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In order to ensure a standardised and high level of competency among our certified canine behaviourists, ICB has established a set of minimum requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that ICB certified canine behaviourists are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical understanding to effectively and humanely work with canine behaviour issues.

To be eligible for full membership you must fulfil the following requirements:

1. Academic Qualifications

  • Degree or Diploma: A Level 6 degree or Level 5 diploma in animal behaviour, veterinary science, zoology, psychology with an emphasis on animal behaviour, or a related field from an accredited institution.

  • Relevant Courses: Completion of accredited courses in animal learning theory, ethology, animal welfare, and psychology, canine psychology, behaviour modification techniques, pharmacology, canine-related legislation, and ethical practices.

  • Knowledge of complementary therapies: Knowing when therapies such as chiropractic and hydrotherapy may be appropriate (after consultation with their vet).

2.  Practical Experience

  • Hands-on Experience: A minimum of 300 hours of hands-on experience working with dogs in various settings, such as shelters, veterinary clinics, or private behaviour consultations. This experience should include a range of behavioural issues.

  • Supervised Practice: Part of the practical experience should be under the supervision of a certified or experienced canine behaviourist, where possible.

  • Compliance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act: Identifying when you cannot advise clients and when it is necessary to refer client back to the veterinary surgeon for further investigation

  • Competency: Ability to deal with all types of canine behaviour problems and understanding all variables that influence behaviour. 

  • Consultations: Carry out behavioural consultations on veterinary referral if necessary.

  • Report Writing: Create a detailed and clear behaviour modification report to a client and a professional letter to the veterinary surgeon.

  • Equipment: Demonstrate a good knowledge of products and equipment available, know when to recommend and when to avoid.

3.  Professional Development

  • Continuing Education: Proof of ongoing professional development through seminars, workshops, conferences, and courses relevant to canine behaviour in the last two years.

  • Knowledge of Current Research: Familiarity with current research and methodologies in canine behaviour and an ability to integrate evidence-based practices into their work.

  • Collaboration: Ability to liaise with other professionals as part of a team working for the benefit of the dog.

4.  Ethical Standards

  • Adherence to Code of Ethics: Agreement to adhere to ICB's Code of Ethics and Conduct, which emphasises humane, science-based behaviour modification techniques and the welfare of the dog.

  • Ethical Decision-Making: Demonstrated ability to navigate ethical dilemmas and prioritise the wellbeing of the dog.

  • Take Appropriate Action: Identify any welfare issues with the dog and go to the appropriate authorities if necessary.

  • Comprehensive Business Insurance: Practicing members must be fully insured.

5.  Practical Application

  • Case Studies: Submission of detailed case studies (video and written reports) from the applicant’s practice, demonstrating their approach to assessing and modifying canine behaviour.

6.  References

  • Professional References: At least two professional references from within the field of animal behaviour, veterinary medicine, or a related discipline, attesting to the applicant's competence and ethical practice.

7.  Membership and Commitment

  • Membership: Commitment to maintaining membership with ICB or a similar professional organisation, including adherence to its continuing education requirements.

  • Community Engagement: Encouragement to engage with the professional community through sharing knowledge, mentoring, and contributing to the advancement of the field.

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