Canada’s First Voluntary National Standard of Canada for Animal-Assisted Human Services

OTTAWA, September 13, 2022 – The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services (CFAS) is pleased to introduce Canada’s first Voluntary National Standards of Canada (NSC) for Animal-Assisted Human Services (AAHS).

Animal-Assisted Human Services (AAHS), commonly referred to as Animal-Assisted Services, encompasses a variety of multi- and interdisciplinary practices, and Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) that include Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA), Animal-Assisted Learning (AAL), and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) which support humans while safeguarding the welfare of the Human Service Assistance Animals (HSAA). AAHS is a self-regulated subcategory within Canada’s human services industry, all-encompassing sector, and growing marketplace. This NSC outlines the requirements for developing a management system for an Animal-Assisted Human Service Provider (AAHSP). It aims to:

  • increase transparency and accountability of the delivery of AAHS;
  • establish essential requirements and best practices for AAHS administration and governance; and
  • promote a voluntary, third-party AAHS conformity assessment program to cultivate a credibility chain.

What People Told Us – Public Consultation Quotes:

Thank you for doing this vital work.

I appreciate the importance of the common language and definitions provided.

This is very important to ensure that the field develops as a profession.

It is exciting to see these standards being built and put in place. I was involved in the early stages of this goal, and it is nice to see it coming together.

My main concern is the welfare of the animals.

I appreciate the time and effort that has gone into developing the standard and would like to thank everyone on the committee, especially HRSO and CFAS, for your leadership.

I agree with the requirement for Animal-Assisted Human Service Providers to have written procedures that determine the Human Service Assistance-Animal’s “capability and suitability” to deliver Animal-Assisted Human Services.

I appreciate the work and dedication provided in this document.

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About Us

The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services (CFAS) is an impartial national registered charity that promotes the availability, credibility, and sustainability of Animal-Assisted Human Services excellence.

The charity’s programs encompass but are not limited to stakeholder engagement, special events, advocacy, outreach and education, research, and the development of voluntary National Standards of Canada (NSC).

We aim to cultivate unity in diversity among multiple stakeholders and sectors to enhance public confidence, public safety, quality, and animal health and welfare to nurture One Health for People, Pets, and Partners™.


For more information or to connect with us, please visit us on our website or email us at: