The Assessment Process
Max is very proud of his Final Resident Visa on his Passpawt
You want to know about the assessment process don't you? I'm very proud of achieving my Passpawt and I want you to bark up the right tree when learning about PAW. I feel the need to be as well educated as my owner Gemma. She's a Customer Services Manager in the PetCare team, don't you know?
The PAW programme gives employees and their doggies the chance to ease into the programme step-by-step. First up, they get their line manager's permission. They'll then fill in a questionnaire - it was a simple process. We were assigned a Dog Friendly Buddy after that... she was lovely and helpful.
After the questionnaire we received an assessment pack and Gemma read the programme overview to me. My behaviour was assessed - I was good as gold and charmed everyone with my impeccable manners.
Purina recommends that a dog’s time in the office should be slowly increased over time - this way we can adjust to the office environment as smoothly as possible and they can continue to foster a safe and pleasant environment for us, our owners and all of our colleagues.
I was one of the first hounds to receive the official Passpawt and proud to be leading the pack. I had to take part in a three month probationary period and took my ‘finals’ which were a series of assessments in the office and some feedback from my mates. Further inpawmation below:
Embarkment: The journey to getting a Passpawt begins
It starts with a simple questionnaire to help assess eligibility - including age, behaviour, toilet training, activity routines and vaccinations/health assessments. These are shared with our Pets at Work team including independent specialists from COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) who supervise dog behaviour assessments. Once completed, the dog is on its path to pawesome. The questionnaire is really important as it’s the first point of contact to help the independent specialists to understand the dog and get a flavour of his/her routines and circumstances. This enables the specialist to offer some initial advice, ask some additional questions and prepare for the next step - meeting the newbie. At this point we also assign the owner's Dog Friendly Buddy.
Pawthorisation - it's a pawesome time
During the next leap, one of the COAPE Veterinary Nurse Behaviour Assessors (COAPE VNBA) will contact the employee to organise a dog behaviour assessment, including 12 simple exercises, in the comfort of the dog’s own home, favourite park or any other location the dog is familiar with. The exercises include evaluating the dog’s reactions to new people and ability to follow simple requests. The purposes of these assessments are to make sure that the dog will be comfortable, settled and happy in the workplace and if any development areas are identified, the team of specialists can help the owner work through them.
Peter continues: "Successful completion of the exercises at this stage is a good indication that the dog will be comfortable with the work environment. The owner is provided with feedback on the assessment - Purina understands that some dogs may not successfully complete all of the exercises for one reason or another. The COAPE VNBA will discuss the results and offer insights into why the dog may not be demonstrating the expected behaviour. They’ll give advice on how best to help him/her improve and get to the next assessment stage as soon as possible. The dog will also need to undergo a health check – pop up health clinics happen every month. Dog owners are invited to consider pet insurance and it's highly recommended to purchase third party liability cover. After the dog passes this phase we provide new furry colleagues with athree-month probationary Passpawt, and a warm welcome to the pack at City Place.”
Tail-End Phase - the home stretch
Max here - I got excited so wanted to butt in! We’re nearly there – soon we get to meet new friends in the office. I was observed at City Place and assessed again by a COAPE VNBA who checked how well I was adjusting to the environment. This assessment was based on 10 workplace exercises lasting approximately 30 minutes and took place with other office dogs in situ – to provide realistic distractions and to check I could behave myself in the office. I did rather well!
This final phase included everyday scenarios such as seeing how I reacted to being left alone at Gemma’s desk, the stimulation of office noises, and observing that I acted in a generally sociable manner with colleagues – humans and pooches alike. I’m very sociable so I loved this part. Purina then asked for feedback from Gemma and her friends on how they thought I was adjusting to office life. Feedback was positive and I satisfactorily met PAW requirements during the three month probationary period. I was then officially welcomed with my final resident visa stamp. It was a walk in the park!