Assured Breeder Visits are designed to assess compliance with
the Assured Breeder Scheme Standard. The standard is the rules and
regulations that all ABS Members agreed to when joining the scheme.
Full details can be found within the application form which is available here and further
guidance notes for the scheme can be found
here. All ABS assessments are conducted under United Kingdom
Accreditation Service (UKAS) guidelines and gives the assessment
process real credibility.
What happens before, during and after a visit
The ABS Office allocates a list of visits to one of the Regional
Breeder Assessors who in turn will contact the breeder either by
phone or email to arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit.
This can often be challenging due to location and availability of
both the breeder and Assessor, which has in some cases resulted in
delays before a visit can be arranged. A notification email or
letter will then be sent to the breeder confirming what to expect
during the visit.
Dependant on the type and size of the premises and facilities,
visits usually take around 1½ - 2 hours to complete. The content of
the visit is a matter between the breeder and the Kennel Club and
The Assessor will wish to sit down and chat about your dogs and
your breeding programme. This will also include viewing any
records that you keep relating to the dogs and breeding. The
Assessor will discuss where and how your puppies are whelped and
reared and the measures you take to prepare them for their new
owners. They will ask about their general welfare and how you keep
your dogs, including their daily routine and how you interact with
them on a daily basis. The Assessor will wish to view the general
facilities, including food storage and where the dogs live, sleep,
are exercised and where they are fed. The final part of the
assessment is a review of the written information that you provide
to new puppy owners.
The Assessor will guide you through the assessment process
during the visit and as the visits are conducted under UKAS
guidelines they are evidence based. This means the Assessor will
wish to make notes and record information from documentation. In
addition, the Assessor may ask if they can take photographs, as
this is an effective means of substantiating the findings of the
visit. Any use of photography is strictly controlled and only with
permission from the breeder, will relate only to the dogs and their
environment and is totally confidential.
The Assessor will wish to view the following information during
- Name and address of your usual veterinary practice.
- Registration certificates for the dogs.
- Any Health Certificates
- Microchip information
- Vaccination records.
- Breeding records
The Assessor will wish to take away copies of the information
- A copy of your Contract of Sale
- A copy of your Stud Dog Contract (if applicable)
- Copies of the written advice that you currently provide to your
puppy buyers which should include advice on:
- breed specific tendencies and traits (specifics about the
breed, including health)
- grooming (coat, ear, teeth and nail care)
- socialisation (what you have done and future advice for
- exercise (the type and quantity required for a puppy and what
is required of an adult dog)
- training (basic advice of how to raise a puppy: basic
obedience, crate training for example)
- feeding advice/diet (feeding quantities, type and schedule for
the puppy through to adult hood)
- immunisation and worming (why we immunise and for what, why we
worm regularly and a worming certificate for the puppy)
At the end of the visit the Assessor will discuss the outcome of
the assessment with you and indicate their likely recommendation of
either: satisfactory; satisfactory with some improvements; or
unsatisfactory. The majority of assessments fall within the first
two categories. In cases where serious breaches of scheme rules
have occurred then further appropriate action can be taken, which
can include suspension from the scheme until the issues are
rectified. The reports will be submitted to the Assured Breeder
Scheme Office and will undergo the certification process. Each
individual report is reviewed by the office staff for accuracy and
consistency before it is submitted to an independent verifier to
confirm the outcome of the visit.
A copy of the report will be sent to the breeder generally
within 6 weeks of the visit. If it is a successful visit the
breeder will receive their UKAS Certificate and the Assured Breeder
website will be updated with the date of the visit - 'the green
tick'.If it is felt that there are any improvements or changes to
be made before we can issue a breeder with their certificate then
we will provide details of this in writing.
There is now an online feedback questionnaire which breeders can
complete with their observations and experiences of the visit.
Constructive feedback is welcomed to ensure that the Kennel Club
maintain their high standards and best practice can be adopted
during the visit process.