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IGDF Members E-Newsletter April 2024
Organization: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Location: National Headquarters and Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork
Job Type: Full time
Deadline: May 26, 2022

Job Description

Contact at organisation: Eileen Collins, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Phone: 021 487 82 82


Purpose of Role

The Guide Dog Programme Support Officer will ensure:

  • Achievement of strategic plan objectives including targets for partnerships, aftercare and dog welfare.
  • Efficient delivery of the Guide Dog Programme.
  • Effective operation of the Guide Dog training team.

This person will work with the Guide Dog Programme Manager to develop specific areas of focus, such as: Client Development and Support, Guide Dog Quality Control, and Education and Development.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Plan

  • Coordinate with and support the Guide Dog Programme Manager and Guide Dog team to achieve agreed outputs as outlined in the strategic plan.
  • Collaborate with Assistance Dog Programme Support Officers to ensure standardisation and consistency across programmes.
  • Support the development of new and existing programmes.
  • Perform instructor or trainer frontline duties as required.
  • Lead by example to embed a ‘One Team’ approach and build effective relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Cover for Guide Dog Programme Manager as necessary.

Quality Assurance of Programmes

  • Ensure efficient uses of resources, including optimising class and aftercare scheduling.
  • Develop and implement technical training guidelines to enhance standards and productivity so that dog quality controls are met, i.e. conduct informal progression checks and formal mid and end point checks.
  • Focus on increasing touch time for individual team members with an emphasis on participating, developing and implementing touch time training environments, i.e covered run/IGDB Training Centre/local training routes.
  • Ensure programme standards are aligned with relevant international governing bodies such as the IGDF.
  • Cultivate a continuous improvement culture and contribute to and implement continuous improvement projects as required.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to develop and optimise the class schedule, including task and dog allocation.

Client Development and Support

  • Drive a client focused service that supports client wellbeing and partnership success.
  • Develop and implement person centred plans with both potential future Guide Dog owners at a young age and Orientation and Mobility Instructors.
  • Engage with non-compliant partnerships on the issues of dog care and public complaints.
  • Lead on the delivery and development of all client services, including client engagement and aftercare support.
  • Ensure high quality of services are delivered to all clients within agreed timeframes.
  • Assist in and develop client training and aftercare as required.
  • Work with relevant stakeholders to ensure effective client systems and processes.

Education and Development

  • Lead on apprentice training, class supervision and coaching of team members to deliver team targets.
  • Serve as Apprentice Coordinator and assume all responsibilities of the role as specified in the IGDB Apprenticeship Programme.
  • Organise client education covering all areas of the service along with social events for all service users.
  • Work collaboratively with team members to develop individual staff work plans and project plans, ensuring clear goals, objectives, targets and tracking of their performance against target.
  • Develop the organisation by building relationships with other IGDF schools and other stakeholders through sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources.
  • Participate on CPD and relevant training to support your continuous professional development.


  • Comply with agreed reporting processes to maintain accurate data and quality control standards.
  • Collaborate with relevant team members to create progress reports for dogs in the pipeline.
  • Work across teams to recommend career paths for dogs before or after intake.
  • Support the delivery and reporting of agreed KPIs as required.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant policies and procedures.
  • Support a data led approach to decision making.
  • Supporting a one team approach, liaise with other departments to create feedback loops on the development and improvement of our dogs, i.e. from client partnerships to breeding.

In addition to these key accountabilities, you may also have ownership for one or more key processes that will be communicated to you via your manager and/or the Performance Management framework.

Values and Behaviours

IGDB places great emphasis on how people get the job done. For example, we need people who are passionate about enabling people who are vision-impaired and families of children with autism to lead better lives and become more mobile and independent. Employees are expected to achieve these standards to fully meet the expectations of their role.

Values and behaviours Description

  • Respect Treats Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers with equal respect.
  • Is open-minded and tolerant of different views.
  • Teamwork Supports a team environment which promotes wellbeing and maximises personal effectiveness.
  • Communicates clearly and effectively with others.
  • Strives to be supportive, consistent and professional with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers.
  • Optimism Is solution-focused and looks to bring a positive attitude to challenges. Celebrates wins and encourages others to do the same. Does not fear failure – believes we can all learn lessons for the next time together.
  • Conscientiousness
    Takes pride in what is done and how it is done.
  • Always presents a professional and capable manner in all tasks that are completed.
  • Has a clarity of purpose, sets a good example for others.
  • Is accountable for what is done and takes ownership for achievement.
  • Integrity Leads by example.
  • Is fair and consistent when working with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers.
  • Takes ownership of achievements and responsibility for failure.
  • Excellence Strives to continuously improve own performance.

Person Specification


  • Guide Dog recognised Instructor or Trainer qualification with a proven track record of delivering key outputs.
  • A “hands-on” and “can do” attitude that can influence through collaboration and leadership.
  • Proven track record for consistently meeting and exceeding goals and delivering a superior level of job performance.
  • Ability to make key decisions and deliver results in challenging situations.
  • Time management and experience multi-tasking across concurrent projects.
  • Excellent verbal, written presentation/IT skills and communication skills.
  • Ability to achieve results working collaboratively and independently.


  • Evidence of continued professional development to enhance knowledge and experience relevant to the role.
  • Demonstrable experience in planning, organising and reporting on project work and ongoing work programmes.

Special Conditions

  • Full clean driving license essential.
  • Must be eligible to work in Ireland and EU.
  • You may be required to work outside of normal working hours, travel and overnight stays throughout the country required from time to time.
  • Subject to full Garda (Police) vetting.

How to Apply

To apply, please send the below information to

  • Up-to-date CV
  • Cover letter highlighting your specific areas of interest and skill sets
  • For Non-EU Applicants: proof of eligibility to work in the EU

The closing date for applications is 26 May 2022.

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is an equal opportunities employer.