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Guidance For Assessors Standard Operating Procedure – SOP 5

Guidance For Assessors Standard Operating Procedure – SOP 5

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. ADCH assessors undertake external assessments of prospective and existing ADCH members. Assessors may be members of the Board of Trustees, or other individuals appointed by the Board of Trustees, or by the Standards and Welfare Committee.

2. Assessors route to appointment includes an application, informal interview with a member of SAWC AND induction and training. Training includes an explanation of the process from an existing assessor and shadowing an experienced assessor on a assessment visit.

3. The procedure for booking in an external assessment is as follows:

3.1 An email introduction will be made by the Standards and Operations Officer.

3.2 A copy of previous assessment forms, if an existing member, will not be provided. This is to ensure that the assessment  is not unduly influenced by historical information which should have been rectified, potentially at the expense of spending time examining any new areas of non-compliance that have occurred.

3.3 Book a convenient date for all assessors and the rescue via email or over the phone. Allow 2 hours on site.

3.4 If more than one assessor, agree who is responsible for the documentation.

3.5 Ensure all parties are aware of the risk assessment for assessments, available here.

3.6 Ensure the member or prospective member has access to a copy of the ADCH minimum welfare standards document and advise of the scoring process. The assessment form is shared, by using the online form the rescue can find out which standards they will be assessed against in advance, which may be helpful.

3.7 Carry out pre-assessment research on the rescue, a suggestion of how to go about this is available in the assessor’s toolkit.

3.8 When carrying out assessments, Assessors are acting in and representing the view of ADCH, and not their employer (if applicable).

3.9 During the visit, highlight the benefits of membership including; help and support available, newsletters, networking opportunities, open meetings and conferences, workshops and deep delves and help available for areas of non-compliance including grants. Useful information to share with rescues is available in the assessor toolkit.

3.10 Complete an assessment form for the rescue, either online or in the Excel file, using the scoring formula of 2 for full compliance, 1 for partial compliance, or 0 for non-compliant. If using the Excel, please also complete an Assessment Report and Recommendations form.

3.11 For any standards scoring less than 2, include an explanatory note on the assessment form, and the rescue’s plans to rectify the standard. You might be able to make suggestions from your own experience and knowledge or seek advice through SAWC if helpful.

3.12 Explain the next steps to the rescue. For new applicants, SOP 1 sets these out. For existing members SOP 3 covers the remainder of the process.

3.13 Submit completed documentation in collaboration with any other assessors (files should be submitted to       [email protected]), or submitted using the online form.