Standards

Framework for Job Descriptions and Qualifications for companion animal psychologists, behaviourists, trainers and advisers

The following framework has been devised in response to a request from the Companion Animal Welfare Council for job descriptions for companion animal psychologists, behaviourists, trainers and advisers and has devised and agreed by the member organisations of the Pet Education, Training and Behaviour Council (PETbc)

It provides the foundation for developing recognised job descriptions for all those involved in the canine sector.

The educational ‘Levels’ referred to in the table are those currently recognised in the UK. Full descriptions of these Levels and the way in which they relate to nationally recognised educational awards can be found by Clicking Here (Opens in new window)

Companion Animal Psychology, Behaviour and Training Practitioners Levels of Expertise
Levels Dogs Cats Horses Rabbits Rodents Exotics
7/6 Lecturer
6/5 Canine Psychologist/ Behaviourist
6/5 Teacher/lecturer
5/4 Specialist Canine Psychologist/Behaviour Practitioner/Trainer
4/3 Canine Behaviourist Practitioner/Trainer/Advisor
4/3 Specialist Dog Trainer/Instructor
3/2 Dog Training Instructor
3/2 Pet Socialisation and Training Adviser
Examples of practitioner knowledge and experience at each Level
7/6 Doctorate/Postgraduate/Lecturer with specialist knowledge and understanding of canine and owner psychology, behaviour modification and epidemiology and including practical experience as a practitioner.
6/5 Post graduate or veterinary surgeon with specialist knowledge and understanding of canine and owner psychology, behaviour modification and epidemiology and including practical experience as a practitioner.
5/4 Honours graduate or equivalent practical and theoretical experience, with specialist knowledge and understanding of canine and owner psychology, behaviour modification, some understanding of epidemiology and including practical experience as a practitioner.
4/3 HND/HNC/OCN/C&G (Level 3) or equivalent with practical and theoretical experience in training and behaviour modification, canine and owner psychology and some understanding of epidemiology.
3/2 Practical knowledge and experience of dog ownership, the socialisation of puppies and basic pet dog training.
Examples of practitioners at each Level
7/6 Lecturer in psychology or veterinary surgery with specialist knowledge and understanding of canine psychology, behaviour modification and epidemiology and including practical experience as a practitioner.
6/5 Post graduate or veterinary surgeon with specialist knowledge and understanding of canine psychology, behaviour modification and epidemiology and including practical experience as a practitioner.
5/4 Trainers of support dogs, military, police, search and rescue dogs, ‘sniffer’ dogs, gundogs and other working dogs and those involved in counselling owners and solving serious behaviour problems including aggression.
4/3 Those involved with the training and care of support dogs, military, police, ‘sniffer’ dogs, search and rescue dogs, gundogs and other working dogs. Some limited counselling of owners and solving minor behaviour problems. Instructors in obedience and/or training classes.
3/2 Breeders, Veterinary Nurses and others involved in advising clients and/or socialisation classes for puppies and with experience of basic pet dog training.