Federal law currently does not require that trainers or their dogs be certified, however with increasing behaviour problems form both valid and pet dogs it may be one day demanded. This code was designed to be a level standard to ensure propery behaviour and skills of Service Dogs trainers/Organization, handlers, service dogs and Owner-Trainers. As no standard or code can foresee every posible circumstance its is up to the most qualified trainer in each organization to interpet what is needed to remain in the spirit of the code, while upholding public safety and the rights of the disabled .
Trainers are expected to have some form of formal education in dog behaviour, an alternative to formal behaviour education is at least 3 years of experience through trainer apprenticeships, or 5,000 hours of training work in the dog field (i.e. agility, show). All “service dog trainers to be” should apprentice under a more experienced trainer for at least 2 years and when qualified is granted the title of Certified Service Dog Trainer.
Service dogs are expected to complete their training and attain passing grades, all graduates from programs and trainers are considered Certified Service Dogs, otherwise they would not have been assigned to be used by a disabled handler. Dogs that don’t make the cut are job changed or retired. The main distinction is between “Service Dogs in training” (SDiT) and fully trained graduates (SD). The ADA does not apply to service dogs in training, even if being trained by a disabled handler.
I expect this to be debated. An alternative is to simply not use the term certifed, accredited or registered and stick to a more basic model of, complies with SDS standards.