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Professionalizing the Pet Training Industry by Encouraging Trainers and Behavior Consultants to Demonstrate Competency

Stand Up for What You Believe In!

  • Join an organization that provides a credential with an ethical compass to support it.
  • Be recognized for your knowledge, skills, and people-training expertise.
  • Show clients that you are serious about your profession.
  • Help mentor others and shape our industry by being a great professional ambassador.
  • Progress through our three levels of credentials to advance your professional development.
  • Transfer your existing well-earned credentials to the Pet Professional Accreditation Board.

Click below to learn how to transfer your current credential to the Pet Professional Accreditation Board.

It’s easier than you think!

Competency Is Mission Critical

What is professional competence, and how does the concept of competence impact the work of professional pet trainers and pet care providers?

Professional competence is the “broad professional knowledge, attitude, and skills required to work in a specialized area or profession. Disciplinary knowledge and the application of concepts, processes, and skills are required in a test of professional competence in any particular field.”1

With regard to counseling, “professional competence is the most ethical obligation a professional has in their field of expertise.”2

The Value of a Professional Credential

Credentials recognize individuals for meeting specific criteria of skills and knowledge. They are a way for practitioners to seek self-promotion and differentiate themselves from their competitive set.

Consumers draw inferences from certifications that a professional has met a specific competency standard and/or carries a particular body or depth of pertinent knowledge. Along with several other industries, however, including the pet industry, there is currently no legal requirement to be certified and no legal mechanism in place to protect the consumer from negative or injurious consequence that transpires as the result of an individual’s lack of certification.

Credentialing organizations set standards of competency and their credentialing programs are designed to use these predetermined competencies as benchmarks for pass or failure performances.

What Makes PPAB Credentials Stand Apart

The Pet Professional Accreditation Board offers the only psychometrically sound examinations and accreditations supporting humane and scientific practices for professionals who believe there is no place for shock, choke, prong, pain, force, or fear in pet training and behavior practices.

The PPAB sets a high standard, assessing competency in the following areas:

  • Knowledge via an online examination
  • Skills in basic training, creating a positive conditioned emotional response, and class management/private consulting demonstrated via video submissions
  • Management of behavior cases via submission of four written case studies (Professional Behavior Consultant level)

How the Credentials Were Developed

For each credentialing level, a team of subject matter experts developed a job task analysis from which they determined the knowledge and skills and that professionals each level should have as a minimum competency.

Examinations were then developed and reviewed with the help of NOCTI and Nocti Business Solutions , which have earned full accreditation from the International Certification Accreditation Council  (ICAC). ICAC accreditation signifies that NOCTI’s career and technical education (CTE) assessments and certifications and Nocti Business Solutions’ technical skill assessments follow the best international industry practices and standards outlined in ISO 17024.

The examinations were then piloted to ensure the questions performed to the required level of competency and reliability, and then were fine tuned with the help of a subject matter expert with a PhD in education.

Skill competencies were then established, and video assessments were developed. All skills are assessed against specific tangible and measurable criteria. The personal opinion of an assessor does not determine pass or failure, but whether the required criteria have been met. Case studies are reviewed independently by a team and then collated by the assessment coordinator.

1Reference. (2023). What Is Professional Competence? Retrieved January 10, 2024.

2Welfel, E.R. (2009). Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Cengage Learning, Inc. 

3As cited in 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. DogNostics Career Center Publishing.

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