Behaviourist Roles

What is the difference between CAB and CCAB?

CAB (Clinical Animal Behaviourist) is the standard set by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC). All CAB members of ABTC organisations are assessed as meeting the knowledge and competence required by this standard. 

The APBC now offers an assessment route to CAB.  This allows the APBC to register CABs with the ABTC through its own assessment process. The APBC is a Practitioner Organisation and an Assessor Organisation.

Those who gained their CCAB status prior to April 2023 were assessed by the ASAB accreditation process. This was another route to becoming a CAB and being able to register with the ABTC.

This route is no longer available as ASAB Accreditation has been closed.

The term CCAB has been taken over by a new organisation CCAB Certification Ltd. At the time of writing (April 2023) the standards and assessment processes of this new organisation have not been recognised by the ABTC.

Can I still become a Full member of the APBC if I am being assessed by another organisation?

Before applying for Full membership, practitioners must have their practical skills assessed against the Performance Criteria detailed in the ABTC Standards.  If you have already been assessed by another ABTC organisation you can apply directly for APBC Full membership.  This will entail an interview before the APBC can accept you as a Full Member.

If your organisation is not a member of the ABTC in order to become a member you can demonstrate your Knowledge and Understanding via the APEL Process and your Performance skills through the APBC Assessment process.

We used to be able to accept CCAB by ASAB accreditation as Full Members after a short interview. Those who gained their CCAB status prior to April 2023 were assessed by the ASAB accreditation process. This was another route to becoming a CAB and being able to register with the ABTC.

This route is no longer available as ASAB Accreditation has been closed.

The term CCAB has been taken over by a new organisation CCAB Certification Ltd. At the time of writing (April 2023) the standards and assessment processes of this new organisation have not been recognised by the ABTC.

Individuals who are already CCAB (pre April 2023) and are already members of the APBC are not affected by any changes resulting from the discontinuation of ASAB AC. ALL our FULL CAB and ABT members are valued and eligible for the ABTC register.

Any individual who is a CCAB (pre April 2023) is welcome to become a member of APBC, and will be eligible to be on the ABTC register.

Anyone who has done an ABTC recognised course or the ABTC APEL process will have met the Knowledge and Understanding requirements and can apply for Provisional membership of the APBC.

This has been the APBC position and there has been no change.

Support For Members

I do not have a relevant degree and cannot/do not wish to do full time study. Can I apply?

You might like to consider one of the distance learning courses available that have been recognised as meeting the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) Knowledge and Understanding requirements for both the Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB) or Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) roles. A list of appropriate courses can be found here: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners-info/careers/

Alternatively, you may find that you are eligible to apply for membership via the ABTC APEL process.  For more information regarding this process please visit: (link to APEL page).

Is there a time limit from passing APEL to then progressing to the APBC Assessment process?

No – APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning) is a process for you to demonstrate that you have met the required Knowledge and Understanding requirements for the roles of Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) or Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB), if you have not undertaken a course recognised by the ABTC.  Once you have demonstrated that your Knowledge and Understanding meets the ABTC requirements you can then progress to the APBC Assessment process in the same way as someone who has completed a course recognised by the ABTC.

Once you have demonstrated you have met the Knowledge and Understanding requirements for your role you are able to join us as a Provisional member.  We generally encourage our Provisional members to progress to Full membership within 6 years. 

What support do you provide to applicants working towards their application?

We provide a range of support for our members as they work towards full membership.  This includes webinars, online support groups and a closed Facebook group for case discussion, business development and moral support.  This allows members of all types to share their collective knowledge and experience by discussing their cases and experiences.  It is hoped this will allow student and provisional members to grow in confidence and give provisional members an opportunity to gain experience presenting cases they have worked on.  This will be very helpful in preparing for the assessment for full membership. 

Additionally, we also offer opportunities to work with an Assessment Advisor.  Assessment advisors are trained members of the APBC assessment team and have a high level of knowledge about the assessment process. Our assessment advisors work with you to explain the application process, practise oral interviews with you and provide feedback to help you with your written, observation and oral assessment.  Payment for assessment advisors will be in line with payment to assessors. 

Where can I find a breakdown of the Performance Criteria for each ABTC role?

The Performance Criteria can be found for each of the role Standards which are listed here: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners-info/

The APBC also provides a detailed breakdown of the Performance Criteria for both the Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) and Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB) role in our Application Information documents (link to CAB and ABT assessment pages).

Is there any guidance on what our written case records should look like and what should be included?

Yes – our Application Information documents highlight all the information that is necessary to provide in your case records (link to CAB and ABT assessment pages).

Are there any case record examples available for guidance?

Yes – please use the following links to access our GoogleDrive containing case record examples for both the ABT and CAB roles (link to GoogleDrive folders for ABT and CAB case examples)

Do I need to be supervised by another practitioner before I apply?”]

The APBC Assessment route does not require members to complete supervision before submitting case records.  A number of our Full members do offer this service if it is something you would find helpful.  However, this is not a necessity for our application process.

Does your APBC Membership insurance cover equines?

Currently no.

Written Case Records

Can I apply for assessment even though my written case records are not quite ready?

Yes – you can apply and state you are ready for assessment.  There will be assessment dates throughout the year.  Once you have submitted all the information you will be assessed in the next available assessment window. 

Does it matter how I source my cases?

The main thing to take into consideration is whether your cases demonstrate that you can meet the ABTC performance criteria requirements for your chosen behaviourist role; Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) or Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CAB). 

We accept applications from behaviourists working in private practice, those working in veterinary practices e.g. running socialisation clinics and acclimatising patients to vet visits, and also those working in a rescue setting e.g. giving preventative behaviour advice to new owners or providing treatment plans in-house to staff members.

Do all cases submitted in my case records need to be ‘resolved’, or can they be a mix of current and prior cases?

At least one of the cases you submit in your case records should have taken place within the past 12 months.  In order to fully demonstrate the Performance Criteria it may be helpful to also choose at least one case with significant follow up that has reached a resolution. 

Is it possible to apply for multiple species in one application?

Yes – you would be encouraged to provide at least one case record for each species with which you would like to demonstrate competency. 

Do I need to submit a case study for another species e.g. feline, if I only want to work with one species e.g. canine?

No, if you only want to work with dogs then you can submit 3 dog case records.  In order to demonstrate the ABTC Performance Criteria fully we may ask you questions about other species.  You can expect to be questioned about hypothetical case examples during your oral interview(s) especially related to multi species households.

Should the 3 case records I submit cover a range of behavioural issues?

Although this isn’t essential it would be useful to provide a range of cases in order to maximise your opportunity to demonstrate that you meet the ABTC Performance Criteria which can be viewed here: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners-info/

The Performance Criteria that is particularly relevant is; ‘Demonstrate skill and competency in the selection and use of a wide range of behavioural modification techniques and training aids to address undesirable and problematic behaviour….’

If the case records submitted are too narrow in scope then you can expect to be questioned about hypothetical case examples during your oral interview(s).  This may include other species as well as other behavioural problems or differential diagnoses.  

What is required as written evidence of veterinary correspondence?

We would need to see evidence of veterinary referral (this may be a signed form or an email).  A copy of the pet’s medical history would also indicate referral from a vet.  We would also need to see examples of professional exchange with the client’s vet e.g. regarding medication. 

If applying for the Animal Behaviour Technician (ABT) role, veterinary referral/liaison may not be relevant.  However, this is required of any case records related to a Clinical Animal behaviourist (CAB) application.

What if the vet will not provide a written veterinary referral, only verbal?

We would be interested to hear from you.  Please contact the office on info@apbc.org.uk.

Video Case Records

Can I apply for assessment even though my video case records are not quite ready?

Yes – you can apply and state you are ready for assessment.  There will be assessment dates throughout the year.  Once you have submitted all the information you will be assessed in the next available assessment window. 

What should be included in the video case records?

We would like to view a full initial consultation and follow up session with a client.  Video of 1-2-1 training sessions can be submitted as your prophylactic case (for Animal Behaviour Technician applications) or in addition to your behaviour cases (for Clinical Animal Behaviourist applications) in order to demonstrate your handling and training skills and interactions with clients. 

Why are follow up visits included in the case records?

We assess follow up sessions to ascertain how you evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment regime and make revisions as necessary, in response to client feedback.  This could be demonstrated by email records if a follow up visit was not conducted.  

What training video evidence is required?

We require you to demonstrate that you are able to train 3 behavioural cues, showing or identifying how you would progress each exercise.  This could be with a client’s animal or with your own animal.

You are also required to demonstrate that you are able to coach clients to teach a behaviour.  If this is not included in the 3 behavioural cue videos you will need to send additional evidence demonstrating you coaching a client.  A video of you teaching a training class with clients could be submitted as evidence to meet this Performance Criteria.

What equipment is acceptable to use for my video case records?

We are happy for you to record your initial consultation using any recording device.  Typically this is done using a mobile phone or camcorder.  Ideally these would be set up in a location where both the practitioner and client can both be seen and heard clearly. 

Bodycams may be a useful alternative although please be aware this does not allow us to view you properly during your interactions with your client so may only give us half the picture.

If conducting a zoom session these can be recorded.  Please change your zoom recording settings to ensure the meeting is recorded in gallery view and not speaker view.  Again, this ensures that we are able to see and hear everyone involved in the consultation/follow up session.

Can the video evidence exclude seeing the face of the client if they do not want to appear on video?

The face of the client could be obscured but it would be more helpful if it was seen, as the purpose of this evidence is to assess the communication skills of the applicant, including their reactions to client’s responses. 

If this causes you particular problems, please advise the APBC office (office@apbc.org.uk) as we want to be as flexible as possible in offering these assessments. 

How do I send the large video files to you?

If your video is under 2GB you can use WeTransfer to email it to the office (info@apbc.org.uk).  If the file is over 2GB there are two options:

  1. 1. Upload to an unlisted / private video platform or your iCloud storage such as OneDrive or GoogleDrive and send us the access link.
  2. 2. We can email you a link for you to upload it to our GoogleDrive (you do not need to have GoogleDrive to be able to use it).  
  3. You can post them via dongle or USB stick.

If you would like to split the files into smaller sizes to make uploading them easier/quicker, you are welcome.

If you are experiencing difficulties uploading files of a large size, please contact the office (info@apbc.org.uk) for alternative options.

What will happen to the video files after assessment?

We will send a confidentiality agreement for use with clients indicating that they are happy for the video evidence to be used for this purpose only and that assessors and any other APBC staff who have access to the files will destroy them once the application is complete.


What happens if my assessment is unsuccessful?

We are very proud to say that we have a high success rate for our assessments and we can attribute this partly to the supportive nature of the process.  However, the assessment process is also rigorous and, in some cases, we may require an applicant to submit further materials to ensure the Performance Criteria have been fully met. 

In this instance an applicant will be provided with a feedback document showing all the Performance Criteria and whether they have been fully met, partially met or not yet met.  If there is something lacking that prevents progression to the oral interview stage – this will be made clear.  

If after a maximum of 3 one hour interviews, we feel there are some performance criteria that have not been sufficiently met, again this will be communicated clearly in the feedback.  You would be assessed on the remaining criteria at the next available assessment window or when you feel ready. 

We will be keeping clear records so that applicants can be reassessed later and pick up where they left off, without having to repeat the whole process.

Please note that the number of applicants being reassessed in each window will be capped to ensure that new applicants coming through are also given assessment opportunities. 

How soon after an unsuccessful assessment can I re-submit/re-apply?

In some cases, where only a few Performance Criteria have not yet been met or only partially met, an applicant will be invited for re-assessment in the next assessment window (1-4 months later)  This will include an additional oral interview and may require additional written case records to fully meet the Performance Criteria.

In cases where an applicant has been deemed not ready for Full membership, they will be encouraged to put our recommendations into practice before submitting another application. These applicants are encouraged to make another application once new skills have been applied in practice and they are ready for Full membership.

What are the costs for re-submission/re-application?

The cost for re-submission depends on the amount of additional evidence required.  Applicants may be asked for one additional oral interview, one additional case record and one additional interview or two additional case records and one additional interview.  For a breakdown of additional fees please visit [link to Assessment page]. 

In the case that an applicant is deemed not ready and a full re-application is necessary, the full (unsubsidised) cost will apply. These fees can be found on [link to Assessment page].

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Is it possible to work with species I have not been assessed for e.g. working with equines, if I have only been assessed for canine/feline species?

All ABTC practitioners must work within their competency level and it is important not to practise outside your field of confidence/competence.  You would need to demonstrate an appropriate background with any additional species and this may include additional CPD. All APBC members are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD per year to develop their knowledge and practical skills.


How accessible is the APBC assessment process?

The APBC wants to make the application and assessment process accessible to all our members.  If members have any special requirements regarding their submission, please contact the office on info@apbc.org.uk to discuss.

English is not my first language and my video records will be in my native language. Is this ok?

Yes – the APBC wants to make the application and assessment process accessible to all our members including our international members.  As our assessors are not multi-lingual, we would be pleased to accept video submissions that are clearly subtitled in English so that we can understand what is being said.  We would also ask that you gain written permission from your client that they are happy for us to share the recording with an interpreter should we need to. 

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