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How To Become A Member

2018 assessments are now fully booked. We are sorry if you have been unable to book a place. Demand for membership this year has been very high. The waiting list for 2018 cancellations is now closed. 

2019 dates will be released on this page on Tuesday 8th January 2019.

Please click here for information on overseas memberships

The membership assessment scheme consists of three parts





(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:

  • Why do you want to join the Association of Pet Dog Trainers?
  • Reward and Punishment
  • Operant and Classical conditioning
  • Equipment
  • Stress
  • Exercises you would teach

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 would take place.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers Code of Practice requires you to teach in a Kind, Fair and Effective way - all three of these are required for membership.

Within those guidelines, the Assessors will want to see you teaching the practical class in the way you would normally teach a class - using the methods that you normally use.


Taking the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Instructors Course is not a requirement for membership.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the assessment process please contact the Association of Pet Dog Trainers office. If you have any special needs or disabilities please contact the office and we can discuss which would be the most suitable venue for your assessment.

2018 Assessment Application Forms

  • Yeovil, Somerset  - FULL
  • Yeovil, Somerset - FULL
  • Harefield, Uxbridge - FULL
  • Harefield, Uxbridge - FULL
  • Telford, Shropshire - FULL
  • Telford, Shropshire - FULL
  • Malton, Yorkshire - FULL
  • Malton, Yorkshire - FULL
  • Loughborough, Leicestershire - FULL
  • Loughborough, Leicestershire - FULL
  • Ely, Cambridgeshire - FULL
  • Ely, Cambridgeshire - FULL
  • Evesham, Worcestershire - FULL
  • Evesham, Worcestershire - FULL
  • Leigh, Lancashire, FULL
  • Leigh, Lancashire, FULL

The fee for an assessment is £120. In the case of cancellation of an assessment, a refund will be made only when the notification is received in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers office more than 6 calendar weeks prior to the date of assessment. Such refunds are subject to an administration charge of £15 in all cases. Applicants should note that if the request is sent by email, it will be deemed as received on the next working day following the date/time of dispatch, and the applicant receives acknowledgement by email from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers office.

The written part of the assessment must be received by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers office by the date you will be given when accepted for assessment.

Any applicant who fails to meet these timescales will incur loss of the application fee.

Successful applicants must take up membership before 31 December during the year of their assessment date.