Certification Standards


Although NEK9 is a volunteer organization, the nature of this work requires a professional level of performance. NEK9 places great emphasis on rigorous training and certification which meets, or in most cases, exceeds industry standard. Trustworthy teams are the result of the quality of the partnership between the canine and handler, not simply an accumulation of skills.

NEK9 searches for both live and deceased subjects; therefore, testing for certification simulates an actual search. Trainees are required to pass 6 certification tests over the course of two seasons. Tests mimic search situations with variations in terrain, weather, vegetation, area size, and presence of evidence and subjects. For test 2, 3 and 4 the trainee will not know how many subjects will be in the search area.

  1. Night, trail search. Minimum of 1 mile in length, not to exceed 3 miles. (1 subject)
  2. Day, area search of 120-160 acres. (0-2 subjects)
  3. Night, area search 60-80 acres. (0-2 subjects)
  4. Day, two area search. (each area between 40-60 acres) (0-2 subjects)
  5. Water: Shoreline search of 1/2 mile. (1 large scent source-HRD)
  6. Land: 40 acre search. (1 large scent source-HRD)

NEK9 also has ADV HRD certification for both land and water search.

Please contact us for a full copy of our certification standards.