Commercial Boarding

inc AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare

Commercial Boarding inc AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare


Our Commercial Boarder/Kennels course has two primary elements, including one optional element avalible with with Practitioner option:-

Part 1
AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare – Approval Number: 603/4536/6

Part 2
Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 + Commercial Boarding Guidance inc 1-2-1 Tutorial

Part 3
Optional supplementary module:-

Mastering Canine & Small Business Law


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

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

Many people dream of running their own commercial boarding business. Covering essential information on canine behaviour and care, 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 assessment, you will receive a Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare certificate from Aim Qualifications.

*As of 1st October 2018, it is a Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) requirement 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. 


Suitable and sufficient training of staff 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 qualify as meeting the ‘higher standard’, a member of staff with “a relevant OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.”

Who is this course for?

Existing or aspiring

  • Aspiring or professional commercial boarder/kennels operator or staff member

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

What You Will Learn

The Commercial Boarding Level 3 Foundation’s course consists of 2 regulated units and an immersion in the licencing guidance for a Commerical Boarding plus a live 1-2-1 tutorial.

Unit 1: Canine Behaviour

  • 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: 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

Unit 3: Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 + Commercial Day Care Guidance inc 1-2-1 Tutorial

Module 1 : Introduction

  • What is in and out of the scope: Providing day care for dogs
  • In Scope Criteria
  • Out of Scope Criteria
  • Criteria Quiz

Module 2 : General Conditions

  • License Display
  • Records
  • Use, Number and Type of Animal
  • Staffing
  • Suitable Environment
  • Suitable Diet
  • Monitoring of Behaviour and Training of Animals
  • Animal Handling and Interactions
  • Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease
  • Emergencies
  • General Conditions Quiz 

Module 3 : Specific Conditions

  • No Overnight Stay
  • Suitable Environment
  • Suitable Diet
  • Monitoring of Behaviour & Training
  • Housing apart from other dogs
  • Records
  • Protection from Pain, Injury, Suffering and Disease
  • Higher Standards
  • Specific Conditions Quiz 

Live 1-2-1 ‘Zoom’ tutorials

The ‘learner’ has the option of a 1-2-1 (45 mins) personal tutorial, at the outset or midway and the end of this Day Care Regulations & Guidance unit, or as required by the Learner. There is a lot to absorb – 39 pages of guidance before you even think about all the policies, processes and documentation you might need. All of which are available through our ‘sister’ website at

Additional Practitioner Course Unit

If you enrol in the Practitioner course, you have access to all of the Foundation units (shown above) and you also get the following unit.

Mastering Canine & Small Business Law

This course will highlight important pieces of legislation that you will need to have on your dog radar. It is not an exhaustive list and nor are we here to give you legal advice. You must not rely on it as constituting legal advice. For specific guidance on your particular dog law issues or business related law, please contact a regulated solicitor. Having said that, it’s a good idea to have a good grasp of the fundamentals.

The course comes in 2 parts, Part 1 lists the broader legislation that applies to canines and their care. Part 2 looks at specific legislation relating to canine business such as home boarding, day care and breeding, plus laws that apply to business e.g. health and safety.

Typical legal questions you may encounter as a dog care pro

Here are some questions you may quickly encounter as an aspiring or actual dog care business owner. How many can you answer right now?

  • Is it an offence to fail to look after pets properly?
  • Can I lose my licence because neighbours are complaining about barking allegedly coming from my home?
  • Can my Local Authority revoke my licence because a dog I was walking bit a walker?
  • Can I get sued for £50,000 because a dog I was caring for ran in front of a cyclist?
  • If I breed and advertise a business selling puppies, can I get fined?
  • If I fail to see a dog in my care has allegedly done a poo, can I be fined for failing to pick it up?
  • If I pick up dog poo and then leave the bag to pick up on my return, can I be fined?
  • Can I be fined if I let a dog off the lead?
  • Can a Local Authority impose a PSPO and stop me walking more than 3 dogs at a time?
  • What is the maximum Fixed Penalty Notice for breaching a PSPO, and what is the maximum fine if prosecuted?
  • Can a Local Authority require the dogs in my care to take a DNA test if they are believed to be responsible for defecting on council land?
  • What’s the maximum I could be sentenced for an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act?
  • Am I committing a criminal offence if I operate a home boarding business in England without a licence, and how much can I be fined and/or imprisoned?
  • Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, how much can I be fined and/or imprisoned for an offence?
  • What’s the penalty for being distracted by a dog in my care whilst driving my car?
  • When must I pay tax as a sole trader?
  • What’s the VAT threshold for my business?
  • I want to start offering doggy treats, will I break any laws?

You can see how important it is to have a working knowledge of the legislation that applies to your business. Financial and reputational consequences of breaking the law can be huge.

This course strives to keep you on the right side of the legal line.

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 you get live and recorded seminars, as well as flashcards, quizzes, podcasts, a research and reading list, together with workbooks and question and answer books for each unit. 

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.

I see there are different options, how does that work?

There are a choice of 2 complementary learning pathways. Each with different levels of content (and prices). You choose what works for you.

Both options give you an AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award, and you don’t have to do the most expensive unless you want to do so, unless the content meets your needs, and because you can afford it.

So you choose.

What do I need to tick the DEFRA box (all 3 options do that), what do I want to learn and what can I afford?

Technically you don’t have to do any more than our Basic course to get the L3 Award but when we looked at the original core syllabus we thought, OK it’s good, but surely people want to know more than that. So that’s what we set out to build on and to incorporate. Also we wanted to give ‘students’ a mix of learning media.

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 they wash off all the mud, do the household stuff, put their feet up and start thinking about studying.

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?


When you’re successful, the actual AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award (and assessment) is:

Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare

Qualification Number: 603/4536/6


Course Features


3 Units

Downloadable Marketing Materials

Completion Certificate

Commercial Boarding Ofqual Level 3 1