AAAIP Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AAAIP being created?

  • While there are numerous options for AAI volunteers, AAAIP will provide a home for professionals who aim to incorporate therapy animals into their work. This will be a place in which professionals can network, share resources, and come together to inspire continued advancement in the field.

How is AAAIP different from Pet Partners?

  • Pet Partners serves volunteer handlers who share their companion animals with those who benefit from interacting with therapy animals  (e.g., a volunteer handler who visits at a school for no more than 2 hours at a time).
  • AAAIP provides resources for those who incorporate therapy animals into their professional practice (e.g., a school counselor who has an interest in integrating an animal into their professional work).

Who will be able to become a member of AAAIP?

  • Any professional wishing to practice AAI.
  • Any trainer/behaviorist involved in the training of therapy animals.
  • Researchers investigating AAI.

Will professionals need a therapy animal in order to join?

  • No. Professionals might work with volunteer therapy animal teams, plan to work with a therapy animal at some point in the future, or be in a field that requires knowledge of AAI.

Can I join AAAIP if I am registered with a different therapy animal organization?

  • Yes. You can be registered with any therapy animal organization and still join AAAIP and/or sit for the certification exam.
  • Registration with any therapy animal organization is not required for association membership or for the certification exam.

What is the AAI Specialist certification exam?

  • This first credentialing opportunity will provide a foundation for professionalizing and standardizing AAI as a complementary treatment modality within an existing professional practice.
  • Individuals who pass the exam will have demonstrated knowledge of best practices in AAI that include animal welfare, infection prevention, animal behavior awareness, theoretical foundations, and professional best practices.

Do I have to belong to AAAIP in order to sit for the exam?

  • No. Anyone who believes they can pass the exam upon reviewing the domains represented in the practice analysis can sit for the test.

Will the certification exam involve an evaluation with my animal?

  • No. This initial certification exam focuses on the core knowledge base helping to ensure no one is left behind jeopardizing animal welfare, client safety, or the field at large.
  • Certification programs evolve over time. As the field matures and based on the feedback of AAAIP members, a secondary certification involving an evaluation with a practitioner and their animal may be developed.

How can I stay informed about developments associated with AAAIP and/or the certification exam?

  • Sign up to receive our e-newsletter.