Why join the Kennel Club Scheme?
Over the last few years the Kennel Club has looked into the
issues surrounding dog training, with concerns that anyone can set
up a dog club or service without qualifications and give training
and behavioural advice as an 'expert', to a 'blissfully' unaware
Several organisations have formed over time, all trying to address
standards and give educational guidance to certificate their
members. This Scheme complements others, but goes further in
unifying all aspects of knowledge and experience in the world of
dogs. It oversees personal development and recognises each member
as an individual in the role they wish to play.
What is it all about?
This is the first really comprehensive scheme that in its
flexibility allows anyone who is instructing or advising others at
any level to join, whatever their interest in dogs. A primary aim
of the Scheme is to set a national standard to safeguard the
public, but it also aims to guide its members in their search for
knowledge and experience, encompassing a wealth of information and
sharing ideas for improving the future of dog training and
Following a thorough investigation into dog training and
behavioural services in the UK, the Kennel Club launched the KCAI
scheme as a pilot in March 2001. The aim was to work with a
large number of pro-active people, from a variety of backgrounds,
to help with its development. The Kennel Club wished to
ensure that the Scheme would meet the needs of the dog owning
public, and also benefit the membership and offer a worthwhile
How does it work?
Members are credited with points according to their personal
level of understanding of issues relating to dog training,
behaviour and welfare. Members agree to be bound by a Code of
Practice and, recognised for their individual levels of expertise,
are registered on a database for public / professional / membership
How does this education programme work?
The Scheme follows a modular programme with common core
subjects, and optional areas of diversity. It lists topics
(syllabus) for you to credit yourself with points for everything
that you know and do. It encourages you to keep up-to-date or find
out more by talking and listening to others, reading; watching and
doing; allowing development in your own time, in any way you
choose. The programme is divided into three main sections but it
links applied knowledge (section A) and background experience
(section B) to practical instructing / coaching (section C) -
giving opportunity for you to show that you have a working
understanding of each topic.
City & Guilds NPTC Recognition?
City & Guilds NPTC, the biggest awarding body in the UK for
vocational awards has formally endorsed the KCAI Scheme, and
awarded Centre Approval for the Kennel Club, offering the national
qualification the 'Kennel Club National Quality Award for
Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour'.
This means that for the first time in the UK, instructors involved
in teaching dog training and advising on canine behaviour will have
the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised, credible and
externally verified qualification. Dog owners and dog training
enthusiasts will also benefit by having the reassurance of a
national standard to ensure that they are provided with the best
quality advice and service. This is awarded upon gaining the Kennel
How do I join?
You fill in an enrolment form, which asks questions to give a
rough idea about you and your involvement(s) with dogs and
instructing. You pay a registration fee and sign to declare that
you are prepared to abide by the Scheme's Code of Practice. You
automatically become a member of the Scheme, as you have agreed to
be guided by it. Everyone who remains in good standing is
welcome, without discrimination, becoming part of this network of
like-minded people. Once provisional points are credited, you
will be recorded on our database as a 'Student Member' (if under 3
yrs instructing and / or less than 1000 pts) or 'Member' (if
instructing over 3 yrs and 1000 pts, supported by a reference).
This network aims to serve others, helping them to enjoy their dogs
through education, training and responsible ownership, in the dogs'
What is the Code of Practice?
This Code simply expects you to be honest and concerned about
the services you personally offer. It will give the public
confidence, as they can contact the Kennel Club to confirm your
details. It gives us confidence, as you are showing that you are
prepared to be a) bound by the Code and b) checked / assessed at
the level you set for yourself.
We will do our best to ensure that all members are treated
equally and that no one is disadvantaged by the Scheme. In
the event of a query just contact the KCAI Office at the Kennel
A summary of the stages:
- First, become a member - fill out the registration form, send
it in with the correct registration fee.
- Receive your Educational Guidance Pack, which consists of a
series of modules for you to work through and also provides the
basis for your portfolio. This will be accompanied by an
'Assessment of Prior Learning' (APL) document. The APL is simply a
way of working out your membership level within the Scheme, and is
also a good way of 'getting to grips' with the KCAI points scoring
system. Reference notes are also enclosed to give you any
extra guidance. You will be required to complete the Assessment of
Prior Learning document to claim your provisional points and gauge
your membership status.
- Once you have submitted your completed APL you will be
registered as a Student Member if you have less than 1000 points
and / or less than three years instructing experience. If
over, you will be registered as a 'member, working towards
- Read through all the modules and examples to be sure that you
understand exactly what is expected. Contact the office or a
mentor if you are confused over anything at this stage.
- Build a portfolio by listing, creating and collecting evidence
in support of the scores you are claiming.
- With sufficient points, and over five years instructing
experience, having submitted all the required modules, apply for
full oral and practical assessment in your chosen activit(ies), at
your chosen level.
- With sufficient points, apply for 'Advanced' grade.
- NB - An annual CPD return (Continued Professional Development)
will be required by all members, at all grades, to show increased
scores, or to give details of how you have increased your
experience and / or updated your knowledge.
What is the Kennel Club's part in this?
- The plan is entirely in your hands, but we are always available
to guide you and advise you.
- We will keep a record of your points and recognise and
encourage your personal development with up-grades and annual
- We will keep you on a database for referral.
- We will produce a quarterly newsletter for dissemination of
- We will encourage your contact with others, and feedback to the
Scheme to ensure its continual improvement.
- We will progress the Scheme, adapt and modify it, keep it
flexible and in line with changing times, suitable for the prestige
of national recognition.
- We will promote and maintain the Scheme's credibility in the
- We will use the Scheme to raise the profile of our members and
their services for their contribution as part of the front line in
canine welfare for the dog-owning public.
- We will promote the Scheme's network to encourage referral,
communication and respect for fellow members, working together to
ensure that the advice given to dog owners is appropriate and
services are suitable.
- We will strive to educate all those involved with guiding
aspects of dog ownership, training and behaviour, to ensure
understanding, handling skills and respect that works in the dog's
- We will bring your attention to issues of legal and
professional aspects of instructing and advising.
- We will do our best to accommodate all, and consider options to
ensure that no member is disadvantaged by the Scheme in
- We will maintain a register of Course Providers, who support
the Scheme and can give appropriate advice on your needs for
- We will do our best to administer the Scheme in consultation
with, and for, its members.
For further information on the Scheme framework, points,
'jargon' and all other details, please download the 'KCAI Scheme