Setting Standards and Sector Regulation - The ABTC
The acknowledged wealth of expertise and qualifications of practitioners within member organisations of the ABTC make it the most appropriate organisation to represent the sector. The Council has been established to set standards, organise and oversee the self-regulation of the sector in accordance with a number of calls for such a body in recent years.
Appendix B of that report states that ….." A fundamental requirement for the regulation of para-professionals must be that they are suitably trained and that their competence is assured."
In addition, the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Sixth Report of Session 2007–08 on the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 stated: the balance of opinion, which we support, is in favour of some form of regulation to protect animals and their owners against the depredations of the wholly unqualified practitioners of potentially harmful treatments.
In 2011 the Animal Behaviour and Training Council established agreed standards for the knowledge and skills required for animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists.
These standards of knowledge and understanding are available for use as a reference by colleges and universities providing courses for the training of students. The agreed skills competencies have also been used to develop National Occupational Standards with Lantra (the Sector Skills Council) for the assessment of fitness to practice.
The agreed standards of knowledge and skill form the benchmark for membership organisations to assess the competence of practitioners seeking entry onto the Council's national registers of animal trainers and behaviour therapists.