Guide dog charity leads the way with new degree

guide dogs for the blindA charity that provides guide dogs for the visually impaired has announced a new degree after an exercise to re-appraise its training methods which lasted four years.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, which is based in Reading, will start to enrol students on its new Foundation Degree for Canine Assistance later this month. This new degree will be accredited by the University of Chester, and those undertaking it can customise it to suit their role within their current job.

This means that people working for the charity wishing to branch out into another field, or further their career, can boost their chances of doing so by taking extra modules whilst being credited for the knowledge and skills they already possess.

Head of employee development at the charity, Beverley Aylott, explained the need for the new qualification:

“The problem we had before was that if someone wanted to move between roles, for example, from working in dog care to being a mobility instructor, we had to start from scratch with their training.

“Now, we will be able to look at the modules required and see that they already have, and it will be easier for them to work the remaining modules and transfer roles much quicker.”

It is hoped that the new degree will assist the charity in managing its workforce more effectively and plan on filling vital jobs such as Mobility Instructors, which require years of intensive training to perform.

Other modules available on the course, which will be delivered from the organisation’s training centres in London, Atherton, Forfar and Leamington, include dog breeding, dog welfare, re-homing retired dogs as well as modules dealing with visual impairment and guide dog/human interaction.