Jesse Miller on September 13, 2016
Certification in animal behavior consulting is like other professional certifications: to be certified, an applicant must demonstrate a high level of education and commitment to developing their practice.
A CEU is a unit that measures an individual’s participation in a continuing education program. This can be an online course, a seminar, training class, or mentorship.
Longer or more intensive programs are awarded more CEUs than shorter, less intensive ones. For example, IAABC’s Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice course is a twelve-week course that requires at least six hours of commitment each week, so it is worth 36 CEUs. A one-hour webinar, by contrast, is usually worth one or two CEUs. Courses with evaluated work or a hands-on component generally garner more CEUs than seminar-style education.
An animal behavior professional can be a member of one or more different organizations. Each organization has its own set of criteria on what kinds of education is worth CEUs.
Offering CEUs is a crucial way to motivate people to sign up to your class or course. People or organizations that have continuing education to offer can find out if they qualify for CEUs from different organizations. At IAABC, we have a subcommittee that reviews every application and checks they align with our core competencies and ethical principle of advancing a positive, LIMA-based approach to animal behavior consulting.
A behavior consultant’s certification is not for life: We require recertification every three years. One of our requirements is that an applicant shows they have been keeping up with developments in the field. We measure this by asking for 36 CEUs every three years from our certified and associate members. Using CEUs as a standard measure makes it easier for our members to clearly see the different ways they can meet this requirement and how close they are to meeting it, as well as how to get the best value for their money.
When a client hires a certified behavior consultant for their cat, dog, horse, or parrot, the rate they are charged is not just for the time the consultant is spending in their home. It encompasses all the time that consultant spends on the client’s case, including time making sure they are up-to-date on the latest research and techniques. As consultants, it’s important to remember that continuing education is ultimately for the benefit of clients and should be reflected in your rates: it’s a vital part of best practice in the field.
Visit our Courses page for a complete syllabus of continuing education IAABC offers. Anyone can take our courses, but discounts are available for members.