Mission Statement

To reduce canine unit liability by providing a more realistic, practical and modern option to the police canine industry "certification" process by the use of video documentation.


  • A) Audits will be conducted by a minimum of two auditors that are qualified in patrol, narcotics and explosive detection.
  • B) If two auditors disagree on pass/fail or video validity, the video will be sent to a third industry expert for a decision.
  • C) Audits may be conducted up to two times per year per K9 team.
  • D) Audits will be videoed to the specifications set forth by NCATS. A demonstration video and written instructions will be provided. The completed videos will be sent to NCATS in a format that can be downloaded.
  • E) All videos will be downloaded and kept by NCATS for the working life of the audited K9 team. We advise that you keep a copy of your video on a hard drive or flash drive as well.
  • F) NCATS will email a printable successful audit certificate to passing teams.
  • G) NCATS will provide at no cost up to 8 hours of advice and consultation from an industry expert if an audit or deployment were challenged in court.
  • H) NCATS will also provide at no cost up to 8 hours of advice and consultation by an attorney specializing in police canine matters.

I) Definitions:

  • 1) Auditor: a law enforcement handler that has trained 1 dog and performed a minimum of 100 deployments in the area to be audited.
  • 2) Industry Expert: a law enforcement handler that has trained a minimum of 2 dogs and performed a minimum of 500 deployments in the area to be audited.


The department may set up any type scenario they wish as long as the below guidelines are followed, remember the more realistic the better.

  • A) The handler will state their name and dog’s name, agency name, date and time of the video.
  • B) The video must stay continuous during the search. There can be no stopping, re-starting or editing of the video during the search.
  • C) The auditors will give a pass or fail to each exercise. If the auditors feel any portion of the video is in question, the team must re-submit that portion of the video.
  • D) When setting up audit search areas, common sense should be used. Place all hides in realistic places based on experience. The objective is to demonstrate to the auditors the team’s proficiency to search and locate narcotics.
  • E) All aids will be placed by a person not being audited. The hide locations, type of narcotic and amount being used will all be video recorded before the search begins.
  • F) The aids must be completely out of site and the location will be unknown to the auditee.
  • G) Aids will be Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine or any other narcotics of the agency's choice to include Marijuana.
  • H) Each agency will determine the amount of narcotics used for their audits.
  • I) Aids will be planted for a minimum of 5 minutes before teams begin their search. The handler can determine the start time.
  • J) The handler will articulate, and may reward, an indication or an alert that must be obvious to the auditors as well. An alert does not need to be an exact location. Do not consider a reward to the dog as "calling" the hide, the handler must articulate the hide too. If an area or vehicle is considered "blank", the handler must also verbalize. The video will be stopped upon reward and re-started before the handler resumes a search to reduce the amount of video time. The handler may also choose not to reward and continue to search.
  • K) There is no set time limit. The auditors will have final decision to fail the team due to time. Again, common sense should be used.
  • L) Each search may be done on or off lead.
  • L) NCATS is here to help you. If there is a specific searching method, technique or type of search that you do or prefer that is not listed to audit, email or call us directly and we will facilitate your needs.


Vehicle Search and Building Search as a minimum.


  • 1) Only one aid will be hidden per vehicle. One vehicle will be left blank with no aids hidden. Example: If there are 5 odors there will be a minimum of 6 vehicles.
  • 2) It will be the discretion of each agency to determine what type of vehicle to be used. Car, truck, van, RV, bus etc., and where the hides will be placed.


  • 1) Agencies may also choose to demonstrate the teams capabilities to locate narcotics inside of a vehicle.
  • 2) Vehicles used can be the same type of vehicle as mentioned above for exterior searches.
  • 3) The vehicle used to demonstrate the interior search shall have only one aid hidden within the interior of the vehicle.


  • 1) When utilizing a building with multiple rooms, only one aid will be hidden per room with one blank room. Example: 5 odors, 6 rooms.
  • 2) Each room shall be big enough to effectively demonstrate the teams searching ability and have a minimum of four places to hide narcotics.
  • 3) When utilizing a building with large rooms, the aids shall be placed a minimum of eight feet apart and the area searched should have four times the amount of aid hiding places as the number of aids used.
  • Example: If in a large room three aids are hidden at a minimum of eight feet apart, there must be a minimum of twelve additional places that an aid could be hidden.


  • 1) Agencies may also choose to demonstrate the teams capabilities to locate narcotics inside specific items such as luggage, boxes/crates, lockers etc.
  • 2) As a guideline, there should be a minimum of three times the amount of blank places to hide narcotics per every aid hidden. Example: To hide three aids in luggage, there must be a minimum of twelve pieces of luggage to conduct the audit. A consideration for lockers will be spacing. Depending on the size of the lockers, this formula may not apply.

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