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In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Assistance animals


Download the Public Access Test Form
Find a trainer or assessor

Dog

The ACT assistance animal accreditation framework

The ACT assistance animal accreditation framework is voluntary and clarifies and promotes the rights of access of persons with a disability who use an assistance animal.

This means that people who rely on an assistance animal to alleviate the effects of a disability will be able to have their assistance animal tested, accredited and registered as an assistance animal and issued with an Accredited Assistance Animal card (ID card) for a period of up to two years.

The ID card will give handlers, businesses and the community confidence that the assistance animal meets standards of behaviour and hygiene acceptable for public places.

Public access rights and businesses

Persons who use an assistance animal have rights of access to all public places that people are normally allowed access to. All users of assistance animals have public access rights under Commonwealth law, regardless of whether the handler has an ID card or whether the assistance animal is wearing a special coat or harness. A summary of assistance animal public access rights can be found on the assistance animal public access rights fact sheet for businesses (Word 235KB) (PDF 500KB) A summary of the legislation is available at the end of this page.

Dog getting off bus

How to have your assistance animal accredited and registered

The first step it to have your assistance animal accredited by:

  • a registered ACT trainer or assessor using the ACT Public Access Test,
  • another Australian jurisdiction, or
  • a recognised organisation.

Once you have accreditation you can then apply to register your accreditation and you will receive an ID card.

Step 1 - Accreditation

ACT Public Access Test

Once your animal is fully trained you can take the ACT Public Access Test to achieve accreditation. This 2-3 hour test must be conducted by one of the ACT’s registered trainers and assessors listed below. The cost of the test varies depending on the provider, and must be paid whether the animal passes or fails.

Please refer to the ACT Public Access Test Form (PDF 385KB) to see if your animal is ready to undertake the test. The form includes a list of automatic fail conditions and examples of tasks you and your assistance animal will need to complete as part of testing.

Prior to testing please ensure that you:

  • have evidence of a disability from a medical practitioner, and
  • have a completed Veterinarian Declaration Form (PDF 62KB) to demonstrate your assistance animal meets the health requirements. This requires you to book an appointment with your vet and bring along the form.

Registered trainers and assessors

The following trainers and assessors are approved to conduct the ACT Public Access Test. This list will be updated as more trainers and assessors are registered.

Current registered trainers and assessors
[unavailable until January 2021] Jessica McNamara from is a registered assistance animal trainer and assessor. 
Izabela Lisiecka from is a registered assistance animal trainer and assessor.

For more information see how to apply to become a trainer and assessor.

Accreditations by other jurisdictions

Currently the only other jurisdictions in Australia with full assistance animal accreditation systems are Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

New South Wales (NSW) Transport Permits for assistance animals are NOT recognised under the Act assistance animals framework. If you have a NSW Transport Permit and wish to have your assistance animal accredited, you will have to contact a registered trainer or assessor in the ACT to undergo the ACT Public Access Test.

Persons with an accreditation under a recognised organisation or other jurisdiction may apply to have their assistance animal registered by providing evidence of the accreditation. This means an ACT Government ID card will be issued matching the expiry of the existing accreditation. Renewing the accreditation and ACT ID card must either be achieved through the previously used system or through an ACT registered trainer or assessor conducting the ACT Public Access Test.

Accreditations by recognised organisations

Assistance animals accredited by the recognised organisations below meet the ACT’s standards of behaviour and hygiene for public places, and the team has been assessed as being able to work together effectively and safely. Trainers and assessors associated with the organisation do not have to apply to be registered as independent assistance animal trainers or assessors under the framework.

Dog

Recognised organisations include:

  • Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Australian Support Dogs
  • Guide Dogs Australia
  • Guide Dogs NSW/ACT
  • Guide Dogs QLD
  • Guide Dogs SA/NT
  • Guide Dogs TAS
  • Guide Dogs VIC
  • Guide Dogs WA
  • Integra Service Dogs Australia
  • mindDog Australia
  • Seeing Eye Dogs Australia – Vision Australia
  • Any assistance animal organisation, Australian or international, that is formally recognised by Assistance Dogs International and the International Guide Dog Federation and is not already listed above.

Persons with an accreditation under a recognised organisation or other jurisdiction may apply to have their assistance animal registered by providing evidence of the accreditation. This means an ACT Government ID card will be issued matching the expiry of the existing accreditation. Renewing the accreditation and ACT ID card must either be achieved through the previously used system or through an ACT registered trainer or assessor conducting the ACT Public Access Test.

Step 2 - Register and receive your ID card

Once your animal is accredited you can seek registration of an accredited assistance animal by completing the along with the following:

Upon successful registration you will be notified in writing and provided with an ID card with an assistance animal registration number. This registration will be valid for up to two years starting from the date of accreditation. If you received accreditation through the another jurisdiction or organisation, the ID card will expire at the same time as the recognised accreditation.

To renew your registration you will need to repeat the accreditation process for your assistance animal. The only difference with applying for a renewal is you won’t have to supply your evidence of a disability again.

*If you are unable to access the smart form and wish to arrange an alternative way to submit your application, call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Additional information

Legislation

Under the Commonwealth , persons with a disability may choose to use an assistance animal to help alleviate the effects of their disability provided the animal has been trained to meet the standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

To support and clarify this overarching legislation, the ACT Government has developed a legislative framework within Part 5 of the that allows for assistance animals to be accredited as meeting the ACT’s public access standards. Once accredited, the Registrar of Domestic Animals may register the assistance animal and issue the handler with an ID card for up to two years. The standards of behaviour and hygiene for assistance animals in public places is listed within the regulations for the .

The ACT assistance animals framework does not create new access rights. Under existing Commonwealth law people who rely on an assistance animal have the same rights of access as anyone else. The ACT framework clarifies the rights of access so that you have less risk of being turned away by businesses as they have assurance your animal meets standards of behaviour and hygiene for public places.

The rights of access for assistance animals which are accredited and registered under the ACT framework are further protected and promoted by a suite of penalties for businesses or individuals who refuse access. A business or individual who refuses a non-accredited assistance animal access to a public place may still be subject to repercussions under ACT and Commonwealth law.

Dangerous dogs and control orders

Please note dangerous dogs will not be registered under the ACT assistance animal framework. If you have had your dog tested and successfully accredited the Registrar for Domestic Animals will NOT register your accreditation or issue you with an ID card. You are responsible for any financial implications of obtaining accreditation for a dangerous dog.

Dogs that are or have been regulated under control orders may be refused registration at the discretion of the Registrar for Domestic Animals. For example, if a control order was the result of a previous owner not securing the yard properly, this does not suggest the accredited assistance animal is a safety risk to the community and so the Registrar may still choose to register the accredited assistance animal. However, if a control order was the result of aggressive behaviour, the Registrar may refuse to register the accredited assistance animal.

It is the responsibility of the handler/s to determine if the assistance animal will be refused registration once accredited. Registered trainers and assessors are not responsible if an animal they have accredited is later refused registration by Domestic Animal Services as a result of a control order or dangerous dog declaration if the control order or dangerous dog declaration was not known to the trainer or assessor at the time of accreditation.