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How To Become A Member


Assessment Procedure

To become a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers you will need to take part in an assessment. The membership assessment scheme consists of three parts, as highlighted below.





(this will be sent to you on receipt of your application form and must be returned at least 4 weeks before your assessment date)

Six questions - which require an essay type answer of between 500 and 1500 words - covering:

  • Reward and Punishment
  • Operant and Classical conditioning
  • Equipment
  • Stress including class situations consisting of dogs with minor behavioural issues
  • Exercises you would teach in a puppy/beginner class.
  • Details of training classes you have visited

You will also be asked for details of:

  • Details of any instructing/assisting undertaken
  • Classes (if any) that you currently teach

Your answers need to reach the office at least four weeks prior to assessment.

If, after marking your questions, the Assessors decide that you are not ready for membership you will be refunded £65 of your application fee and your assessment will be cancelled.


You will conduct a one hour class and teach:

  • Down
  • Leave (food/article)
  • Walking on a loose lead

The owners and dogs will be people who have volunteered to take part in a free training class for the assessment process. Some of the dogs will have been to previous training classes whilst others will be new to the environment. It is up to the applicant to make sure all the owners feel involved in the class.

All classes will take place indoors. This will be assessed by two assessors.


Immediately following your practical assessment. You will be asked about dog matters and may be asked to clarify some points raised in your written and practical assessments and other dog training matters.

There are no trick questions – the idea of the assessment is to ensure that applicants are suitable for membership of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers

All three of these sections will be scored against a criteria which will include:

  • Technical Knowledge
  • Understanding of dogs and people
  • Conforming to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Code of Practice
  • Planning and organising
  • Communication skills
  • Class Dynamics

A report will be prepared by the assessors and they will either recommend you for membership or not. If you are not recommended it will be because the assessors are not confident that you have reached the level required by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers for membership. This maybe because you cannot demonstrate the level of knowledge/experience required, or because you employ methods which are contrary to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Code of Practice. A good instructor needs to understand learning and behaviour theory and have the ability to relate and explain this to a class of owners.

The Assessors decision is final.

However if an applicant feels procedures have not been followed, or an assessment has not been marked against current criteria an enquiry can be made.

Booking your assessment

WAITING LIST: Assessments for 2019 are now full.  If you would like to be added to our waiting list for any cancellations please complete a short form here. If no space comes up for your this year, you will be emailed to let you know when the 2020 assessments become available online. There is no priority booking available.

The practical and oral parts of the assessment last for just over two hours (including a break) and run between 9am and 4pm. You wil be allotted a time once your theory homework is submitted.

Note: Before completing our application form please ensure that you feel that you are ready for an assessment by reading our hints and tips here.


Assessment Date (Saturday and Sunday)Venue areaBook Now
(don't forget to complete your form)
23rd and 24th MarchWhitchurch, SY13 3NEFULL
13th and 14th AprilYeovil, BA20 2HPFULL
27th and 28th AprilHarefield, UB9 6JWFULL
25th and 26th MayWest Calder, EH55 8LEFULL
1st and 2nd JuneWhitchurch, SY13 3NEFULL
1st and 2nd JuneEly, CB7 5TJFULL
22nd and 23rd JuneCheltenham, GL54 5TXFULL
29th and 30th June Shrewsbury, TF6 6BPFULL
27th and 28th of JulyEvesham, WR11 7RTFULL
24th and 25th AugustWhitchurch, SY13 3NEFULL
24th and 25th AugustLoughborough, LE12 6SEFULL
7th and 8th of SeptemberYeovil, BA20 2HPFULL
7th and 8th of SeptemberEly, CB7 5TJFULL
28th and 29th SeptemberManchester, M34 3SGFULL
28th and 29th SeptemberTewkesbury, GL20 7SPFULL
12th and 13th OctoberLeicestershire, LE17 4JXFULL
19th and 20th OctoberWhitchurch, SY13 3NEFULL


Terms and Conditions

  • Cancellation: You understand that if you cancel within six weeks of your assessment date you will forfeit all fees and lose your place. Cancellations at least six weeks before the assessment dates will be refunded, minus an admin fee of £20.00.
  • Full Membership:  You understand that, if you are successful, you must take out full membership by December 31st 2019. Membership fees are £75.00 per annum, due on the 1st May each year.
  • Identification: You must send a photo of yourself upon receiving your booking confirmation email (You can smile :-)).
  • Theory work: You confirm that the written homework submitted will be your own work and any quotes or information taken from other sources will be acknowledged in that work. You understand that the theory homework must be submitted at least one month prior to your assessment date and that failure to do so will incur the loss of your place and fees.
  • Code of Practice: You have read, understand and agree to abide by the Association's Code of Practice (CoP).
  • Process: You have read and understand the assessment process for membership outlined above.