Atlas Certified Trainer Application

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We are excited you want to be a part of Atlas. cartoon dog holding leash


This application is part of the application package for certification as an Atlas Assistance Dogs Certified Trainer (Atlas Certified Trainer).


Prior to completing this application, please thoroughly review the following: 


user manual icon Our Atlas Certified Trainer Program to learn more about how the program works.



icon of policy Our Trainer Policies. By submitting this application you are committing that you will follow these policies while you are in the program and to maintain status as an Atlas Certified Trainer.


In addition to your application you will need to have four reference letters submitted directly to Atlas. Your application will not be processed without these. 


If you have any questions throughout the application process, please send an email to

info@atlasdog.org. We try to answer any questions within 24 hours. 


Reference letters
As part of your application we will need to provide at least four(*five) reference letters:
  1. Two personal references from clients you have worked with in private or group training for at least 6 months and have had at least 6 sessions with*. 
    *If your clients are typically shorter term you may alternatively provide three personal reference letters from clients you have worked with in private or group training for at least two months and have had at least 3 sessions with. In either case, preference is for people seeking service dog training from you, but any situation where you are the primary trainer is acceptable.
  2. Two professional reference letters from people in a dog-related profession (trainer, behaviorist, vet, supervisor, instructor, etc.) who have known you professionally for at least one year.
Please provide this link to our Reference Letter form to each of your references and ask them to complete them: https://www.tfaforms.com/4870045
Atlas Certified Trainer Program and Atlas Trainer Policies
It is very important that you read the Atlas Certified Trainer Program and Atlas Trainer Policies documents. The information in these documents becomes part of the agreement you sign when you are certified. 

We would like to call the following requirements to your attention:


I agree to treat all people and all dogs they work with ethically, compassionately, and as individuals. I will use only ethical and scientifically-based training methods, always employing the least invasive method possible, and will work with clients to ensure they understand and use humane and effective methods in handling their dogs. 

  • Ethics Pledge - Atlas Certified Trainers agree to the following pledge:I agree to treat all people and all dogs they work with ethically, compassionately, and as individuals. I will use only ethical and scientifically-based training methods, always employing the least invasive method possible, and will work with clients to ensure they understand and use humane and effective methods in handling their dogs.
  • Continued Certification Requirements - Trainers are certified for one year. Benefits of certification are detailed in the Trainer Program Requirements and Benefits document . They include preferred listing on our trainer search, access to exclusive Atlas trainer resources, use of the Atlas Certified Trainer Logo, discounted pricing on new courses as they are made available and more. To maintain certification, the following is required each year: 

  • Continuing Education -  Atlas Certified Trainers are expected to maintain education and expertise and constantly look for ways to improve. Trainers are required to provide proof of 10 or more continuing education units (CEU) during the previous year. Any CEUs accepted by CCPDT, IAABC and KPA are accepted by Atlas. Others may be accepted by request. 

Personal Contact Information



























Education and Certifications

Please list any college or dog training organizations/programs you have attended.





Experience with Dog Training in General

Please tell us about your background with dog training and your current professional status. You will have an opportunity to describe your specific service dog training experience later in this application. 








Experience Boarding or Breeding Dogs



Experience with service Dog Training






Training Facility




Experience working with people with disabilities


Understanding of Atlas Approved Training Methods




Team Facilitator

Establishing Equivalent Training Proficiency[Optional]

In this section, we give you the opportunity to tell us more about your areas of expertise you believe establish your proficiency in a given area and thus give you the opportunity for discounts in our program. This section is optional. 


The program focus areas where equivalent proficiency may be recognized are listed in our icon of checklist Equivalencies Appendix.


You are welcome to suggest other means of establishing proficiency. We will review these on a case- by-case basis during your interview. During and after your interview, we will let you know what qualifications we have accepted and what additional documentation is required to establish your qualifications in order to receive a discount on your certification fee. 


Please be aware, that while service specific skills are covered in the Service courses, all our courses are tailored to service dog training and add in details that are typically not found in companion dog training courses. Unless you are highly experienced in a given area, we encourage you to take the full program. Please see the Atlas Certified Trainer Program document for details on each course.


Please also be aware that for each area you feel you have sufficient experience and are requesting credit, you will be required to take an online test, consistent with the one offered with the course. If you do not receive a grade of 80% or higher, then you will be charged the balance for the cost of any courses not passed and those will be included in your program coursework. 


Please carefully review the Equivalency Appendix and then check off all areas you feel you have qualifying experience and would like to receive credit toward certification vs complete that portion of our course. No need to send any documentation now. We will discuss this during your interview. 


The courses that accept equivalencies are listed below.




*Equivalency only accepted for people who use a program that has been reviewed within the previous year.
**Equivalency only accepted for people who have already completed these Atlas courses within the previous year. 

Submitting the Application
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When Atlas receives your application, we will review the application for completeness. We will also let you know if all of your references are received or if any are missing. If there is missing information we will communicate with you to help resolve the issue. 


In completing this application, you are agreeing to the following:









                             We look forward to you joining the Atlas team