How to become an accredited instructor

Dog sat down looking up at owner

The Kennel Club Accredited Instructors is a UK-wide membership-based scheme for dog training instructors and canine behaviourists. It offers its members the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised vocational accreditation based on a robust standard set by The Kennel Club.

It is the first and only scheme for dog training instructors and canine behaviourists that has achieved programme accreditation from City & Guilds, a globally recognised benchmark of quality.

Dog training instructors and canine behaviourists will enhance their reputation by becoming members of the scheme and will have the opportunity to achieve accredited instructor status, thereby gaining recognition for their knowledge, skills and experience.

How to gain accreditation?

There are five stages to accreditation:

  1. Successful completion of all nine online assessments. The online assessments act as a test of knowledge and understanding in key canine-related topics to enable members to gauge whether they are ready to apply for the practical and oral assessment
  2. Submission of the accreditation application, including a record of current and relevant experience, together with supporting information and documentary evidence*
  3. The Accredited Instructors scheme team and assessor conduct office checks and a pre-assessment review of the application to ensure that it is in order for the practical and oral assessment to be arranged
  4. Practical and oral assessment is conducted, after which the assessor will provide feedback to the applicant and make a recommendation to the scheme's board
  5. The application is considered by the scheme's board for a decision and the applicant is notified of the outcome following the review

There are nine accreditation disciplines to choose from:

  • Companion dog training
  • Good Citizen Dog Scheme
  • Behavioural training
  • Competitive/sporting activities
  • Non-competitive/sporting activities
  • Clicker and target training
  • Assistance dogs
  • Rescue and rehoming
  • Working gundogs

*In order to be eligible to apply for accreditation, members must have been a dog training instructor for at least the past five years in the discipline for which they are applying for accreditation.

Online learning

The online assessments act as a test of knowledge and understanding in key canine-related topics to enable members to gauge whether they are ready to apply for accreditation.

There are nine online assessments to be completed, which members can purchase through The Kennel Club Academy:

  1. Welfare, care and needs of the dog
  2. Anatomy and physiology
  3. Behaviour of dogs
  4. Everyday behaviour problems
  5. Training the dog
  6. Living with dogs
  7. Professional business practices
  8. Teaching people
  9. Dog owners’ responsibilities

Following successful completion of all nine assessments, members will be eligible to submit an application for accreditation and book their practical and oral assessment.

Benefits of the Accredited Instructors scheme

Members of the Accredited Instructors scheme enjoy the following benefits:

  • Being part of the leading membership scheme in the UK for dog training instructors and canine behaviourists
  • Having an opportunity to gain accredited instructor status
  • Access to a wealth of expertise including support from the scheme's team and accreditation adviser who can guide you through the scheme’s accreditation process
  • Access to The Kennel Club Academy, an online educational resource for scheme members, judges and dog breeders
  • Discounted tickets to The Kennel Club's events such as Crufts
  • Opportunities to promote your services though The Kennel Club’s online register of accredited instructors
Membership fees

Membership joining fee:

  • £72 - hobby (non-commercial)
  • £84 - business (commercial)
  • 10% discount is offered to members of Kennel Club registered or listed clubs - £65 hobby and £76 business

Membership renewal fee:

  • £39.60 - hobby (non-commercial)
  • £70 - business (commercial)
  • £10 supplement is payable on renewal fees for overseas members (£49.60 hobby and £70 business)

Online assessment fees (first time accreditation only):

Standard accreditation application fee (first time accreditation only):

  • £140.40 - hobby (non-commercial)
  • £188.40 - business (commercial)
  • The fee covers the cost of one accreditation discipline only

Non-standard accreditation applications: supplementary fees:

  • £140.40* per additional day Hobby (non-commercial)
  • £188.40* per additional day Business (commercial) 
  • *plus expenses

A supplementary fee will be charged if, unusually, an assessment visit is expected to take more than a single day.

Applicants will be advised of any proposed supplementary fee(s) and expenses in advance of the practical and oral assessment being arranged.

How do I join?

You can sign up by filling out a membership application form.

Accredited Instructors scheme - Terms and conditions

Members are required to abide by the scheme’s code of practice, which sets out the principles governing professional conduct and training practices. As well as this, they are also required to abide by the Accredited Instructors scheme regulations. 

National occupational standards

The Kennel Club, in association with LANTRA (the UK’s Sector Skills Council), established a set of canine specific National Occupational Standards in 2014.

The standards listed below have been specifically designed to ensure consistency and professionalism among those working in the canine sector:

Learn more about NOS.