CDTA Exam Instructions & Guidelines (February 15, 2021) (PDF)

Webpage updated March 1, 2022
Contact: certification@canineprofessionals.com

Effective April 1, 2022 the CDTA will be taken offline for revisions. 

If you wish to take the exam before then you must submit your application and payment no later than March 31, 2022.

Why seek becoming a Certified Dog Trainer Advanced with IACP?

This title verifies competence as a dog trainer with advanced skills.  The IACP acknowledges the struggles dog trainers face when seeking assistance to help them further develop their dog training skills, due to lack of reliable referral.  The intention for developing certifications is to create a valid evaluation to assess an individual dog trainer’s capability and proficiency. The CDTA exam is designed to assess the applicant’s Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) at the advanced level in a given amount of time.  Advanced skills in dog training are evident when the obvious outcome was determined by the applicant’s mental and physical skill, rather than by chance, excessive non-productive activities, or forced submission that evaluates the following criteria:

  • Exhibits confidence
  • Creates rapport
  • Reads dog appropriately
  • Demonstrates appropriate and well-timed rewards, corrections, markers, or cues, if used.
  • Affects a change in the dog’s behavior/response
  • Exhibits versatility
  • Demonstrates exceptional competence with chosen method technique, or tools
  • Applicant was able to effect the desired outcome stated at beginning of the video

Applicants passing the CDTA exam may add the initials IACP-CDTA to their name.

How do I take the CDTA exam?

Professional dog trainers who have held an active Certified Dog Trainer-CDT certification for at least one (1) year are eligible to take the CDTA exam.  Professional dog trainers who have held a CDT exam more than two (2) years must ensure that their CDT title is in good standing.  If you do not have a CDT, please go to the CDT exam by clicking here.

Before you can start the CDTA exam, you must first apply to take the exam and pay a registration fee of $150.00 (US).  To apply for the CDTA exam and fee, click here.  

If you experience online registration difficulties, please contact:  certification@canineprofessionals.com 

Once application has been approved, you will receive an official CDTA Welcome Letter that will identify when you may start your exam and when your exam is due.  The official exam dates will allow you six (6) months to complete the exam and submit for grading.

The CDTA Exam consists of three (3) dog training sessions, each of a different dog that has not been previously trained.  Training sessions will include:

  • One (1) Video Introduction (prepared before the training session) 
  • One (1) 30-minute video of the training session (actual training)
  • One (1) Critique of Video-taped Training (prepared after the training)

What Language is the CDTA Exam In?

The primary language for the CDTA exam and supporting documents and video is English.  CDTA exams packages written or spoken in languages other than the English language must be accompanied with a translation in English.  Other languages currently available for the CDTA exam, not requiring an English translation are

  • Spanish (to be announced)
  • French (to be announced)

What accommodations will IACP provide if I have a disability? 

IACP is committed to making sure that applicants with disabilities can take tests with the accommodations they need. The CDTA Exam allows each applicant to select the preferred dog training of their choice.  All reasonable requests are considered. 

IACP Certificant Code of Ethics Policy


To ensure that certificants demonstrate the highest standards of ethics, exceeding legal minim , through self-regulation of their personal conduct are required to sign and adhere to the IACP Code of Conduct Affidavit for Certificants and the Certificant Code of Ethics.  These affidavits are required during certification exam application, initial issuance, and/or renewal.   

To see, download or print a copy of the complete:


To see, download, or print a Spanish copy of the complete:

Política Sobre el Código de Ética del Certificador (julio 22, 2020), haga clic aquí
Código de Ética del Certificador-Declaración Jurada de Certificante, haga clic aqui
Código de Conducta del Certificador-Declaración Jurada de Certificante, haga clic aquí


CDTA Disputes

Any person who feels the need to dispute any parts of the CDTA application, exam, or final grade are encouraged to initiate a formal dispute in accordance with the IACP Education and Certification Dispute Policy (September 1, 2020).


To see, download, or print a copy of the complete CDTA Instructions and Guidelines, click here.

To apply for the exam and submit your fee, click here.


If you experience online registration difficulties, please contact certification@canineprofessionals.com

To submit your CDTA Exam to the Certification Committee, click here


Please direct any questions about the CDTA Exam Instructions and Guidelines to IACP Certification at certification@canineprofessionals.com.