Explanations of Terms: Tests, Clinics, and Evaluations

Difference Between Test & Clinic

The test is the first part of our certification process. The Certification Prep Clinic is a two-hour class (for dogs and their owners, though it is possible to audit the class without a dog) that TDV offers to anyone who wants to learn more about becoming a therapy dog team and get some preliminary training with their dog. The Certification Prep Clinic is not a pre-requisite for testing, though it is highly recommended as an opportunity to learn about certification and ask questions, as well as experience the testing process and get some training with your dog.

Difference Between Test & Evaluation

TDV certification, which allows dogs and their owners to make volunteer therapy dog visits in our communities, happens in two phases. The “test” is the first phase in our certification process. If a candidate meets all of our requirements at the testing phase, he or she moves on to phase two, which we call “evaluations”. There are three to five evaluations, which are supervised visits to facility (usually a nursing home or elder care center) with one of TDV’s evaluators. After a team completes all of the required evaluations, then the team is granted certification and able to make therapy dog visits as part of TDV.