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New qualification for pet behaviourists

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A NEW programme of qualifications for pet behaviourists and trainers has been announced by the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE). The new diploma in companion animal behaviour and training is regulated by Ofqual. It is being offered by COAPE in association with the Open College Network Yorkshire and Humber Region.

COAPE explains that there has long been a debate among those involved with pet behaviour therapy and within the veterinary and animal welfare professions about the level of education and practice standards of individuals offering their services as pet behaviourists and trainers. It says that, although voluntary attempts have been made in recent years to introduce accountability and standardisation among practitioners, until now it has not been possible to rely on specific national qualifications to define the competence of practitioners or to provide a career pathway for those who wish to work in companion animal behaviour therapy.

The new qualification is a three-year programme and, after successfully completing the third year, students will have reached degree level and may then pursue an academic career in the field, including enrolling for a Master's degree at the University of Lincoln.

COAPE is currently inviting registrations for the new qualification, with courses starting in September this year. Full details are available at

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