FAQs for Practitioners

Please look at this page where you will find a list of the ABTC Standards for the different roles. Each Standard has an overview of the role and the Knowledge and Understanding and Performance Criteria required for each role.

Organisations are members of ABTC, not individual Practitioners.  If you are a practitioner then you can be added onto the appropriate Register if you are full (assessed) member of one of ABTC Practitioner Organisations.

If you are a member of one of ABTC’s Practitioner Organisations  you should contact your office/administrator and let them know you want to join the Practitioner Register

Please look at this page for details of how to join the Expert Witness Register; you will find the application form on the same page.  There is an assessment fee payable in addition to the annual fee.

Practitioner Organisations are able to add Practitioners to specific Registers.  If you look on the Practitioner Organisations page  you will see letters in their details explaining which these are. AT (Animal Trainer), ATI (Animal Training Instructor), ABT (Animal Behaviour Technician), AAB (Accredited Animal Behaviourist), CAB (Clinical Animal Behaviourist).  You can only be listed on a register once you have passed your assessment in a given role.  You may be assessed for more than one role. 
Please be aware that you can no longer be added to the AAB role as those registers have now closed

Training and Behaviour is not yet regulated by government, therefore membership of ABTC is voluntary. Organisations who apply to join are required to give information regarding their procedures and policies as well as their assessment process.  These are checked, rigorously, before membership is given.  The Practitioners they enter onto the ABTC registers are audited each year in respect of CPD and compliance with the ABTC Code of Professional Conduct. Not all organisations want to go through this process. 
For further details on joining ABTC as a Practitioner Organisation please look at the guidance notes on  https://abtc.org.uk/organisations/

If you would like to join one of the ABTC Practitioner Organisations please look at their website for details of how to join.  There is a link to the websites on https://abtc.org.uk/practitioner-organisations/

Have a look at the Practitioner Organisations’ website(s) and contact those you are interested in joining.  They should be able to give you some useful information about getting the experience you need.

If you do not have a degree, your Knowledge and Understanding can be assessed via APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning).  Please look on https://abtc.org.uk/apel/ for some more details and then contact the Practitioner Organisation you would like to join to find out how you can apply for this as although ABTC are assessing for APEL all applications go via the Practitioner Organisation.

The AAB register is now closed to new entries.  You will need to be assessed as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB) instead.

No, you can’t be on both Registers.  When you have passed your assessment for CAB you can apply to join that Register; you will be taken off of the AAB Register.

You will find a list of the ABTC recognised courses on https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners-info/careers/   

The courses have been assessed against the Knowledge and Understanding criteria for the roles shown.

Please contact the Education Provider of the course you are interested in.  Website links are given with each of the course titles.

If your degree is not listed, you can still apply using the APEL process to show where you have acquired your Knowledge and Understanding.

Education Providers are invited to have their course recognised by ABTC.  This is then looked at in detail and a decision is made as to whether it covers the Knowledge and Understanding for the appropriate role.  If you have not already applied for/started your course we would advise you to look for an ABTC recognised course.

You can show the knowledge and understanding you have for the Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) or Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB) roles through the APEL process.

There are a pool of ABTC Assessors who will assess your application.  There is a fee for the assessment.  Please contact the Practitioner Organisation you are interested in joining  for details of how you apply for this assessment.

Once you have passed the APEL  assessment for Knowledge and Understanding you will need to build your practical skills (Performance Criteria) before being assessed for those skills.  Your Practitioner Organisation can explain the process.

No, ATs and ATIs are assessed by the Practitioner Organisations for both the Knowledge & Understanding and the Performance Criteria.

Yes, you can be registered just for dogs.  The standards refer to animals so although you may choose to work with dogs, an understanding of the welfare needs of other species is required and you need to know how to refer on to a competent practitioner if necessary.

At least, this would include other companion animals – many dogs live in multi-species households, frequently with cats. It may also include some understanding of interactions between dogs and horses, and livestock.

Yes, you can be registered just for cats. 
The standards refer to animals so although you may choose to work with cats, an understanding of the welfare needs of other species is required and you need to know how to refer on to a competent practitioner if necessary.
At least, this would include other companion animals – many cats live in multi-species households, frequently with dogs, and rabbits and other prey species. 

Yes, you can be registered just for horses.

The standards refer to animals so although you may choose to work with equids, an understanding of the welfare needs of other species is required and you need to know how to refer on to a competent practitioner if necessary.
Your learning should show awareness of other species, particularly those with which are likely to relate to horses. At least this would include dogs and cats – as these may visit or even live at stables.  It may also include some understanding of interactions between equids and livestock.

Yes, you can be registered just for one or more of these species. 

The standards refer to animals so although you may choose to work with a particular species, an understanding of the welfare needs of other species is required and you need to know how to refer on to a competent practitioner if necessary
Your learning should show awareness of other species, particularly those with which are likely to share a home/environment with these animals. At least, this would include other companion animals – many small mammals and exotics live in multi-species households, frequently with dogs, cats and other predatory species.