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Appointment of Assessors Standard Operating Procedure – SOP 6

Appointment of Assessors Standard Operating Procedure – SOP 6

Standard Operating Procedures are designed to be shared with members and new member applicants in the interests of transparency

Key definitions:

Site / Centre:A single location housing animals, or a group of locations housing animals but under common management. These may or may not be owned by the rescue.
Foster Carer:Typically a domestic home providing temporary care for an animal, or small number of animals. The animals may be housed in the home, or in purpose built facilities on private property. If a foster home is under the management of a specific site / centre of an organisation, it is not always essential to be separately assessed, but the process for selection and management of foster homes will be assessed.
SAWC:ADCH’s Standards and Animal Welfare Committee, which has delegated authority from the Trustees to make decisions on Membership.


Further guidance can be obtained from ADCH staff ([email protected])

1. Authority to appoint Assessors is delegated by the Board of Trustees to SAWC.

2. SAWC shall regularly review the number of Assessors required to carry out both sufficient external assessments of existing members and of prospective members, giving due regard to the geographical spread of those organisations.

3. Assessors may be but are not restricted to individuals working or volunteering within an existing ADCH member organisation.

4. When additional Assessors are needed SAWC will advertise via ADCH website and other communication platforms. When carrying out assessments, Assessors are acting for and representing the views of ADCH, and not their employer (if applicable). Applicants and assessors will be made aware of ADCH’s risk assessment for carrying out onsite risk assessments available here.

5. Assessors will be recruited through the ADCH Volunteer Application Process:

5.1 Applicants will be provided with a copy of the Assessor Role Profile and asked to complete a Volunteer Application form.

5.2 A member of SAWC will contact the applicant either in person or via telephone to carry out a short interview.

5.3 If application is progressed, references will be sought, unless the individual is an existing ADCH volunteer in another role.

5.4 When considering suitability, SAWC shall use the following criteria:

5.4.1 Need – is the applicant able to cover the relevant geographical area/s?

5.4.2 Skills and experience – does the applicant have the skills and experience detailed in the Assessor Role Profile?

5.4.3 Commitment – can the Assessor commit to carrying out no fewer than four assessments in a 12-month period?

6. An Assessor will be inducted and trained as follows:

6.1 The Standards and Operations Officer will ensure that the Trainee Assessor:

  • Receives background information regarding the Association.
  • Receives and understands the latest Minimum Standards and guidance.
  • Receives and understands the relevant Standard Operating Procedures that relate to the Assessment process, and the work of the Association to promote acceptable welfare standards.
  • Receives copies of template Assessment Forms and any other documentation needed to carry out assessment visits.
  • Receives copies of the Association’s Expenses Policy, Confidentiality Policy, Lone Working Policy and any other relevant policies and procedures. Where the Trainee Assessor is employed by a Member organisation, the Member & Administration Manager or Standards and Operations Officer will ensure appropriate agreement and policies are in place with the Member organisation.
  • The applicant will be asked to share their driving licence details, and asked to ensure that they are insured for driving to and from assessments, if they are planning on driving to assessments.

6.2 Trainee Assessors will attend at least one external assessment with a trained and experienced assessor. A further  training assessment can be requested, and spaces as ‘second assessor’ for new member assessments. During these visits, the assessment process, including use of the Assessment Form, will be discussed and demonstrated. In addition the trainee assessor will observe the Assessor explaining to the rescue being assessed about the benefits of membership and how to access them. Additional opportunities to shadow will be provided if required, particularly with different types of rescue (e.g. species specific, different types of animal housing and setting).

6.3  After one or two assessments (as above) the Standards and Operations Officer will advise that SAWC would like to confirm that they are now granted to carry out assessments as a trained assessor. Initially these assessments will be with another assessor, particularly if the type of rescue to be assessed has not been covered in the assessor’s training, or their work experience.

7. The assessor will be welcome at any time to raise queries with the Standards and Operations Officer about assessing or volunteering with ADCH.