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AMPWDA Certification Standards

Effective January 1, 2017

1. Candidate must be a member in good standing.
2. Certifications will be conducted at AMPWDA Seminars and / or designated Certification days.  Each paid registration to an AMPWDA Seminar or AMPWDA Certification day will entitle the payee to one (1) certification attempt.  A retest may be available, time permitting at our current retest rate.
3. All AMPWDA Certifications will be valid for two (2) years, with the exception of the Police Service Dog and Narcotics Detection Dog Certifications, these Certifications will be valid for one (1) year. The Certification is only valid so long as the member is in good standing, and the AMPWDA Code of Ethics and Bylaws are upheld. 
4. All AMPWDA Certifications are for the canine and handler that complete the test. The Certifications are not valid in any other combination of canine and handler.
5. AMPWDA reserves the right to cancel any Certification for violation of the AMPWDA Code of Ethics and Bylaws.
6. AMPWDA will not refund any Certification or Academy fees if the AMPWDA member is removed for violation of the AMPWDA Code of Ethics and Bylaws.
7. All Certification Tests are pass or fail, based on the criteria listed below.  Final determination is up to the AMPWDA Master Trainer and will not be open for debate.. 

All Mantrailing Certifications
Will Be Tested Double-Blind


BASIC
AMPWDA Level 1 Mantrailing

The trail will be a minimum of thirty (30) minutes old and approximately one half (.5) of a mile in distance. The trail will cover at least  three (3) surfaces, have one (1) road crossing and at least one (1) 90 degree turn. There will be no intentional cross trails. A scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner will be waiting at the end of the trail. The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and thirty (30) minutes to complete the trail.

AMPWDA Urban Mantrailing

The trail will be a minimum of forty-five (45) minutes old and approximately three quarters (.75) mile in distance.  There may be one (1) or more major road crossings. There will be an intentional cross trail. There will be at least one (1) ninety (90) degree turn. Trail will include at least seventy (70) feet of hard surface. Scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner will be waiting at the end of the trail. The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and forty-five (45) minutes to complete the trail.  

EXPERT
AMPWDA Level 2 Mantrailing

The trail will be a minimum of one (1) hour old and approximately one  (1) mile in distance. The trail will cover at least four (4) surfaces, have at least one (1) road crossing, at least one creek crossing(if available) and multiple turns. There will be at least one (1) intentional cross trail. A scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner will be waiting at the end of the trail. The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and one (1) hour to complete the trail.

DISTINGUISHED EXPERT
AMPWDA Level 3 Mantrailing

The trail will be a minimum of four (4) hours old and approximately one and one quarter  (1.25) miles in distance. The trail will cover at least four (4) surfaces, have at least one (1) road crossing, at least one creek crossing(if available) and multiple turns. There will be at least one (1) intentional cross trail. A scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner may or may not be waiting at the end of the trail.  If the runner is not present, a large scent article will be left and the trail end will be clearly marked.  The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and one and one half (1.5) hours to complete the trail.

MASTER
AMPWDA Level 4 Mantrailing

The trail will be a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours old and approximately one and one half  (1.5) miles in distance. The trail will cover at least four (4) surfaces, have at least one (1) road crossing, at least one creek crossing(if available) and multiple turns. There will be at least one (1) intentional cross trail. A scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner may or may not be waiting at the end of the trail.  If the runner is not present, a large scent article will be left and the trail end will be clearly marked.  The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and two (2) hours to complete the trail.

AMPWDA Human Remains Detection

Prerequisite Courses - Handler must provide copies of certificates for the following: Crime Scene Preservation Course, HAZMAT Awareness Course, Blood borne Pathogens Course, and Canine must be AKC “Canine Good Citizen” or equivalent

Prerequisite Physical Condition - Handler and dog must be able to physically complete all tests. It is recommended that the dog be rated a “5”, as per the Purina Body Condition System. The Master Trainer reserves the right to stop any tests based upon the physical abilities and/or safety of the dog or handler.

Land Tests
Sources shall be at least 15 to 30 grams, and may also include larger sources to simulate realistic scenarios. No pseudo will be used. There will be a total of 8 areas. Wooded area minimum size shall be at least 50 yards with maximum size of 1 acre. Seven areas will have human remains. One area shall be a blank. The blank area shall not be the first or last search area. One of the eight areas shall contain animal remains. The team shall have a total of 2 hours to complete all tests.
-- Exposed – 5 to 7 bones exposed on top of the ground within a 30 foot radius area in a wooded environment.
-- Ground – 1 source covered with leaves, pine straw, etc. in a wooded environment
-- Buried – 1 source buried 6 to 24 inches deep in a wooded environment
-- Elevated – 1 source elevated 4 to 6 feet high in a wooded environment
-- Containers – 1 source hidden in 3 to 5 containers. Containers may be vehicles, garbage cans, coolers, boxes, etc. in an urban environment
-- Building 1 source hidden inside a building within an urban environment
-- Debris – 1 source hidden in 2 to 3 debris piles (debris piles in this manner is to simulate human remains being concealed by a suspect – not a collapsed building event. Debris may be pieces of wood, mattresses, tires, etc.). This may be in a wooded or urban environment. NOTE: This does not certify the team as a disaster recovery team. It is a separate test.
-- Blank Area – One area shall contain no human or animal remains.
-- Animal Remains – One area shall contain animal remains.

Water Tests
Sources shall be at least 15 to 30 grams, and may also include larger sources to simulate realistic scenarios. No pseudo will be used. There will be a total of 2 areas with 3 sources. The team shall have a total of 1 hours to complete all tests.
-- Shoreline – 250 to 350 feet in length, at least 50 feet or larger across. Source depth between 3 to 10 feet below the surface. There shall be two sources located in this search area.
-- Open Water – 1 to 5 acres of open water. Source depth shall be between 10 to 30 feet below the surface.

AMPWDA Air Scent Live Find

Prerequisite Courses & Requirements - Handler must provide copies of certificates/proof of the following: Crime Scene Preservation Course, ICS-100 & ICS-700, Up to date training logs, and AKC CGC or equivalent.

Prerequisite Physical Condition - Handler and dog must be able to physically complete all tests. It is recommended that the dog be rated a “5”, as per the Purina Body Condition System. The Master Trainer reserves the right to stop any tests based upon the physical abilities and/or safety of the dog or handler. 

Level 1 – Basic Search
Locate a single stationary subject in a pre-defined 40-60 acre area, within 2 hours, including breaks. A GPS may be used.

Level 2 – Intermediate Search
Locate a single stationary subject in a pre-defined 60-80 acre area, within 3 hours, including breaks. A GPS may be used.

Level 3 – Advanced Search
To achieve the Level 3 certification, the team must successfully complete both a night and day search. The Master Trainer reserves the right to conduct tests on a single or multiple days. A GPS may be used for both searches.

Night Search: Locate a single stationary subject situated within an 80+/- acre area, within 3 hours, including breaks.
Day Search: Locate two moving subjects located within a 140-160 acre area, within 4 hours, including breaks. 

AMPWDA Police Service Dog

Certification testing will be performed in each of the following five (5) categories.  A separate certification will be awarded for the passing of each individual category.  When the the K9 team holds a current certification in all categories, they will receive a certification for the title 'Police Service Dog'.

1) Obedience Testing

Obedience is the foundation of all dog training and, during the course of its instruction, builds an important bond between the handler and canine. Additionally, a trained and certified police service dog must demonstrate obedience as it ensures that the dog will perform as expected when deployed and reduces liability for the team and their respective department. As such, passing the obedience evolution is a requirement for certification.

The testing will include the following exercises: sit, down, stay, recall (at a distance), heel (3 speeds: slow, normal, double time), right turn, left turn, about turn, and down in motion.

The team must be able to complete the following exercises utilizing both hand and/or voice commands when instructed to do so by the Master Trainer: sit, down, stay, recall.

The order in which the exercises are to be performed will be determined by the Master Trainer at the time of testing.

Though pinch/prong collars are allowed for this evolution, electronic correction collars will not be permitted. Further, any handler giving excessive, unnecessary or undue corrections will be asked to leave and be given an overall failure for the certification.

This is a pass/fail evolution and successful completion is required to advance to the next evolution.

2) Criminal Apprehension/ Handler Protection

The intention of this evolution is to test the team’s ability to apprehend a person whom may be fleeing the police and needs to be taken into police custody. This evolution will also measure the canine’s ability to apprehend and a suspect and hold them until the handler can arrive to safely take the suspect in custody.

It is the intention of this evolution to test the canine’s ability to deploy when it recognizes that the handler is being assaulted or at the command of the handler when an assault is imminent.

This evolution shall be administered in the following manner:

a. The handler and canine will approach a suspect and attempt to question them relative to a crime they may be involved in. The suspect will show passive resistance by simply verbally refusing to speak to the police at first. Then, the suspect will begin to walk away and eventually begin running from the police. The canine will be deployed to apprehend the suspect as he is fleeing.

b. The handler will "out" his dog and place it in a sit or down stay position or recall to a finish position.

c. The suspect will, in a standing position, be positioned in such a fashion so as to simulate a pat-frisk or search incident to arrest. This is a two repetition exercise. One pat down will be executed with no assault on the handler. The second will be when the suspect pushes away from the handler. The canine will apprehend the suspect.

d. The handler will "out" his dog and place it in a sit or down stay position or recall to a finish position.

e. The team will respond to an area designated by the Master Trainer, approximately 30-40 yards away from the suspect. The handler will be instructed to send his dog to apprehend the suspect. When the dog is clearly fixed on the suspect, the handler will recall his dog.

The following considerations shall be adhered to relative to this evolution:

a. The handler will be required to use verbal commands given to the suspect before deploying his dog, as would occur in the field as in a real life deployment.

b. During the handler protection exercises, the dog must apprehend the suspect that assaulted the handler with or without command.

c. During the recall, the handler is to send his dog from the "finish" or "heel" position. The handler is not to move from their position. The dog must be recalled to the handler or be in a down/sit in motion. A failure will be issued for the entire evolution if the canine comes in contact with the suspect in any way during this exercise.

d. The first exercise of the evolution (long-send apprehension) and the final exercise of the evolution (recall) may be done during gunfire, blanks only, at the Master Trainer’s discretion. If evoked, there will be a minimum of 2 shots fired.

3) Area Search (Suspect)

The intention of this evolution is to determine the dogs ability to search and commit to searching for a suspect in a predetermined area. This area may be an open field, or a portion of a wooded area.

The Master Trainer shall put a suspect in a pre-determined location within the area to be searched. The dog will be deployed off leash and directed to search the area only after the handler issues to appropriate warnings.

This is a timed evolution. The time shall be determined by the Master Trainer and varies based on the area to be searched. The test can be terminated if the Master Trainer determines that the dog is no longer working or if the suspect is not apprehended within the time limit.

The dog must apprehend the suspect to successfully complete the evolution.

This evolution will require the handler to take a tactical approach to their search of the area and maintain officer safety considerations. Though not a reason for evolution failure, the Master Trainer will recommend remedial training for the handler if obvious and egregious officer safety issues should arise during the exercise.

4) Building Search

This evolution is designed to simulate a real-world situation and, accordingly, is designed to test the canine’s ability to search a building in an attempt to apprehend a suspect.

There will be 3 types of buildings used: a residence, a warehouse or commercial building, and a school.

The suspect will be hidden in an area pre-determined by the Master Trainer and will be hidden for at least 10 minutes prior to the search. They will be placed in an area of concealment from the team and will be, if possible, a person unknown to the dog.

The test must be done off leash and the handler will accompany the dog through the search and can encourage the dog when needed or necessary. All doors in the building are to remain closed if that is the way they were when the test was started. The handler will not open any doors for the dog unless instructed by the Master Trainer. The dog must give a readily identifiable indication to the handler when a suspect is located.

This evolution will require the handler to take a tactical approach to their search of the building and maintain officer safety considerations. Though not a reason for evolution failure, the Master Trainer will recommend remedial training for the handler

5) Police Tracking

A police service dog must be able to trail persons who flee from, or are wanted by the police.  This test will be conducted using single-blind protocol.

The trail will be a minimum of thirty (30) minutes old and approximately one half (.5) of a mile in distance. The trail will cover at least  three (3) surfaces, have one (1) road crossing and at least one (1) 90 degree turn. There will be no intentional cross trails. A scent article may be used. Handler, Canine and one (1) Person Backup will be permitted. The runner will be waiting at the end of the trail. The K9 team will be given ten (10) minutes to start the trail and thirty (30) minutes to complete the trail.  K9 team may be asked to conduct an apprehension at the end of the trail.

AMPWDA Narcotics Detection Dog

Narcotics Detection Dog (NDD) certification through AMPWDA is achieved when the canine team completes all 3 of the following evolutions successfully in the presence of a Master Trainer: vehicle searches, building searches and open area searches.

When testing, the order of the testing will begin with vehicles, and progress to building and then open areas. The dog will be given sufficient time to rest and recover after each evaluation. This time period is to be determined by the Master Trainer.

In order to proceed from one evolution to the next, the team must have successfully passed the preceding evolution. That is, in order to progress from vehicles to buildings, the team must have first successfully completed the vehicle search evolution. Failure to perform to standard in any of the evolutions will result in an overall failure for the certification.

The Master Trainer reserves the right to amend the order of testing at their discretion however, teams will still be required to pass the first exercise to advance to the second, and pass the second to advance to the third.

These evolutions are pass/fail situations only. There is no point system, nor are the teams subject to comparison based on the performance within the standard, by a point or rating system.

A team will be allowed one certification attempt every six months. If the team fails to certify after two attempts in a calendar year, they will not be allowed to attempt a certification for one complete calendar year after the date of the last test attempt. The handler is responsible for providing documentation regarding the re-training that the team underwent prior to their next certification attempt.

No pseudo-narcotics will be used for the testing during any of the exercises or evolutions. The Master Trainer will place the source odor in a location unknown to the handler in such a manner so as not to be readily accessible by an active alert dog.

Dogs will be tested in as many as 5 odors. The handler will inform the Master Trainer as to how many odors the dog is trained to detect. There must be a minimum of one hide per odor, per evolution.

There is no time limit to this test.

Vehicle Searches

The purpose of this evolution is to determine the reliability and proficiency of a dog in the detection of narcotics that may be concealed in or on a motor vehicle.

7 vehicles will be searched. Target odors will be concealed about the interior and/or exterior of 5 of those vehicles, leaving 2 blank.

The handler must "call" 4 out of the 5 vehicles with source odor. Only 1 miss is allowed.

Building Search

The purpose of this evolution is to determine the reliability and proficiency of a dog in the detection of narcotics that may be concealed in or about a building.

2 Blank rooms will be used. A minimum of 1 hide per odor is required.

Handler must "call" 4 out of the 5 rooms with target odor.

Open Area Search

The purpose of this evolution is to determine the reliability and proficiency of a dog in the detection of narcotics that may be concealed in an open area, or that have been discarded by persons attempting to lead the police astray.

Hides will be placed in an open area by the Master Trainer.


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