Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare Ofqual Level 3 Award

Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare

This course is regulated and the qualification is officially recognised by the Government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.

Qualification– Approval Number: 603/4536/6

This Qualification meets the requirements of Defra and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

Covering essential information on canine care, behaviour and welfare, this self-contained course provides you with the necessary knowledge, know-how and qualification* to make that dream a reality. 

When you have completed the course and passed the assessments, you will receive a Level 3 Award certificate in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare certificate from Open Course Network West Midlands. 

*As of 1st October 2018, it is a Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) requirement for those wishing to run a DayCare establishment that the licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.  

Guidance includes suitable and sufficient training of people responsible for the care of the animals must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • Dog welfare, including recognising poor welfare and understanding the 5 welfare needs;
  • Dog handling;
  • Dog behaviour;
  • Cleanliness and hygiene;
  • Feeding and food preparation;
  • Disease control
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals. 

Training must be a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated level 2 qualification in a relevant subject, or clear evidence of knowledge and experience. 

To meet the “Higher Standard”, one option is for the person responsible for the care of dogs to have a relevant OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification.

    Who is this course for?


    The Ofqual Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare – Approval Number: 603/4536/6 consists of two units:-

    Unit  1 – Canine Behaviour
    Unit 2 – Care of Canines in Kennels, Day Care & Home Boarding


    Who is this course for?

    This Ofqual Level 3 qualification is for anyone who works with dogs – particularly:

    • Dog boarders
    • Dog day carers
    • Dog breeders
    • Dog walkers
    • Dog trainers/behaviourists
    • Dog groomers
    • Pet sitters

    You do not need any prior knowledge or qualifications to study this qualification, although some experience or related knowledge will be advantageous.

    Additional information

    Learning style and content
    This course is a blend of self-paced online learning, self-study recommended resources and research, video seminars, videos, ‘podcasts’, elearning, Graphics/diagrams multiple answers and short essay assignments.

    Special consideration is provided for those requiring additional learning support.

    Successful achievement is by a Learner presenting a portfolio of evidence that meets the assessment criteria.

    Assessments require desk research from the study resources provided to assist the Learner in writing 200-400-word responses including diagrams, illustrations, tables and bullet points as necessary. An assessment might typically ask the Learner to ‘Explain’ or ‘Describe’ a specific topic or situation, to avoid plagiarism and to provide citation references in order to support the Learner’s response.

    A few assessments require the Learner to select the correct options from multiple possible answers including True or False statements.

    At the end of the course, each learner is asked to complete a reflective self-evaluation of their learning experience and personal growth.

    The Ofqual regulated course is taught against a prescriptive syllabus and the learner is required to evidence their understanding and application of the syllabus.

    To achieve an Ofqual certificate, the Learner must successfully pass all of the course modules.

    Every assignment submitted is assessed as either a Pass or Refer. A Learner is required to ultimately achieve a Pass for every assignment. Refers – or ‘Passes in Waiting’ as we like to call them, are hopefully few and far between. If an assignment receives a ‘Refer’, the learner has two complimentary ‘resits’ across the course. Additional ‘resits’ are charged at £25 per resit to cover the additional admin costs. If a Learner is unable to complete the

    Once all of the Ofqual course modules have been successfully completed, the Learner’s assessment profiles are submitted for independent quality validation against the regulatory framework. And once validated, a certificate is issued to the learner.

    For non-accredited modules, the Learner is required to achieve at least an 80% pass threshold. On achievement, an online certificate is made available for download.

    Course curriculum, units, modules and what this course covers

    Unit 1: Ofqual Level 3 Award: Canine Behaviour

    • Common canine body language signs and signals
    • Common canine body language signs and signals
    • Terms used to describe a range of emotional states in canines
    • How to assess canines from their body language
    • Common canine behavioural issues
    • Methods used to modify canine behaviour
    • How to work with common canine behavioural problems
    • Potential causes of canine stress
    • Signs of stress in canines
    • Potential causes of aggression in canines
    • The signs of aggression in canines
    • How stress can lead to aggressive behaviour in canines
    • The ladder of aggression in canines

    Unit 2: Ofqual Level 3 Award: Care of Dogs in Home Boarding, Day Care & Kennels

    • The causes of canine diseases
    • Methods of disease prevention.
    • How a range of canine diseases are transmitted
    • Risk assessments for the prevention of disease transmission in canines.
    • The welfare of canines in home boarding and day care settings
    • Potential welfare issues in home boarding and day care settings
    • Feeding of canines in home boarding and day care settings
    • How welfare issues can be prevented in home boarding and day care settings
    • Feeding requirements for canines in home boarding and day care settings.
    • Common eating and dietary issues in canines
    • Techniques for dealing with eating and dietary issues in canines in home boarding and day care settings.
    • Different ways to enter dog enclosures
    • Different ways to exit dog enclosures
    • Potential problems with exit and entry to dog enclosures
    • Essential personal protection equipment for canine handling
    • The importance of personal protection equipment for canine handling
    • Ways to provide environmental enrichment in home boarding and day care settings
    • The impact of correct environmental stimulation in home boarding and day care settings
    • Safe and unsafe play in canines
    • Safe management of canine interactions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Please find a list of questions and answers below. If your question is not listed, feel free to chat to us by clicking the live chat button to the bottom left of your screen.

    Is this course online?


    You have access to an online tutor and there recorded seminars, as well as flashcards, quizzes, ‘podcasts’, a research and reading list, together with a workbook and in-course exercises.

    You need access to half decent Internet and email. The course is a blend of different learning content and styles.

    Some Level 3 course providers just send you a pdf workbook, a reading list and tell you to get on with it. Which is what got us going in the first place thinking we could do better than that.

    What form does the learning take?

    Learning is provided by online video seminars and self-study from our list of learning resources.

    You have access to an online tutor and you get live and recorded seminars, as well as flashcards, quizzes, podcasts, a research and self-study list, together with workbooks and a question and answer books for each unit.

    You’ll need access to half decent Internet and email. The course is a blend of different learning content and styles.

    How will I be assessed?

    At the end of the course, Learners are assessed in two formats:-

    1. Multiple (questions and) ‘Answers
    2. Short ‘questions’ requiring you to use the self-study resources and video seminar resources, so that you can describe/explain/evaluate (as required), answering the ‘questions’ with short ‘essay’ answers providing supporting references (if appropriate)
    How long do I have to complete my course?

    From two to 6 months.

    We recognise that some people are in full time employment with busy family lives and preparing for a new future.

    Others are very likely already dog professionals who have dog needs and customer demands to meet, before you wash off all the mud, do the household stuff, put their feet up and start thinking about studying. Covid permitting!

    We have to have a finite timeline, to keep everybody focused. But if you can complete and pass your course in 2 to 3 months, Brilliant!

    Does this course meet the DEFRA Ofqual requirements 'thingy'?


    Successful candidates will receive the following:

    Ofqual Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare

    Qualification Number: 603/4536/6

    The certificate will come from the Ofqual nationally authorised organisation, Open College Network West Midlands who are our examining body.

    We should stress you only get the certificate if you pass the accredited assessment(s), but if you want to check the core qualification exists, you can check it on the Ofqual list of regulated qualifications.

    And the approved qualification number is 603/4536/6

    Do come back to us with any more questions.

    £344.40 Including VAT

    Course Features

    Blended Learning


    Time to Complete

    Total Qualification Time: 130 hours

    Downloadable Materials

    Downloadable Learning Materials


    Completion Certificate

    ofqual and open college network