ASCT REACHES OUT TO OTHER CERTIFICATION BODIES FOR CHANGE
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A NOTE TO ALL CERTIFICATION ASSOCIATIONS! We encourage ALL K9 certification associations and organizations to please amend your certifications to include the following listed requirements. Let’s all get on the same page with what keeps our K9 teams best prepared, regardless of who is the certifier.

ASCT works tremendously well with these standards and we are happy to share it with ANY association in efforts of helping ALL of the law enforcement agencies we are assisting, preparing, and protecting.

If you’ve checked the ASCT News page or have keep abreast of the U.S. Supreme Court arguments, you have noted that on October 31, 2012, two cases were argued before the Justices that have/had the potential of changing search and seizure, as well as handler/K9 criteria. I the past, certification documents (from any association) was sufficient to show a dog team’s accuracy. That is changing fast, VERY FAST.  In fact, the Supreme Court justices can change that, in entirety, in one decision. And they likely will, either now or in a soon to be case.

ASCT certified teams, who meet the organizational standards, have no concerns for current or future decisions of this type. Why?  ASCT already requires handlers to display and prove maintenance and K9 reliability, on a continual basis. ASCT has already structured our certification requirements to include records checks, double blind-hides, audits, and check & balance standards. Most certification associations, organizations, and companies simply do not require this type of vetting of handler records. We encourage you to make the change.

Attorney Mike West, the ASCT certification director, was quoted in the Richmond Times, “It is something that associations do not want to follow-up on. They want members. They are not really concerned with what happens between those annual certification tests. The organization that retains my assistance (ASCT) does require it.  They are more focused on the outcome and not numbers.”

U.S. Federal Attorney, Charles Bradley Cooper, stated in the Valley Sate Herald (pa), “There has to be some accountability for K9 officers and the persons who certify them, in that they unequivocally have to prove the dog can always perform the same way, and not just once per year. And from my experience, that is where the certification body has someone from leadership perform some sort of check between the certification periods.”

Let’s take a look at what specifically ASCT requires:

1. All K9 teams are required to certify once per year.

2. Double signature certification, meaning twice verified, at different times of the year, by 2 different parties, one of whom is a certification board member. Usually, this is accomplished during advanced training classes. Thus, allowing teams to further training and expertise, while meeting standards.

3. The certification director is an attorney, not K9 affiliated and not a master trainer. He is retained to govern certifications, assuring that all documents are succinct. The body of evidence of meeting standards must be precise.

4. ASCT retains an AUDITOR, who is also an attorney of liability and fair practice standards. His job is to audit every record of every individual who holds a certification in assurance of meeting requirements. He also monitors the complete national flow of k9 liability and court awareness far above case law, he communicates with both prosecution and defence litigators to feel the pulse of what is occurring nationally, correctly adjusting ASCT guidance for agencies and handlers.

5. When handlers have questions they can speak directly to a certification board member instead of being limited to a local trainer. This assures strong information and also a balance of performance proof and avoids bias.

6. ASCT sponsors university and/or research institutes annually. ASCT distributes top academic findings to handlers every year in classes. This assures that our k9 teams are getting the absolute best, technical and operational information available.  Academia is our best resource for preparation.

7. All ASCT handlers earn accredited collegiate credits with every class they attend. This is achievable due to the academic commitment and relationship with universities and accreditation bodies. It is not easy to accomplish but all associations and organizations should make the attempt.

8. All certifications require proper records to be recorded and registered. This assures an advancement far exceeding the national average requirements by the majority of certifications. And it prepares handlers to not only stronger, more exacting, court perpetration but further allows a multi-expert court qualification to be achieved. Even further, this mandate assures that handlers are best prepared for events such as Supreme Court rulings of records and validations.


Rona Ashie M.A., M.S.
Senior Master Instructor Certified
Program Director

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