Introduction to Animal-Assisted Interventions

The Introduction to Animal-Assisted Interventions course was developed in 2010 as an introduction to the key concepts underlying animal-assisted interventions (AAI) and became our most popular course.

The course is suitable for anyone who has an interest in the therapeutic potential of companion animals and is looking to increase their knowledge base in the subject and may not yet be currently practicing with AAI.

The course will help you to identify further skills required in order to practice AAI and will an excellent foundation to more advanced and practical workshops that are planned for future development.  Upon completion students will also receive a SCAS certificate of achievement confirming CPD hours.

Information regarding accreditation and qualifications.

Course content:

The course is 13 weeks in total length, is made up of four units, each taking approximately six hours of directed study to complete. The units are:

1. The development of AAI

  • Definitions
  • Historical development of AAI
  • Key organisations
  • The benefits of AAI
  • The different types of AAI

2.  The principles and practice of AAI

  • The range of models and activities in which AAI may be applied
  • A multi-disciplinary approach
  • Key considerations in programme planning

3. Clients and animal selection

  • Appropriate species choice; selecting individual animals; temperament testing
  • Client suitability, needs and evaluation
  • Matching clients and animals

 4. Care, welfare and safe practice

  • Safe practice and welfare 
  • Ethical, legal and moral aspects
  • Minimising risk: risk assessments; zoonoses; fears, phobias and allergies

Course Delivery:

The course is delivered online with full tutor support.  Whilst this allows an amount of flexibility in when and where you study, there are a number of assignments that require completion and submission by specified dates.   This helps to ensure that the group stay on track during the course and are able to complete within the 13 week period of the course.

Each intake is limited to 25 students to ensure that everyone receives the support they require.  Tutor support is offered by a variety of methods including telephone, Skype, live and recorded online group tutorials and discussion boards.

Course Tutors:

We now have a number of professional practitioners tutoring on this course including qualified counsellors and occupational therapists who are actively using and teaching others to use animal-assisted interventions.   A tutor will be allocated to you to support your learning experience.

Tutors on this course include:

Sallie Bollans: Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor / Stroke Rehab Dogs
Sarah Urwin: UKRCP Registered and BACP Accredited Counselor/Psychotherapist
Patrice Campion: Honours B.Sc in Psychology, a M.Sc in Psychological Research with a dissertation focus on Animal Assisted Interventions and Holistic Healing in depression and PTSD.  Dip. Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

Course Fees: £330 to be paid in advance.

Fees can be paid in full by secure online credit card payment.

Course Dates:

No intakes are currently scheduled. Course dates for 2016 will be announced shortly.

Course Requirements:

No priors knowledge is required for this course, however due to its delivery method there are some technical requirements:

You will need an Internet connected computer with speakers.  We recommend a minimum of 1MB Internet Broadband connection in order to comfortably watch streaming videos which form part of the course materials.  If you wish to receive tutorial support via Skype you will also require a microphone headset. Full technical requirements.

Please note that there is no offline version of the course available.