top of page
Handsome tabby cat in the garden


If you have a query, please check below to see if it has already been answered.
If not, you can email your query to us at

FAQs are organised by the following topics:

The re-launch of CCAB Certification Ltd
Pre-certification and Mapping
Qualifying experience
Vet referral and liaison
Client reports
The application process and individual circumstances
The Viva and Practical Assessments
The relaunch of CCAB Certification Ltd

Q. Has anything changed about the CCAB assessment process itself?

A. No, the assessment process and criteria for application for assessment remain unchanged. Please refer to the Academic Requirements page and Clinical Skills Requirements page for details of our criteria for application for assessment as a CCAB.


Q. Why have you relaunched?

A. Independence has been one of our core values from the inception of the CCAB accreditation scheme. Please see ‘Our story’ for details of our history. Relaunching means we can move forward with true independence as the relatively new field of Clinical Animal Behaviour continues to grow and develop.


Q. What does independence mean, in practice?

A. We are no longer operating under the umbrella of ASAB and we are no longer an ABTC assessment organisation.


Q. Why are you no longer part of ASAB?

A. ASAB’s enormous support enabled the CCAB accreditation scheme to launch and establish, but the accreditation scheme was always intended to become independent once established. We are proud to have achieved that goal, hence the relaunch.


Q. Why are you no longer an ABTC assessment organisation?

A. In 1998, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), a learned society, established a working party to examine the need for a professional framework for people working in applications of animal behaviour in the UK.  This working party included representatives from the British Psychological Society, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the International Society for Applied Ethology, as well as what is now the British Veterinary Behaviour Association, and a range of professional organisations representing behaviourists.  The working party concluded that in the best interests of the public, practitioners, vets and other related professions, a registration scheme, independent of education providers and professional bodies, was required to avoid conflicts of interest and safeguard animal welfare.


This led to the formation of the CCAB accreditation scheme, which was set up and administered by an Accreditation Committee under the umbrella of ASAB. Independence, a focus on academic integrity, and a close relationship with the veterinary profession were central to the organisation’s aims.


When the ABTC was first set up its CAB standards were based on ASAB Accreditation’s CCAB standards. Recent initiatives by the ABTC have resulted in changes to how courses are recognised, how the Knowledge and Understanding (K&U) criteria are assessed, etc. Had we remained an ABTC assessment organisation, the ABTC would have required changes to our acceptance criteria for application for CCAB that would no longer have allowed us to maintain our rigorous high standards. We engaged in extensive discussions with the ABTC to explore ways in which we could be permitted to maintain these standards, alongside ensuring we also fulfil ABTC requirements. However, an agreement could not be reached. After a period of very careful reflection and consideration, the committee and ASAB felt that it was important that we protected the well-earned reputation CCABs enjoy by not allowing erosion of the standards. We feel the CCAB criteria are critical to safeguarding animal welfare, and they reflect our values as an organisation. Given the choice before us, we have opted to maintain our criteria and operate independently, rather than change our criteria to remain an ABTC assessment organisation.


The criteria we felt it important to maintain were:

·       The requirement for most of the K&U criteria to be met via academic study, with a minimum of a relevant BSc degree with a 2:1 classification

·       Allowing a small number of K&U criteria to be met via Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

·       The requirement for CCAB Certification validated courses to have some delivery by CCABs

·       The ability to independently assess whether an applicant has met the K&U criteria i.e. make assessment decisions independent of education providers and professional bodies.


We would like to reiterate that CCAB Certification’s remit and standards remain unchanged.


Q. I’m a CCAB. Can I stay on the ABTC register?

A. The ABTC has assured us that current CCABs who are members of a practitioner organisation will remain on the ABTC register (subject to meeting all their renewal requirements). Individuals seeking guidance on their individual situation are advised to approach the ABTC directly.


Q. I’m working towards assessment as a CCAB, but have not yet applied. Will I be accepted onto the ABTC register when I gain my CCAB certification?

A. Again, the ABTC has assured us that they do not want any applicant who is part way through their CCAB journey to be disadvantaged. Individuals seeking guidance on their individual situation are advised to approach the ABTC directly.

Pre-certification and Mapping

Q. Is an attendance certificate sufficient evidence for mapping?

A. It might be sufficient for small knowledge areas. For anything more substantial, a completion certificate is more appropriate i.e. one that shows you have met the criteria to demonstrate the learning outcomes.


Q. Are CCAB validated courses the same as ABTC validated courses?

A. No. If you have not completed an CCAB validated course, you need to do the mapping.


Q. Can I use a mapping template created by someone else who did the same course as me?

A. Yes, if it was for the same year and you completed all the same optional modules. However, check every detail before submitting. Make sure that your specific course options are correctly represented, for the year in which you took them.


Q. How can I fill in knowledge gaps?

A. For large areas of knowledge, you may wish to undertake a stand-alone course. For instance Edinburgh University offers modular courses. For smaller knowledge gaps, CPD may suffice. Your professional membership organisation may be able to advise.

Qualifying experience

Q. How can I get practical experience before I’m certificated?

A. We recommend you shadow and/or observe the work of several different CCABs. Different behaviourists have different styles. Observing several behaviourists will help you learn and develop your own style. Your practitioner membership organisation may offer shadowing and mentoring opportunities, some included with membership, some available for an additional fee. Please contact them directly for details. Some CCABs also offer this service privately.


Q. The case I was working on didn’t run through to completion, because the animal was PTS/rehomed. Does this case still count?

A. Yes, you can still include this in your case log for assessment.


Q. The case I was working on didn’t run through to completion, because the client stopped responding. Does this case still count?

A. Yes, you can still include this in your case log for assessment.


Q. I have not received a medical history for the animal I’m assessing. Can I still include this case?

A. Yes, if there is no medical history available. However, you should be able to demonstrate that you had veterinary referral and explain why there was no medical history .


Q. I work in rescue and don’t typically lead complete cases from beginning to end. How can I achieve the criteria of leading 10 complete cases per year, for two years?

A. For behaviourists working in rescue, we ask that your Case Log covers at least 11 cases in which you have led at every stage from start to finish. The remaining 9 cases can be made up across a number of different cases. For example, you may have led the history taking for 9 cases, and led the follow-up on 9 cases, but these do not necessarily have to be the same case.


Q. Do supervised cases count towards the 10 cases per year that I should have led myself?

A. We actively encourage supervision, and you should include supervised cases in your Case Log. However, in your assessment, we are looking for evidence that you can confidently lead on every stage of a case. By the time you submit for assessment, you should be asking for minimal input from a supervisor.

Vet Referral and liaison

Q. Is there a standard format for vet reports and/or vet letters

A. No. There are no standard formats for client and vet communication that we recommend. You are encouraged to develop your own style. Please bear in mind the assessment criteria; we will be assessing your written communication in your submitted reports, as well as your verbal responses in the Viva and Practical.


Q. As a non-vet, how do we refer to our behavioural ‘diagnosis’ when communicating with a vet, without stepping outside our legal remit?

A. A simple solution is to refer to your behavioural ‘assessment’.


Q. When a pet from a multi-pet household has been referred, do I need a referral for all the other pets in the household too?

A. No. You can work with a single animal referred in a multi-pet household. You may need to assess the interactions between referred and un-referred animals during your work. Should you feel that creating a specific behavioural modification plan for an individual other than the one referred is required, you should seek referral for that individual.

Client reports

Q. Is there a standard format for client reports that I can download?

A. No, there is no standard format for client reports and you are encouraged to develop your own. Please bear in mind the assessment criteria; we will be assessing your written communication in your submitted reports, as well as your verbal responses in the Viva and Practical.


Q. I’ve used videos and handouts to explain items to which I refer in my client report. Do I need to submit my videos and handouts with the reports?

A. You should include any handouts with your reports. You do not need to send videos.


Q. I tend to write my client reports in stages, rather than give the client everything in one go. If I have multi-stage plan for a submitted case, do I need to submit every stage in my application?

A. No. If you have a multi-stage behaviour modification plan, please submit the first report that you sent to the client. The other stages might be discussed in your Viva.


Q. My report style/format has evolved over the course of the last two years. Does it matter if my more recent reports are very different from those that I wrote 6 months ago?

A. No, this doesn’t matter, but you may want to highlight this with your assessors.

Application process and individual circumstances

Q. I have been on maternity leave, so there is a gap in my experience. Can this be taken into account when looking at my Case Log?

A. We will look at your individual circumstances. Please email the office at


Q. What happens if I don’t pass?

A. You will be given detailed feedback and have the opportunity to re-submit for assessment  


Q. What happens if I disagree with the result of the assessment?

A. If you do not agree with the decision or feel that CCAB Accreditation has not followed the appropriate procedure you may make an appeal. Appeals need to be made within 3 months of notification of the outcome of your application and should be directed to

Viva and Practical

Q. Do you offer mock assessments, for practice?

A. No, but your practitioner organisation may offer these. Contact them directly for details.

Q. I’m applying for horses. Will I be asked to assess a donkey in my practical assessment?

A. No. You will be assessed on horses. However, donkeys might be present.


Q. With my application, do I need to submit my redacted vet referral, clinical history, client questionnaire, and follow-up emails?

A. No. You don’t have to submit these with your application, but we might request them when we have reviewed your application. Initially, you need only submit the redacted client reports and redacted vet report/letters for the four cases selected, and only when requested.


Q. What is the pass rate of applicants?

A. It is around 95%

bottom of page