Welcome to the introduction to my KCAI Blog!
As many of you may know, I’ve been blogging for a while now and the reason I wanted to kick off this section was to give my readers and those who might be interested in joining a KCAI Scheme a taste of what it’s all about.
The great thing about the KCAI is the wide range of options available, so anyone from professional Dog Wardens and business owners to casual dog lovers who would like to develop a skill can take it. When I initially looked at it I wont lie, it looked very intimidating! However, the more I got through the initial stages, the simpler it became. I hope this blog series will shed some light on the matter for those going through the same thing!
As you might of guessed from the title, it stands for Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour (quite a mouthful!).
I’ll be blogging about my progress, other peoples experiences and the career options that KCAI delivers and storing them in the ‘KCAI Blog’ section.
First off lets have a peek into what the KCAI involves. As described on their website;
“The KCAI ‘gold badge’ is the mark of quality in dog training, canine behaviour and other canine related services.
The KCAI Scheme offers its members the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised and externally verified teaching qualification approved by the leading name in vocational qualification, City & Guilds.
Accredited members must be able to show a wealth of practical experience training, handling and living with dogs, as well as demonstrate teaching skills and academic knowledge, along with a dedication to their profession. They must abide by the Scheme Code of Conduct and demonstrate that their knowledge and experience satisfies the high criteria set by the Scheme.”
Sounds great so far, but many of you (especially dog trainers) will be aware that there are many types of dog training. Fortunately, the KCAI covers a wide variety of niches and your finished Gold Badge can represent many types of training such as;
– Companion Dog Training – Dog Warden Services
– Competitive Obedience – Ringcraft
– Competitive Agility – Working Trials
– Behavioural Training – Working Lurcher and Sighthound Activities
– Heelwork to Music – Working Gundogs
– Rescue & Rehoming – Good Citizen Dog Scheme
You can choose one or more from the above depending on what you specialise in. Me? I picked three! Behavioural Training, Dog Warden Services and Rescue & Rehoming – mainly due to my previous experiences that would eventually help me along the way.
It’s a modular, self-study format whereby members convert their knowledge and experience into ‘points’. Once a member has collected enough points he/she is then eligible for an assessment. Which one would suit you best?
Earlier I was speaking to Aby Wojcik, KCAI Senior Specialist at The Kennel Club and she made this statement;
“We are proud that the Scheme is truly making a difference for dogs by offering a nationally recognised, credible and externally verified qualification in a legislation free industry, and uniting an ever-growing membership promoting responsible dog ownership. The Scheme is open to everybody – whether you are starting out in the world of dogs or whether you are heavily experienced, the straightforward modular format can guide you towards Accreditation with the support of Regional Mentors, extra-curricular educational events and of course, the membership network of your fellow canine professionals.”
In all honesty I hadn’t heard of the KCAI before Crufts 2013. I stumbled across the KCAI Career Zone in Partnership with Purina PRO PLAN and wanted to find out more – in about 30 minutes I’d signed up and had a nifty KCAI Workbook! Looking through all the modules I was amazed just how relevant they were to my experience and it was a shame I didn’t sign up for this sooner.
It’s a great opportunity to gain further qualifications in dog training and working within the industry.
My first impression was positive, the learning resources were great, it was professional and the mentors and instructors were really nice and welcoming no matter what stage you’re at. I look forward to meeting them in the future and cracking on with those modules.
When you sign up you are presented with a KCAI Workbook containing sections which detailing your different modules, you decide which practical modules suit you best and you are ready to go! There are also regional events and seminars that are held by KCAI organisers which contributes towards your accreditation. As for myself I’ll be going to Runcorn event on November 2nd which should be interesting, I’ll be blogging about it all in future.
Even at this stage I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to start a career in dog training or welfare. It’s also a brilliant chance to add to the experiences many already have. The beauty of KCAI is that you can always go back and add further qualifications if you choose to do so.