• How to become an Accredited Instructor

How to become an Accredited Instructor

Join the scheme

Start your journey 'Working Towards Accreditation' and help us in raising national standards in dog training and canine behaviour.

Your next step is to download the application form and send it in, or you could attend one of our regional events and learn more about the scheme and lots of topics relevant to you and your work with dogs.

Application for Membership

To apply, complete the registration form (PDF) and return with the appropriate registration fee.

  • You will then receive an initial pack which contains modules to work through and your KCAI Scheme Workbook if requested. If you opted to receive a free download of the workbook then please log into the Member Zone to find the link. 
  • You will also receive something called an Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) form which will ask you to measure your knowledge and experience against the set criteria.
  • Once you have completed and returned the Assessment of Prior Learning returns form, you will then receive your membership card stating your membership level.
  • Members with less than three years instructing experience will be allocated 'Student Member' status.
  • Members with over three years instructing experience will be allocated 'Member' status.


  • Registration fee: £72 hobby; £84 business
    (10% discount for Kennel Club registered / GC listed organisations). Registration fee includes first year membership, joining pack, free download of the KCAI workbook and access to the KCAI Member Zone and educational resources , regular newsletters and mentoring support.
  • Annual membership fee: £39.60 hobby; £60 business
    This first renewal fee will be due in the following March, calculated as a pro-rata payment of the above fee, to align all members to the March renewal date. Renewal also requires CPD information.
  • Accreditation Assessment fee, £113.95 hobby; £151.15 business
    Payable with application for assessment when ready, includes portfolio assessment, plus a full oral and observational assessment of practical skills.

Please make cheques payable to 'The Kennel Club'. Please see the KCAI Membership payment form or Publications Payment form to choose which format in which to receive your KCAI Scheme Workbook.

Points & Portfolio

Once you've received your modules, the next stage is the self-assessment called an Assessment of Prior Learning (APL), where you will be asked to convert all that you know or do into points.

Two scores are allocated to each topic:

  • one to reflect your Level of Underpinning Knowledge (LUK)
  • the other to reflect your practical application of that knowledge, Justified by Experience Level (JEL)

Essentially, your LUK score is where you mark your own level of knowledge of a given subject out of 10 and the JEL score is the number of years you have been using that knowledge. We all have strengths and weaknesses and the points system helps us to identify them and develop a unique scheme profile.

Your APL or Initial Points Profile is not set in stone - you will adjust and improve your self assessment scores the more you learn on your path Working Towards Accreditation. And there is plenty of help on hand from Regional Mentors to make sure you are not scoring yourself too highly or - more likely - not highly enough.

To justify your points you will build a portfolio of evidence. This may include reading lists, certificates of attendance at seminars or on courses.

Points System: 

Members with at least five years instructing experience and sufficient points across the scheme are eligible to apply for assessment for accreditation, to ensure all accredited instructors have practical skills and are also good teachers.

Accreditation is awarded following evaluation of the portfolio evidence and the successful completion of a full practical and oral assessment.

Accredited Instructors are entitled to use the initials KCAI, with their area(s) of accreditation appearing abbreviated in brackets. The Scheme is flexible and uses an educational guidance programme to aid members as they progress.

Section A - Applied Knowledge of Theories

Section A aims to increase and enhance members practical application of theoretical knowledge. It covers all aspects of dog ownership and emphasises the need to recognise personal limitations and network with other professionals (including veterinary and legal) in the best interest of the dog and its owner.

Section B - Background Experience

Section B aims to encourage an appreciation of the range of skills in the world of dogs. It divides all the dog-related activities into separate modules. Members may claim points within any number of modules that have contributed to their personal knowledge and practical experience, claiming higher scores in their main activities due to their greater level of involvement and achievement.

5 modules are required for 'Accreditation', including Responsible Dog Ownership (RDO) and modules to cover areas of instructing and handling.

Section C - Coaching Skills

Section C forms the basis of the practical assessment for accreditation.

The Member Zone

Please note that once your membership is accepted you will have access to the KCAI Member Zone which offers exclusive access to

  • Access to documents and guidance to work through the application, self-assessment, modules and the KCAI Workbook. 
  • Educational resources: scheme guidance, contact details of regional mentors, useful articles, book reviews, capsule lending library, etc.
  • Useful information: courses and seminars, the KCAI Standard, how to create great training material etc.

Apply to become an Accredited Instructor: complete this registration form (PDF)

Version suitable for printing
KCAI application form (PDF)

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