Join over 1500+ Professionals & Organisations certified with PAWS Therapy Dogs

Discover How You Can Introduce a Therapy Dog
Into Your School, Practice or workplace...

  • Watch the 5-min video to learn more
  • Complete the short application below to get started:

What's Included?

The PAWS Therapy Dog Certification is the most comprehensive and supportive programme that will
equip you and your dog with everything you need to know, and do, to deliver safe and effective animal-assisted therapy.

When you enrol, you'll access:


Specifically Designed For:

Therapists & Counsellors

Clinical or Counselling Psychologists

Psychotherapists & Psychiatrists

Schools & Educational Establishments

What Practitioners Say About PAWS...

What Practitioners Say About PAWS...

Animal-Assisted Therapy is fast becoming the most popular option in across the UK...and for very good reason! 

Extensive research studies have shown that Animal-Assisted Therapy can:

  • Support children, young people and adults
  • ​ Promote higher participation and reduction in withdrawal behaviours 
  • ​ Effectively reduce stress and anxiety
  • ​Improve self-esteem and self-determination
  • ​​ Stimulate memory and problem solving
  • ​ Lower blood pressure
  • ​​Increase engagements and positive outcomes in rehabilitation
  • ​Increase verbal and non-verbal communication 
  • ​​ Foster positive emotions and mood 
  • ​ Help clients to express their feelings
  • ​ Help to develop social skills
  • ​Boost quality of life

And ultimately, improve the outcome of the therapy.


Meet Nici...

People and Animal Wellbeing Services (better known as PAWS) is the culmination of a very personal journey that started over six years ago, when I had a dawning realisation that my daughter was really struggling. 

Since then, I have completed numerous qualifications in Animal Assisted Therapy, Understanding Autism, Counselling, Mental Health First Aid and a Dog Training Certification which has led me to fulfil my life’s work to enhance the wellbeing of those who experience poor mental health, disability or social disadvantage. 

PAWS is more than a passion for me... It’s a mission, to bring the magic of Animal Assisted Therapy to those who can most benefit. 


Nicola Maxwell,
Founder of PAWS

How Do I Get Started?

  • 1. Click 'APPLY NOW' and submit a short application.

    Once you've submitted your details, you'll get the opportunity to fast-track your application by scheduling a call.
  • 2. Our friendly PAWS Team will be in touch to discuss your application.

    We'll tell you on the phone if you're eligible for funding and be able to enrol you straight away.
  • 3. Enrol on the Certification Programme and start your Therapy Dog journey!

    You'll get Instant Access to the online learning platform, our Practitioner Community, and support calls with Nici.


Answers To Common Questions

How much does the programme cost?

The PAWS Therapy Dog Certification Programme is £1997 + VAT. We have subsidised funding options available which reduce the investment to £997 + VAT. You can select to apply for subsidised funding on initial application and our team will be able to let you know if you are eligible.

How do I know it's right for me?

If you love dogs and believe in the power of animal assisted therapy - and you work in an educational, clinical or therapeutic capacity - the programme is perfect for you.

Are there payment plans?

Yes! You can pay in full, or split your instalments into either two or four interest-free instalments. The payment plan options also apply to subsidised spaces. These are in high demand, so please note that subsidised spaces cannot be held or guaranteed.

Do I need a dog to get started?

You can get started on the programme without a dog, but you will need a dog to be able to complete the programme. Most applicants have a pet dog whom they believe would make a good Therapy Dog, although many of our applicants are also awaiting puppies.

Is there an enrolment date?

You can get started with the programme right away! You'll get instant access to the programme as soon as you enrol.

Does my location matter?

Due to the in-person assessment that takes place towards the end of the programme, you must currently be residing in the UK. Our Assessors travel nationwide.

How long does the programme take to complete?

We recommend that the programme takes around 4 months to complete, but there is no time limit or deadline. You can work through at your own pace and take your assessment when you are ready.

What does the programme consist of?

The programme contains four high-quality video-based modules, with supporting resources. The lessons are easy to work through and easy to binge watch - like Netflix, but with Therapy Dogs!

What will the programme enable me to do?

The programme will enable you to deliver safe and effective Animal Assisted Therapy & Animal Assisted Interventions in your workplace or business. You will be a PAWS Accredited Practitioner and your dog will be a PAWS Accredited Therapy Dog. You'll be be able to proudly display our digital badge, as well as order a PAWS Therapy Dog jacket for your dog to wear whilst they are working.

How am I assessed?

There are quiz assessments throughout the modules which must be submitted with a pass mark of 70%. Your final assessment will consist of an online theory assessment, an in-person assessment and a compliance check. There are no written essays in the Therapy Dog Certification Programme.

When is the in-person assessment?

The in-person assessment can be booked at any time to suit you when you've reached Module Three. It lasts around 2 hours. The assessment is a great opportunity for feedback and improvement. We're about progress, not perfection!

What if I need help or support?

The PAWS team are here to help on You'll never be on your own during the programme - support is available via our online community group and with weekly live Supervision Clinics.

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