The need for a defined National Occupational Standard (NOS) for dog behaviourists and trainers became apparent as long ago as 2008. The late Sir Colin Spedding, Chairman of the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC), approved the Pet Education, Training and Behaviour Council as being the best-equipped organisation to drive forward the production of the new National Occupational Standards.
The significance of being able to call upon the UK’s leading experts in this field cannot be overstated. The dedication of Council Members and those affiliated to PETbc member organisations has ensured that the future occupations of those with exemplary qualifications, as well as practical skills, will be recognised as professionally competent to provide the services to dog owners and commercial organisations within the UK.
The Government, through LANTRA – the UK’s Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries – worked principally with the PETbc in partnership with the Kennel Club, enthusiastically supported by the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association, the British Institute of Pet Dog Trainers, the Cambridge Institute for Dog Behaviour and Training and the Guild of Dog Trainers.
The establishment of National Occupational Standards for dog behaviourists and trainers elevates the status of those professionals or dedicated enthusiasts working with dogs to a level commensurate with general animal behaviourists and those engaged within the equine industry. It is a significant step forward for professional bodies such as the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as veterinarians, who are required to appoint professionally qualified dog behaviour practitioners to deal with dangerous dogs or difficult behaviour cases.
County Councils and other local authorities, as well as all dog charities, are now able to use the National Occupational Standards when an expert to assess dogs’ temperament and behaviour is required. In addition, they can expect an applicant seeking employment to have demonstrated the competence to achieve the standards set and will have the level of expertise to undertake the appointment. In effect, these National Occupational Standards will set dog behaviourists and trainers apart from the general practitioners known as “animal behaviourists” whose breadth of knowledge across the range of animal species precludes them from the intimate relationship enjoyed by those dedicated solely to the canine genre.
The dedication exhibited by the members of the PETbc involved in formulating these National Occupational Standards for dog behaviourists and trainers has been instrumental in driving this whole sector forward into a brighter future, essentially for all canine practitioners, but certainly for all dogs.
The Lantra National Occupational Standards relating to canines have been approved and can be found by clicking the button below
Pet Education Training & Behaviour Council Chairman. David Cavill FRSA FInsD