/or 501(c)(3) designation.

3. Mission Statement 

4. Business Plan

5.  Current Annual Budget

6. Letter from Board President in support of the nomination

7. List of board members and 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 Nomination Application Processing Fee(Non refundable)

*Optional – if your organization 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 your 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 submitted with your Candidate Nomination 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.

Application process

Upon receipt of a completed Candidate Nomination Packet, ADI will consider all aspects of the packet.  ADI will conduct interviews with the executive director or equivalent, may request additional interviews with others within the program, and may request additional information as needed.  Programs will be notified of the outcome within 6 months of the completed application being received at the ADI office.

The Candidate Nomination Packet, ALL required documentation, and non-refundable processing fee must be completed and returned to:

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

Further information

For more information about becoming a candidate, please contact:

Chris Diefenthaler, Executive Director.

[email protected]