Pet Professional Guild British Isles to Offer Credentialing as Free Membership Benefit in Quest for Higher Levels of Professionalism
Initiative will support professionalization of dog training and behavior consulting throughout the United Kingdom
PPAB currently offers three levels of credentials, each with specific operational guidelines and eligibility criteria – Level One: Canine Training Technician (CTT-A), Level Two: Professional Canine Trainer – Accredited (PCT-A); and Level Three: Professional Canine Behavior Consultant – Accredited (PCBC-A). Approved industry credentials from external parties may be transferred to their PPAB equivalent provided they meet eligibility and ethical criteria and in no way dilute the established level of required knowledge criteria or skill assessment. PPAB recently released new study guides to clarify this process. In 2020, PPAB plans to develop a Feline and Equine Trainer credentials to its program.
At present, PPAB offers the only psychometrically developed examination for dog trainers and the only psychometrically developed and independent examination for canine behavior professionals who support and practice humane, scientific methods only, as set out in its Guiding Principles. This means there is no place for electric shock, choke, prong, pain, fear, coercion, or intimidation;
In the pet industry, there is currently no legal requirement to be accredited or certified and no legal mechanism in place to protect consumers (i.e. pet owners) from any negative or injurious consequence that transpires as the result of an individual's lack of certification. Certifications and accreditations recognize individuals for meeting specific criteria of skills and knowledge and are a way for practitioners to seek self-promotion and differentiate themselves from the competition. Certifying organizations set standards of competency and their certification programs are designed to use these predetermined competencies as benchmarks for pass or failure performances. Consumers draw inference from certifications that a professional has met a specific standard of competency and/or carries a particular body or depth of pertinent knowledge. (Tudge, Nilson, Millikan & Stapleton-Frappell, 2019).
"PPAB is working in tandem with PPG, PPGBI and the pet training industry at large towards professionalization worldwide by encouraging pet dog trainers and behavior consultants to demonstrate their competency across both academic knowledge and mechanical skills," said Niki Tudge, president of PPG, which oversees PPAB. "As an industry, we need to be increasingly aware of how important it is to demand a proven level of competency from professionals who wish to practice in this field. This can only be of benefit to both pets and their owners, as well as provide the much needed, and currently lacking, consumer transparency as to any one individual's training methods and philosophies."
Tudge, N.J, Nilson, S.J., Millikan, D.A., & Stapleton-Frappell, L.A. (2019). Pet Training and Behavior Consulting: A Model for Raising the Bar to Protect Professionals, Pets and Their People. (n.p.): DogNostics Career Center Publishing
About the Pet Professional Accreditation Board:
The Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) operates as a Doing Business As (DBA) of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). It operates a meticulous testing program for force-free animal training and behavior professionals that is independent of any industry school, trade school, college or credentialing body. Applicants are tested in the fields of learning theory; biology and anatomy; ethology, body language and observational skills; canine health, development and life stages; business and consulting skills and best practices and, finally, scientific and practical method. Those who pass the examination and meet the practical requirements earn specific titles which may be used after their names and must earn continuing education units to maintain these titles. Accredited PPAB professionals understand force-free to mean: no shock, no pain, no choke, no fear, no physical force, and that no compulsion-based methods are employed to train or care for a pet.
About the Pet Professional Accreditation Board Credential Levels:
Level 1: Canine Training Technician
A Technician is skilled in the manual application of science and artistic endeavor and delivers results through empathy and mutual respect for both client and pet.
At this level, the Technician is capable of teaching pet manners classes with the knowledge of their own limitations in resolving behavior problems due to a lack of experience and/or further study. They have the ability to understand when a referral to a more qualified professional is necessary. This individual may operate a business specializing in group training services and/or work with, or for, a more qualified professional.
Level 2: Professional Canine Trainer
A Trainer is skilled in the application of science and artistic endeavor and delivers results through empathy and mutual respect for both client and pet, and also teaches obedience classes, pet manners classes, day training, private training sessions, and board and train programs that focuses primarily on pet dog skills and manners.
This level of service to the community would offer similar abilities as the Technician, but with a deeper understanding of the scientific principles involved in training, as well as the ability to better understand and assist with minor behavioral problems and the knowledge of appropriate referral to an animal behavior consultant when necessary.
Level 3: Professional Canine Behavior Consultant
A Behavior Consultant is a professional who undertakes private consultations with pets and their owners and focuses primarily on modifying behavior problems that are elicited by the animal's emotional state in a given context (e.g. fear, anxiety). Behavior Consultants are often professional dog trainers who can competently teach pet manners classes, obedience classes, day training, private training sessions, and board and train programs that focus on pet dog skills and manners.
For the purposes of this description, a Behavior Consultant is defined as a behavior and training professional skilled in the application of science and artistic endeavor who delivers results through empathy and mutual respect for both client and pet. The Behavior Consultant is aware of their limitations in terms of ability to prescribe psychotropic or any other kind of medication and diagnose illness, as well as their ethical responsibility in such cases, and can refer to a Veterinarian or Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist with greater academic and expansive knowledge. It is considered unethical in pet counseling for a professional to engage in any discussion regarding the diagnosis or treatment of an illness, physical or mental. Only Veterinarians or Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorists are authorized to do this through the license and qualifications they hold.
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