UCL Human Resources


Assistance Dogs on Campus - Guidance

Guidance for students, staff and managers on Assistance Dogs on campus. This guidance has been produced jointly by Safety Services, Estates, EDI, Student Support and Wellbeing and HR.



1. Some disabled staff, students and visitors need to use a trained Assistance Dog, and under the Equality Act 2010, assistance dogs are welcome on UCL premises at all times, provided this guidance is followed. 

2. This guidance is for assistance dogs only. UCL prohibits individuals from bringing any other animals, including therapeutic or companion pets, onto its premises.  The only exception is where an animal and its handler are invited to an organised student wellbeing activity approved by Student Support and Wellbeing; or as part of a staff wellbeing activity and approved by UCL.  

UCL Definition of an Assistance Dog

3.  An Assistance Dog is a dog which supports people with disabilities and medical conditions and has evidence of being highly trained.

Responsibility of Members of the UCL Community

4. Assistance Dogs are not pets, and members of the UCL community should not:

i) Feed, pet or praise Assistance Dogs.
ii) Distract or startle an Assistance Dog; or
iii) Interfere with the Assistance Dog’s service.

Responsibilities of the Assistance Dog Owner on UCL premises   


5. Visitors who are on campus regularly (5 or more days per year) and staff and students must register their assistance dogs with UCL, before bringing their dogs on campus, so that necessary arrangements can be made. 

One-off visitors to campus should let their host know they will be bringing their assistance dog.

Assistance dogs must be identifiable by an appropriate jacket and harness.  


6. Assistance dog owners are responsible for ensuring that their dog is covered by public liability insurance.

Animal care and supervision 

7. Assistance dogs are highly trained professional working animals and are highly unlikely to exhibit poor behaviour or cause any issues.

8. Owners are responsible for the behaviour and wellbeing of their assistance dog. The owner should take all reasonable steps to ensure that their assistance dog does not cause physical harm to another, nor damage UCL property.

9. Animal care such as feeding, watering, health checks, vaccination and grooming, are the owner’s responsibility. Owners must ensure that their dog does not introduce parasites to the university premises.

Assistance dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. 


10. Assistance Dogs and their owners will have received the appropriate training to ensure that the dog toilets at appropriate times and locations. Assistance Dog owners are asked to clean-up the assistance dog’s waste where they are able to, or to request assistance from Security where they are unable to, and the waste is on campus.

Restricted Access

11. UCL may restrict access of Assistance Dogs to certain areas where risk controls for health or safety may be compromised. Examples of restricted areas may include certain laboratories, medical facilities, or areas where protective clothing is required. 

12. Exceptions to access will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Any review will consider risk management and potential reasonable adjustments.

Removal of Assistance Dogs

13. UCL reserves the right to remove or bar entry to an Assistance Dog when it poses a threat to the health & safety of others or where unresolved animal misbehaviour continues.

Procedure to register an Assistance Dog with the University

14. Visitors who are on campus regularly (5 or more days per year) and all staff and students must register their assistance dogs with UCL, before bringing their assistance dog on campus, so that necessary arrangements can be made.

Regular visitors must provide their host; staff must provide their line manager; and students must provide Student Services with evidence of their assistance dog’s training. 

Evidence may be:

  • a copy of their Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK) identification booklet or
  • a letter from the training organisation confirming they have been trained or
  • a certificate and id card from The Assistance Dog Assessment Association who will assess any Assistance Dog to ensure it has been trained to the correct standards.

15. The host line manager or Student Services will forward the copy to the Inclusive Environments team, who will hold a central list of the dogs and their owners and will ensure that the Fire Safety Services team and Security hold a copy.   

16. Student Services will work with the student to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are outlined in their Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA) and that they and their dog can access UCL campuses and premises. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis because of the varying facilities available at each site.

17.The host or the line manager will work with the visitor, employee, worker or contractor to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are met to ensure that they and their dog can operate successfully in the workplace. 

18 The line manager will also ensure that emergency evacuation plans are updated or a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is completed where required.

Complaints or concerns

19. Room bookings and timetabling can be contacted to ensure separate rooms are available for those suffering from allergies so that they are not in the immediate vicinity of where a dog is,or has been. 
Some may find this allergy and phobia guidance useful.  

20. If an Assistance Dog Owner or a member of the UCL community has a complaint or concern about the application of this policy they may raise this with their line manager, personal tutor or with the HR Employment Policy team.  

21. In an urgent situation Security should be called on 020 7679 2222.

Associated Documents

Assistance Dogs: a guide for all businesses from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Guidance on access to UCL buildings.

UCL staff guidance on reasonable adjustments.

UCL Enable: a social network for disabled staff and allies.

UCL Support for disabled students.

UCL Report and Support.

UCL Safety Services guidance on disabled people and fire evacuation.

HR Employment Policy

April 2024