About IACP Certification

(Revised April 1, 2021)

Founded in 1999, the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) established a high standard of canine professionals and strives to maintain recognition of this high standard for its members and the general public. The IACP’s Education and  Certification Committee oversees dog training certification by incorporating these high standards into IACP examinations for dog trainers and dog training instructors.

A major component of maintaining high standards are the continued growth and collaboration amongst senior professional peers within each industry.  Early in 2020, the IACP Certification embarked on revising exam contents and formatting following the national accreditation standards set forth by the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Due to this process, some of the certifications may be periodically placed on hold for revision.  

The process of 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 place merit of certification to each dog trainer's Knowledge, Skils and Abilities (KSA) in their use of preferred "tools and methods."

IACP's Certification program accurately and thoroughly assess skills by critiquing hands-on performance at progressive KSA levels that go beyond book learning based exams.  IACP does not discriminate against training methods, tools, or techniques in its certification exams but rather each dog trainer's abilities to incorporate them effectively, and humanely into a sound and well-rounded training program.

Certification KSA Level Title Awarded Certification Prerequisite Type of Exam
Dog Trainer Foundation Certification Novice/Beginner DTFC None Multiple Choice & Essay
Certified Dog Trainer Professional CDT None 3 Case Studies with Client Feedback
Certified Dog Trainer Advanced


CDTA  CDT 3 Live Videos Hands on Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer Instructor Expert PDTI  CDTA 1 Lecture or Workshop Presentation Video


IACP exams are user friendly with free download at any time.  Requests for hard copies of exam are available for $15.00 per exam by contacting IACP Administrative Office.  [email protected] or telephone (512)564-1011.

held to the IACP Code of Conduct and the IACP Certificant Code of Ethics.

Questions? Contact [email protected]