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What is a professional organization and why should I join one? - Blog

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Image: What is a professional organization and why should I join one?

By Tiro Miller Miller on Dec 1, 2022, 12:00 AM

A professional association is a group of people working in an industry who come together to share knowledge and resources. IAABC is a professional organization for anyone working in animal behavior. We count animal behavior consultants, dog trainers, shelter personnel, service animal trainers, veterinarians, and zookeepers among our members. Like any professional organization, the aim of IAABC is to promote the interests of the people in our industry, and to help our members be successful in their work. 


How does IAABC promote its members? 

Professional organizations exist to promote their members. We do this by:

  • Offering certifications and accreditations for people working with dogs, cats, horses, and parrots. 
  • Creating platforms for peer support and shared learning 
  • Developing and sharing resources with our members
  • Working to raise awareness of animal behavior consulting as an industry, and our members as representative of industry best practices
By getting certified through an organization like IAABC, you’ll be able to use our logo and be listed on our Consultant Locator. This means that you’ll be able to take advantage of our recognizability. We use our platform to raise awareness of animal behavior consulting as an industry, and to champion ethical, effective, amazing training and behavior work. 

Our certifications are the most rigorous in the industry -- we ask for real case studies that show how you work from start to finish, as well as testing your general and species-specific knowledge. 

What are CEUs? 

Like most certifying professional organizations, you’ll need to maintain your certification with CEUs (Continuing Education Units). This means you’ll be showing your clients that you’re  committed to keeping up with the latest knowledge in your field. There are hundreds of ways to get CEUs -- our website has them all listed here. Membership in IAABC gives you discounts for all education offered by The IAABC Foundation (our sister organization), including conferences!

We're pushing for higher standards

Professional organizations can amplify your voice in the industry. Together, we can tell the world about the kind of science-based, effective and ethical work with animals that our individual members do every day.

One of the most contentious topics for anyone working professionally in animal behavior right now is regulation. Right now, anyone can call themselves a professional animal trainer, animal behaviorist, or animal behavior consultant. There’s nothing illegal about setting up a business and working with clients and their animals with absolutely no knowledge, qualifications, or skills. We’re working on changing that, but for now, the best way to distinguish yourself from someone with nothing more than a few hours of the Discovery Channel and a dream is to join a professional organization. 

Image: Three horses in a meadow walking in single file


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