Membership criteria

ICB offers two levels of membership:

Full membership

In order to be a full member of ICB the applicant has to have a recognised academic qualification to the level of foundation degree (or equivalent – level 5), full degree (or equivalent – level 6) or masters in canine or animal behaviour or above.

In some very rare individual cases we may accept a mature member who has established a good reputation as a canine behaviourist and has the sufficient theoretic and practical expertise, without necessarily having studied at foundation or degree level in canine behaviour. These are people who have a minimum of ten years’ experience, are known to existing Board members for having done excellent work with canines, and are particularly valued for what they can offer newer members in terms of their experience. The majority of the Board must agree to a non-qualified person’s membership.

Full members are expected to have:

  • A recognised academic qualification in canine behaviour, such as the level 5 Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management from Compass Education Ltd as minimum
  • Hands-on experience in the field of canine behaviour and training
  • An excellent knowledge of dog behaviour and psychology
  • Understand all variables that influence behaviour, from diet and nutrition through to health issues that may manifest in behaviour changes
  • Understand and comply with the constraints of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, when they cannot advise clients and when it is necessary to refer the client back to the veterinary surgeon for further investigation
  • Understand drugs commonly used by vets and how they may affect behaviour
  • Understand complementary therapies such as chiropractic and hydrotherapy and when these might be appropriate (advising the owner to speak to their vet), and liaise with other professionals as and when necessary as part of a team for the benefit of the dog
  • Carry out behaviour consultations on veterinary referral, make behavioural diagnoses, and liaise with veterinary surgeons and clients in a professional manner
  • Deal with all of types behaviour problems from separation anxiety to aggression, and be able to act as an expert witness in court
  • Be able to write an in depth tailored behaviour modification report to a client and a professional letter to the veterinary surgeon
  • Identify any welfare issues with the dog and go to the appropriate authority if necessary
  • Demonstrate a good knowledge of products and tools available, know when to recommend and which ones to avoid
  • Have a thorough understanding of dog law and how it applies to the client
  • Use positive training methods only, upholding ICB’s motto of ‘welfare never compromised’
  • Have a ‘learning never stops’ attitude and a willingness to share knowledge for the benefit of other members, such as:
    • Actively participate in the private ICB Facebook forum discussions for the benefit of all members
    • Actively participate in the public ICB Facebook forum and support the ‘public face’ of ICB
    • Members should be able to identify times when they need additional help and advice from colleagues
    • Attend regular training and educational events in order to keep up to date in the fast-changing world of behaviour
    • Contribute to the education of other members through book reviews, website blogs and webinars
  • Keep accurate records taking into consideration the Data Protections Act
  • Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills, conducting themselves in a professional manner at all times

If offered membership, all applicants will join ICB as Affiliate Members until they have had an observed consultation (either in person or via Skype). In some cases, this could only be a matter of a week or two if the new member has the necessary experience.

Affiliate membership

Affiliate membership is in two stages:

  • Stage one
    • The student is studying to become a canine behaviourist and is actively supported while they gain knowledge and experience and academic qualifications. After passing the course the student moves on to…
  • Stage two
    • While striving to attain the standards listed above for full membership, ICB mentor him/her in writing client-friendly reports and help him/her to achieve a high professional standard. The duration of the second stage depends on the individual and how quickly they gain the necessary skills to be promoted to full membership. All our affiliate members will have to undergo an observed session, which may be presented by video, Skype or by a full member attending a consultation in person. The full member observing the session will report to the education officer on the outcome of their recommendation.

We acknowledge that each person will learn at their own pace and will only be offered full membership when deemed to have the suitable theoretical knowledge, practical experience and CPD hours, and when they are able to satisfy the criteria listed for full membership.

All our affiliate members must gain hands-on experience in addition to their academic qualifications. Applicants, if accepted, need to abide by our Code of Practice and Ethics and CAWC Code of Conduct.

Continued professional development (CPD)

Members are required to submit CPD forms annually providing evidence of activities, books, articles, DVDs, courses, seminars, workshops and webinars attended, and any other areas of personal development. A minimum of 50 hours CPD per annum is required and the year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Any member joining part-way through the CPD year will have their hours calculated on a pro rata basis.

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