Certifications with the International Association of Canine Professionals
Founded in 1999, the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) established a high standard of practice for the industry and still strives to maintain recognition of this high standard for its members and the general public.
The IACP’s Certification Committee oversees certifications issued by the organization. This is achieved by establishing examinations based on clear standards 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 our 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).
Developing appropriate national and international standards has been complex due to the continued debates over "tools and methods” as opposed to recognizing only the 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 standards similar to other government-regulated or licensed professions ensures our certification program takes this into account. IACP, as an international association, focuses our evaluation on the demonstrated humane training techniques and approaches used by canines professionals. We assess the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) of each trainer via a comprehensive evaluation of references of professionals with personal knowledge of the trainer, client feedback, as well as written and video submissions from the trainers seeking certification.
The 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. All IACP certificants are held to the IACP Code of Conduct and the IACP Certificant Code of Ethics.
Note: Due to ongoing and continuous improvement efforts, some of the IACP certifications may be periodically placed on hold for revision. Certificants starting the process for a specific certification will be held to the standards of the version they are authorized to start under. In the event that the time period is passed without successful completion, certificates may be held to the new standard if the exam was revised in the interim. .
Effective September 1, 2021, IACP certification exams are open to both IACP members and non-members who meet the required certification prerequisites.
Type of Exam
|Herm Sprenger & Prong Collar Knowledge Assessment||Apprentice||PCI-KA||None||10 Essay Questions|
|Professional||CDT||3-year KSA Dog Training||3 Case Studies teaching dogs, people, and Client Feedback|
|Expert||PDTI||6-month CDTA||1 Lecture or Workshop Presentation Video, Course Outline, and Attendee Survey Forms|
|Expert||CSDT||CDT||Live demonstration of specified service dog tasks||Service Dog|
|Expert||PAT||CDT||25 Multiple Choice Questions and a video conducting the PAT|
IACP exams are user-friendly with free download at any time following the links on this webpage. Requests for hard copies of exam are available for $15.00 per exam by contacting IACP Administrative Office or telephone (512) 564-1011.