What is a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist?
The title of animal or dog “behaviourist” is not protected in the same way that other professions, for example “nurse” or “dietician” are, and therefore anyone can call themselves a behaviourist.
There is widespread concern within the profession that unqualified people setting themselves up as an animal behaviourist may have serious consequences for pet welfare. In the light of that, in 2002, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), the United Kingdom’s leading professional society for the study of animal behaviour, set up a certification scheme for animal behaviourists after consultation with the British Psychological Society, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, the UK Registry of Canine Behaviourists, the International Society for Applied Ethology, the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, the Kennel Club and other organisations concerned with dog training.
The outcome is an independent Certification of the highest standard, administered by the Accreditation Committee of ASAB, as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, and those certificated are entitled to use the initials CCAB.
Certification constitutes recognition by ASAB that the behaviourist meets the educational, experiential and ethical standards required by the society and that by consulting with a CCAB clients can be assured that the behaviourist is suitably qualified, has experience of treating behaviour problems and adheres to a code of conduct.
Many organisations provide “qualifications” in dog training and behaviour through attending their own courses, or “accreditation” through paying a membership fee. The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour is the only independent organisation to demand evidence of academic education to degree level, at least three years applied experience and ongoing continued professional development.