Pet Education, Training & Behaviour Council

Course Approval

What PETbc approval of courses means for your organisation (as agreed by the PETbc Board)

Dog Behaviour – Dog Training Courses assessed:
Canine Behaviour & Psychology as described in the PETbc roles
Canine Training all disciplines as described in the PETbc roles
Other pet species

Course Definition: Accredited Courses
A PETbc approved course scheme means that you are demonstrating your commitment to quality teaching and management in pet education. Your organisation becomes part of a UK National First Division Organisation that represents the leading edge of animal welfare and education, bringing together institutions dedicated to providing the highest standards of educational learning to their students. Course membership guarantees your connection to the latest data, trends and initiatives, as well as connecting you to the world’s leading educators and thinkers.

The most engaged and active pet-centred course providers are eligible to be members of the PETbc and stay connected with leading course providers in pet management education.

Membership is helpful in many aspects: from ensuring that students are learning relevant material, to allowing access to funding where applicable. Its reviews include self-evaluations, field and hands-on reviews when necessary.

Distance Learning and Workshop Courses
PETbc Accredited Courses.
Representatives from organisations running Approved Courses can have their courses added to the course list by sending information to the PETbc, along with information regarding target audience for the course and the methodology used in teaching. All such courses are subject to the same assessment standards and review criteria by PETbc appointed council members regardless of the curriculum delivery methods used.

Fees for assessing courses reflect the course type and assessment level the course provider requires. In general, PETbc Accredited and Assured courses compare favourably to levels 2,3,4 and 5.

Canine Accredited Courses may offer practical workshops for their students
These courses are all facilitated by the course providers and their approved instructors. They cover the basic philosophy and methods of dog training/behaviour; other specialist disciplines of canine training and experiential cutting edge learning, as described below. The courses are the sole legal responsibility of the course providers not the PETbc.

Participation in workshops is a prerequisite for individuals wishing to advance their knowledge for career development in certain training disciplines offered. You can view the canine disciplines on the PETbc roles and on the home page.

Click here to see the List of Rolls page

Continued Quality Assurance
Annually, our accredited course providers will be required to submit a selection of student work. This should be completed for 10% of all students depending on the various levels of study.  This will be externally verified by an approved PETbc assessor. This is to maintain the quality standards and to ensure awards and or credits at the appropriate level.

Health & Safety Policy
All course providers are required to produce a current health and safety policy in accordance with teaching institutions and especially relating to working with dogs. The PETbc has the right to request the course provider alter or amend the Health and Safety Policy to fit the types of courses that are being supplied.

Authorised Representative
A senior staff member of your organisation must be the nominated representative in all dealings with PETbc. This person is your organisation’s point of contact with PETbc and is known as the Authorised Representative. All correspondence, invoices, etc., which PETbc sends to your organisation will be addressed to the Authorised Representative.

The Authorised Representative may be any senior staff member from either the technical or managerial staff. It is important that they are in a position of sufficient authority to ensure that your organisation complies with the criteria for Approved and Assured status at all times. There are advantages in nominating a person who, although not closely involved in day-to-day operations, has authority to act on behalf of that organisation.

The Authorised Representative is expected to be present at on-site assessment entry and exit meetings.

Documentation Review
Before the on-site assessment of your organisation, manuals and supporting documents making up the technical and quality systems will be comprehensively reviewed by the PETbc to ensure compliance with the relevant general criteria (the standards), the relevant specific criteria and other criteria, as detailed in this section. Prior to or during on-site assessment, you will be notified of any significant changes needed to the documents.

PETbc Programme Manager
Your organisation will be allocated to the appropriate PETbc Programme Manager (PM) for the field of pet behaviour concerned. The PM will designate a PETbc Approved and Assured Assessor (the lead assessor) who will contact your nominated person (Authorised Representative) to arrange a suitable date for the assessment and to discuss the proposal. This person nominated by the PETbc from the Council is independent of any course provider and is not employed as such. PM will change from time.

Assessment Procedure
The objective of PETbc assessments is to confirm that your organisation is actually doing what its manuals/website state it will do and that it meets good teaching practice for that discipline. During its on-site visit, the assessment team will focus on the technical operations, the quality system, competence of signatory applicants, key technical personnel and on the methods used. Information gathered will include, but is not limited to, review of records, discussions with management and signatory/ training personnel and the observation of activities within the parameters of the PETbc Approved and Assured description. The team may wish to witness tests or other work relevant to the scope of the assessment procedure.

Most assessments take one or two working days to complete, but visits to larger organisations or those whose work extends over a range of disciplines, may take longer. All locations offering the services for which Approved and Assured status is sought will need to be visited by the assessment team.

The assessment begins with a meeting between the Assessment Team and the senior staff of your organisation. This entry meeting provides an opportunity for:

  1. The timetable and scope of the assessment to be finalised
  2. A review of the Approved and Assured questionnaire
  3. Resolution of any immediate queries that the assessors or staff may have.

You are asked to provide a point of contact person to liaise with the assessment team for the duration of the visit. This should be a senior member of your organisation who has sufficient authority to ensure that assessors have access to your facilities where workshops are held.

Observations made during the assessment will be recorded on a checklist or notebook. These will include observations noting how your organisation operates and teaches. Following the information gathering, the assessors meet to review their notes and summarise their findings.

The assessment ends with a meeting where representatives of your organisation are given the summary of findings, including details of any areas where guidance maybe needed and changes made. All findings will be fully discussed before the Assessor.

Within 60 working days of the visit, your organisation will receive a comprehensive written report on the assessment findings, which were discussed at the exit meeting. The report will place the findings into two categories:

  1. Course Advice Exchange (CAE) is action that your organisation must carry out before Approved and Assured status can be granted. CAE usually relate to non-compliance with the General or Specific Criteria.
  2. Recommendations are actions that your organisation is urged to carry out in the interests of good teaching practice, but are not considered CAE.

Your progress in carrying out the required actions will be monitored by the PETbc Assessment Coordinator. Once the assessor is satisfied that all conditions for Approved and Assured status have been fulfilled, a report will be prepared on the assessment for consideration by the PETbc General Manager – Approved and Assured Services and the relevant PETbc Education Assessors (PEA). This includes the proposed scope, the assessment report and responses to it, information on the key personnel, as well as any relevant proficiency activity and follow-up action.

The PETbc officers will review the assessment report; if they are satisfied that all Approved and Assured criteria have been met, they advise the Chairman of the Approved and Assured Advisory Committee (AAAC) who will recommend to the PETbc Director that Approved and Assured status may be awarded on behalf of the Testing Laboratories Registration Council. The recommendation includes the particular tests or types of activities for which Approved and Assured accreditation is to be granted and, where relevant, the names of your staff that are to be awarded signatory approval or have been appointed as Key Technical Personnel. The Council will grant Approved and Assured status, issue certification of Approved and Assured status and publish the name of your organisation, together with details of the scope of Approved and Assured, in the PETbc Course Approved Directory, which can be viewed at any time at This is normally displayed on the course providers page under Courses.

Where major departures from Approved & Assured criteria are found during an initial assessment, further electronic communication (and/or visit) may be needed to confirm that the assessment team’s requests have been carried out.

Once Approved & Assured, your organisation enters the PETbc programme of scheduled reassessment, which is normally checking that course materials and delivery are constant with the original application. These exchanges ensure that the technical and quality systems continue to meet the criteria for Approved & Assured status and continue to work effectively.

Once compliance has been demonstrated within the agreed time interval, PETbc formally grants continued Approved & Assured.

Extension, Suspension and Withdrawal of Approved & Assured
Approved organisations may apply to have their scope of Approved & Assured changed at any time. An extension to the range of accredited services, or the addition of a new approved signatory, will usually require PETbc to carry out a limited assessment with a Technical Expert.

If routine reassessments, surveillance visits or special assessments reveal that an organisation’s systems no longer meet PETbc’s criteria for Approved & Assured status, or if the organisation refuses to carry out requested corrective actions either at all, or within the specified time, then Approved & Assured status may be suspended or withdrawn.

Approved & Assured status may also be suspended when an organisation, through no fault of its own, is temporarily unable to comply with the criteria for Approved & Assured (e.g. when all of its approved signatories or key training personnel leave). The management of accredited organisations is expected to plan its staff resources, as far as is reasonable, to avoid such occurrences.

PETbc Educations Assessors
PETbc Educations Assessors should be constituted in accordance with PETbc Codes of Teaching Practice on Examining as laid out in Assessments. No special arrangements apply to distance learning courses, save that PETbc examiners must be comprehensively briefed on the nature of the course, its structure and its aims and objectives, with specific attention being paid to the effects of the mode of delivery (distance learning) on these.

PETbc assessors/examiners are normally appointed for four years
The dates of meetings of PETbc Educations Assessors should also have regard to the timing of course time-lines for completion.

Reports by external examiners must be presented in accordance with the PETbc Education Assessors standard requirements as notified under Codes of Teaching Practice.


Examples of how we have helped professionals:

  • Teachers have found PETbc helpful in developing skills to deal more effectively with challenging students.
  • PET Course Managers have been guided in developing more effective services and implementing structural and staffing changes.
  • Administrators have been taught on policy development and innovation at an organisational level, and policy makers have been educated about effective methods and approaches to engage learners in education and to have an impact on the pet owning community.