Canine Care & Welfare

Ofqual Level 2 Award

Canine Care & Welfare

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

Qualification– Approval Number: 603/5731/9

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

This qualification has been designed to provide learners with the knowledge and understanding to be able to work in the field of canine care providing kennelling, home or day care for canines of all breeds and sizes. Learners will understand the basics of canine behaviour including stress and aggression and will be able to provide care, including environmental enrichment for canines in their care.

On successful completion of the Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Welfare, learners may progress onto the Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare, or they may progress directly into employment or self-employment in the canine care sector.

When you have completed the course and passed the assessments, you will receive a Level 2 Award certificate in Canine Care and Welfare from Open Course Network West Midlands – an Ofqual nationally appointed awarding organisation.

*As of 1st October 2018, it is a Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) requirement for those wishing to run a Dog Care 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.

    Who is this course for?


    This course has two primary units:-

    Unit 1 – Introduction to Canine Behaviour and Training

    Unit 2 – Introduction to Canine Health

    Who is this course for?

    This Ofqual Level 2 course and qualification is for anyone comfortable working with dogs of all breeds and sizes. But there is no substitute for hands on experience with a solid knowledge foundation which is what this course offers to the:

    • Dog boarder
    • Dog day carer
    • Dog walker
    • Dog trainer/behaviourist
    • Dog groomer
    • Pet sitter

    You do not need any prior knowledge or qualifications to study this qualification.

    Additional information

    Learning style and content
    This course is a blend of self-paced online learning, self-study recommended resources and research, 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. A Learner must successfully complete every assignment to pass the course.

    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.

    Course curriculum, units, modules and what this course covers

    Unit 1 : Introduction to Canine Behaviour and Training

    Learners will understand normal canine behaviour and be able to explain how to prevent welfare and behaviour issues, through daily routines and appropriate force free training. The unit covers:

    • Understand normal canine behaviour.
    • Know suitable routines to prevent welfare and behaviour issues.
    • Understand how to provide canine enrichment.
    • Understand appropriate canine training techniques
    • Understand the use of force free training equipment.

    Unit 2: Introduction to Canine Health

    Learners will have an understanding of how to provide for a dog’s basic needs to help prevent common health problems. The unit covers:


    • Know about specific dog breeds and reasons for selecting specific breed.
    • Understand canine disease.
    • Understand common canine health disorders.
    • Know basic canine needs and carer responsibilities.
    • Understand the basics of human and canine relationships.

    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 who provides personalised feedback on every assignment. There are 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 2 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 recorded seminars, as well as flashcards, quizzes, podcasts, a research and self-study list, together with workbooks.

    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 2 Award in Canine Care and Welfare

    Qualification Number: 603/5731/9

    The certificate will be issued by 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 603/5731/9

     Do come back to us with any more questions.

    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 1

    £327.00 Including VAT

    Course Features

    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 3


    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 4

    Total Qualification Time: 56 hours

    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 5

    Downloadable Learning Materials

    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 6

    Completion Certificate

    Canine Care & Welfare Level 2 7