Founded in 1999, the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) established a high standard of canine professionals and still strives to maintain recognition of this high standard for its members and the general public.
The IACP’s Certification Committee oversees dog training certification by establishing standard examinations for dog trainers and dog training instructors.
A major component of maintaining high standards is the continued growth and collaboration amongst senior professional peers within each industry. Early in 2020, the IACP Certification Committee embarked on revising exam contents and formatting, following the national accreditation standards set forth by the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Some of the IACP certifications may be periodically placed on hold for revision while implementing this process.
Developing national standards has been complex due to the continued debates over "tools and methods" as opposed to the natural evolving nature of canine training. The number of diverse training philosophies and the skill to effectively use them is a combination of art and science. Using the same base standards as other government regulated or licensed professions certify upon, IACP’s certification program takes this into account and places merit of certification to each dog trainer's Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) in their use of preferred "tools and methods."
IACP's Certification program accurately and thoroughly assesses skills by critiquing hands-on performance at progressive KSA levels beyond book learning based exams. IACP does not discriminate against training methods, tools, or techniques in its certification exams but rather examines each dog trainer's abilities to incorporate them effectively and humanely into a sound and well-rounded training program.