New form for carrying out assessments against revised Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards (August 2023)
Happy new Standards day!
As it’s 1 August, the revised Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards and now the relevant standards to assess against and for members to work towards and meet. Please now ensure you are assessing with the revised form, which is available here.
Any feedback on either the standards themselves, the process, the form, please do get in contact with Clare.
New toolkits available (July 2023)
I’m pleased to say that three new toolkits are now available (see below under useful documents) to help rescues create the documents we most commonly see missing, puppy socialisation, kitten socialisation and euthanasia policies.
New Training and Assessment Manager (April 2023)
I’m very pleased to say that we’ve now been joined by our new Training and Assessment Manager, Emily Sockett! Emily brings a wealth of experience in looking after volunteers and providing training for volunteers to ADCH. She’ll now be looking after the recruitment, induction and training of all our assessors, as well as assisting with the assessment programme.
Guidance on aversive training techniques and equipment (March 2023)
The Animal Behaviour and Training Council have kindly provided up with a copy of their list of known techniques and equipment that they have deemed to be aversive. You can find a copy here, and in the usual information section to the right. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, due to regular new training regimes being publicised and new equipment coming to the market, you may find this helpful when holding discussions around behaviourists at assessments.
New guidance produced for assessing indoor foster only rescues, and other rescues who use indoor foster carers (January 2023)
With an increasing number of applicants (and now members) running exclusively out of foster carer networks, and rescues with centres making use of their fosterers as intake levels increase nationally, we recognise the need for consistency in how these rescues are assessed.
With the launch of the self-assessment round for 2023 this month, guidance was provided in understanding how the existing standards apply to indoor foster homes. This has proved to be a stumbling block in the past as members try and understand which standards they could apply to their settings. To that end a guidance document is also available to assessors which includes this same standard-by-standard guidance, but also sets out the procedure and considerations to take into account when carrying out assessments, particularly of rescues running entirely out of indoor foster homes. This guidance can be found here, and under the guidance section below.
Revised Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards published (December 2022)
On 20 December 2022, the revised Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards were published following consultation with members, and the introduction of the licencing of animal welfare premises in Scotland. These will apply to all members and applicants from 01 August 2023 – until then, the current standards apply. We will look to get a session set up just for assessors to look at these in more detail in the new year.
New Standard Operating Procedures and Risk Assessment published (August 2022)
The Standard Operating Procedures and Risk Assessment for carrying out assessments have been revised by the Standards and Animal Welfare Committee, please see links to the left.
A key difference is that, further to the changes made to procedures during the pandemic, the revisions should allow us further flexibility in how we operate if any events prevent us from carrying out assessments as we would wish to in future, without requiring an immediate review. The risk assessment too is now intended to be an overarching risk assessment of the process, rather than just covering coronavirus transmission.
Update on technical error on new assessment form (June 2022)
Unfortunately, the error with the ‘save and return’ function on the new assessment form/tool remains. The error means that if you use this function it will not save all the data you have already input. You are still able to use the form to submit assessments, and you can still find the relevant standards to score by filling out the first section and printing or saving a copy of the form it gives you. Where two assessors are working together, some have been working over a video call and screensharing the form to fill it in together.
I am pleased to say that the data captured in the form is now feeding through to our database, which will help give us much more oversight of our member’s standards in future years.
As a reminder the form can be found here: https://form.jotform.com/211532933335047
Policy templates for rescues (May 2022)
We have a puppy and kitten socialisation templates, and a euthanasia policy template available for rescues (existing and applicants) who do not already have their own in place. You’re welcome to share these for the rescue to use.
Recording of December’s training session now available (April 2022)
You can now view a recording of the Assessors’ training session held on Zoom in December here in the toolkit (under ‘Useful documents’)