Gemma Collins from Lichfield, Staffordshire is the latest dog trainer to become accredited under the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors scheme (KCAI).
35 year old Gemma is the latest to be recognised by the KCAI after successfully completing the Rescue and Rehoming qualification at the Advanced Level, which is offered by the Kennel Club, the largest organisation in the UK dedicated to dog health, welfare and training.
Gemma has worked as a dog trainer for the past 14 years, training her own dogs in general obedience and agility and helping friends and family with theirs. Her background is in rescue work, working with the RSPCA and Birmingham Dogs Home, which is where she gained her KCAI accreditation.
Gemma said: "I worked hard to get my accreditation and completing it on my own - there were no other staff members doing the KCAI course - has meant a lot to me. It is great to know that the Kennel Club approves of my training methods in the rescue environment. I'm also proud that the Birmingham Dogs Home gets to be recognised by the Kennel Club for its work rescuing and rehoming stray and unwanted dogs."
Gemma has now moved on from the Birmingham Dogs Home and is currently working with assistance dogs for Canine Partners.
Rescue and Rehoming is just one of the many areas in which trainers can become accredited. The scheme now has trainers accredited in a range of different disciplines including working gundog training, Good Citizen Dog Scheme training and assistance dogs training.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "The KCAI scheme offers trainers a City & Guilds teaching qualification that recognises their unique knowledge and experience. The scheme provides a quality standard for the industry, ensuring that dog owners can be assured that their chosen trainer or behaviourist has the necessary knowledge and experience.
"From the most popular areas, such as companion dog training or rescue and re-homing, through to more specialist disciplines like working gundogs, competitive agility and heelwork to music, the scheme is tailored depending on the individual trainer's requirements. Congratulations to Gemma on becoming accredited in Rescue and Rehoming at the Advanced Level."
For more information on the KCAI scheme, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/kcai.