Certification Benefits and Fee Schedule

Benefits of Certification

Earning the C-AAIS credential distinguishes you as a professional who is qualified to integrate therapy animals into practice, positioning you as an advocate for the welfare of both the humans and the animals involved in AAI. Investing in certification is an investment in yourself and your long-term career.

The AAI Specialist certification can help you do the following:

  • Demonstrate your credibility to clients, employers, and other key stakeholders.C-AAIS logo
  • Be seen as a leader in the field.
  • Advance the standardization and professionalization of the intervention.
  • Provide a foundational understanding of the many aspects of successful AAI.

AAI participants benefit from these elements of certification:

  • Objective, independent, third-party evaluation and assessment of professional competence.
  • Commitment to client safety and/or consumer protection.
  • Accountability through ethical conduct standards and/or a disciplinary process.
  • Recertification requirements for continued or enhanced competence.
Apply to take the exam or review the Candidate Handbook.

Fee Schedule

Exam Fee
Exam Fee: $375
Exam Fee for AAAIP All-Access Members: $275

Making Payment
Payments are made online by credit card at the time of the application. Visa, Mastercard, or American Express are accepted. For questions related to the payment processes, contact AAAIP.


Candidate Handbook

Download the Candidate Handbook to review details about the exam and resulting certification.


Exam Preparation FAQ

Who can apply for the certification?
Where do I apply to take the certification?
How do I schedule the exam?
Can I reschedule the exam?
What is on the test and how do I prepare?
How long is the test?
Will the certification exam involve an evaluation with my animal?
What is the recertification process?

What's the difference between certification and a certificate program?


 

Who can apply for the certification?

The Animal-Assisted Intervention Specialist Certification (C-AAIS) is designed primarily for individuals wishing to incorporate AAI into their scope of practice, whether with their own animal or in partnership with a paraprofessional or volunteer therapy animal handler. Trainers or behaviorists involved in the training of therapy animals may also find it valuable, along with researchers investigating AAI. Anyone over the age of 18 may apply to sit for the certification exam. As the exam is computer based, it is available to candidates in any country. The exam is available in English only.
AAAIP All Access members receive a $100 discount on their exam.



Where do I apply to take the certification?
Applicants for C-AAIS are required to complete and submit the online application within AAAIP’s certification management system operated by AAAIP’s partner, Prolydian. If you do not already have a profile in the system, you will be prompted to create one. Applicants with a disability who require assistance in completing the application should contact AAAIP.

Candidates must complete the application in full, using their name exactly as it appears on a current approved government-issued photo ID. Approved government-issued photo identification includes the following:

  • Government-issued driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Non-U.S. Military-issued identification card
  • Any physical government-issued identification card (must include photo)

After your application and fees have been submitted and processed, you will receive a verification email with instructions on how to schedule the examination. If you have not received a receipt within two business days following online application submission, you should contact Prolydian at 850-739-8992 to confirm the status of the application.


 

How do I schedule the exam?

After completing the application, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your examination. Once the examination has been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email listing the date and time of the examination. The email will also contain instructions on how to prepare for a live remote proctored exam session. If you do not receive an email with instructions, please check your Junk or Spam email folders before contacting us.


 

Can I reschedule the exam? 

You may reschedule the exam, as long as you do so 24 hours in advance of the scheduled test time and if it is within your allowed six-month exam window. If, however, you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, or if you miss your appointment, show up late, or provide inadequate identification, you will not be able to make a new appointment without paying an additional testing fee. Specific instructions for rescheduling will be included in your exam scheduling confirmation email.


 

How do I prepare for the exam?
The C-AAIS credential is a computer-based exam composed of 125 multiple-choice questions administered in one session, with a single, predefined break. Candidates have three (3) hours to complete the exam. All questions will be included in calculating the candidate’s scores. The exam questions cover the topic areas detailed in the examination content outline included below. The exam is offered in English only.

 


 

What is on the test and how do I prepare?
The C-AAIS credential is a computer-based exam composed of 125 multiple-choice questions administered in one session with a single break. Exam content covers five domains:

  • Animal Welfare and Well-being
  • Zoonosis and Infection Prevention
  • Animal Behavior Awareness
  • AAI Foundations
  • Professional Best Practices

You can read more about each of these topic areas in the Practice Analysis which outlines what you’ll need to know in order to pass your certification exam. One way to determine if you’re ready to sit for the exam is to go over each bullet point in the content outline. This will help you create a study plan to address any topics that you are less familiar with.

 

There are a great number of resources you can use to help you prepare for your exam including textbooks, online courses, in-person classes, webinars, and more. While AAAIP does produce comprehensive education materials for professionals, they are not intended to be the only coursework that will prepare you for your certification. The AAAIP Certification Commission which oversees the integrity of the exam does not require, provide, approve, accredit, recommend or endorse any specific educational programs, courses, study guides, review materials, or other examination preparation products. Based on the study plan you create, you should look for education that addresses those particular topic areas.


The AAAIP Certification Commission provides oversight for the development and ongoing maintenance of the certification examination(s). The Commission and AAAIP staff work in partnership with the selected psychometrician to ensure the examination is developed and maintained in a manner consistent with generally accepted principles for professional certification programs.

 


 

How long is the test?
The C-AAIS credential is a computer-based exam composed of 125 multiple-choice questions administered in one session, with a single, predefined break. Candidates have three (3) hours to complete the exam.

 


 

Will the certification exam involve an evaluation with my animal?
No. This initial certification exam focuses on the core knowledge base helping to ensure no one is left behind jeopardizing animal welfare, client safety, or the field at large. Certification programs evolve over time. As the field matures and based on the feedback of AAAIP members, a secondary certification involving an evaluation with a practitioner and their animal may be developed.

 


 

What is the recertification process?
Recertification through continuing education demonstrates your commitment to staying abreast of best practices by ensuring your knowledge and expertise remain current. Certificants must recertify every two years to maintain active C-AAIS status.

There are a variety of continuing education opportunities available for certificants. To make the process easier, we have some preapproved continuing education activities, but candidates can also submit requests for other CE activities, as long as they align with the content on the practice analysis.

The recertification requirements include:

  • Continued agreement and compliance with the Code of Conduct for Animal-Assisted Intervention Specialists.
  • Submission of 12 hours of approved continuing education. All activities must take place following the date of certification to be eligible for credit.
  • Payment of recertification fee.

Candidates may also choose to recertify by taking the current version of the C-AAIS exam. A candidate who does not recertify within 45 days of their C-AAIS expiration date is considered expired and must retake the applicable exam.

 


What's the difference between a certification and a certificate program?

Learn the difference between a certification program and a certificate program.

 


Apply to take the exam or review the Candidate Handbook.