Meetings of working groups of CEN/TC 452 "Assistance dogs"

Meetings of working groups (WGs) of the European technical committee CEN/TC 452, Assistance dogs, were held at the Croatian Standards Institute (HZN) from 2 to 6 December 2019:
- CEN/TC 452/WG 1 ‘Terminology’
- CEN/TC 452/WG 2 ‘Lifetime welfare’
- CEN/TC 452/WG 4 ‘Training and assessment’
- CEN/TC 452/WG 5 ‘Client Services’
- CEN/TC 452/WG 6 ‘Accessibility’
The kick-off meeting of the new working group CEN/TC 452/WG 3, 'Competencies for assistance dogs’ professionals', were held, too.
The working groups are developing a series of standards containing requirements for the training of assistance dogs for persons with disabilities, instructors, dog care, professional behaviour and competences, training of assistance dog users, etc.
The aim of the series of standards is to secure and maintain freedom of movement for assistance dog users both within and between Member states by establishing uniform criteria for assistance dog training service.
CEN/TC 452 is the first European technical committee the secretariat of which is held by HZN. Its chairman is Mr. Marijan Alfonzo Sesar, Ph.D., Director of Rehabilitation Centre Silver. Mr. Sesar is the first Croatian to chair a European TC.
CEN/TC 452 was established three years ago. It has so far drafted five drafts of preliminary work items (PWI), expected to be ready for registration as new work items (NWI) by mid-2020 – as drafts of future European standards for assistance dogs, their trainers and users.
Each meeting was attended by 18 to 30 experts coming from more than ten European countries. Some meetings were attended by representatives of ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardization, which in the case of CEN/TC 452 represents assistance dog users. Working group experts were welcomed by WG convenors, TC Chairman and TC Secretary.
TC Secretary Vesna Ferenčak Brodarić held an introductory presentation for the members of CEN/TC 452/WG 3, Competencies for assistance dogs’ professionals', about the rules of procedure for working groups, standardization procedures and some special rules applicable to standards for services/conformity assessment/availability rules that have to be taken into account in European standards development.
All working groups have reached a consensus on improvements to the existing working drafts and adopted action plans for new working drafts, to be registered as NWIs by mid-2020.
A meeting of the Chairman Advisory Group (CAG) was held on 5 December 2019. The Group consists of the Chairman and the Secretary of CEN/TC 452 and the convenors of all of its working groups (Irma Metzger, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 1, Laura Mout, Secretary of CEN/TC 452/WG 1, Karl Weissenbacher, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 2, Annie Hourston, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 3, Yasmine Debarge, co-convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 3, Peter Gorbing, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 4, Jennifer Lynn Ceia, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 5 and Judith Jones, convenor of CEN/TC 452/WG 6). At the meeting, the Action Plan of CEN/TC 452 for the first half of 2020 was adopted on the basis of WG convenors' reports.
The next plenary meeting of CEN/TC 452 will be held on 24 April 2020 in Helsinki, Finland, preceded by WG meetings from 20 to 23 April 2020.
The photographs below show the atmosphere at the meetings of CEN/TC 452 working groups.