Home Boarding

inc AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare + Licencing guidance to home boarding

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

This course comes in two parts.


The regulated qualification (AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare) is officially recognised by the Government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

Qualification – Ofqual Register Approval Number: 603/4536/6

This Qualification meets the requirements of Defra and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, and the “higher standard” criteria.

Lots of training companies state their courses are Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4. Unfortunately, anyone can use this phrase. The only ones that meet animal welfare licensing standards are “Ofqual regulated” Level 2/3/4 courses for example. Check any course’s approval number on the Ofqual Register to verify it is fit for purpose. Google “Ofqual Register” and then input the qualification’s approval number to check it’s listed.

When you have completed Part 1 of the course and passed the assessments, you will receive an AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare certificate from AIM Qualifications (An Ofqual national awarding organisation).

*As of 1st October 2018, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) requires those wishing to run a home boarding 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 criteria is for the person responsible for the care of dogs to have “a relevant OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification”.



The 2nd part of the course immerses the student in the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 + Defra’s Home Boarding Guidance and includes a 1-2-1 Tutorial in which you can clarify any points arising or ask questions in preparation for your licensing application. 

In this part of the course, we endeavour to shine a light on Defra’s 39 page A4 booklet on Licensing Guidance, to help ‘students’ assimilate the dry words and to provide mini knowledge tests to help you grasp this part of the regulatory landscape.

On successful completion of Part 2, the successful student will receive a Dog Business School certificate of achievement in the “Fundamentals of Home Boarding and Home Day Care for Dogs”.


Our Home Boarding course provides two options:-

Foundation course

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

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


Practitioner course

The Foundation course (shown above)


2 supplementary courses in:-

  1. The Canine Legal Landscape & Mastering Licensing Guidance
  2. COVID-19 Safer Pet Care

Who is this course for?

The existing or aspiring

  • Home boarder
  • Dog walker wanting to building their service portfolio

You do not need any prior knowledge or qualifications to study this course, but it helps.

What you will learn

The Home Boarding Level 3 Foundation’s course consists of 2 regulated related units and a Home Boarding unit with a 1-2-1 live 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 + Home Boarding Guidance inc 1-2-1 Tutorial

This Unit is divided into three modules: 

Module 1 : Introduction

  • What is in and out of the scope: Providing home boarding 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

  • Home
  • Suitable Environment
  • Suitable Diet
  • Monitoring Behaviour
  • Housing with, or apart from, other dogs
  • Records
  • Protection from Pain, Injury, Suffering and Disease
  • Higher Standard
  • 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 Home Boarding 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 DogBusiness.co.uk

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:


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? https://road.cc/content/news/cyclist-injured-crash-dog-chasing-ball-sues-owner-277777
  • 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.

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 AIM Qualifications course is taught against a prescriptive syllabus and the learner is required to evidence their understanding and application of the syllabus.

To achieve an AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award 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 AIM Qualifications 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.

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 on the bottom right of your screen or to submit your question by email.

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.

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 certificate, and you don’t have to do the most expensive option unless you want to do so, because the content meets your needs, and because you can afford it. So you choose.

What do I need to tick the DEFRA box (both 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 Foundation course to get the L3 Award which more than meets the Higher Standard knowledge and experience criteria, 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?

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 certificate is:

AIM Qualifications Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare
Ofqual Register Qualification Number: 603/4536/6

The certificate will come from the Ofqual regulated national awarding organisation, AIM Qualifications.

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


Please come back to us with any more questions.

Starting from £349.90

Course Features

Home Boarding Ofqual Level 3 2

Blended (media) Learning

Home Boarding Ofqual Level 3 3

Total Qualification Time: 130 hours

Home Boarding Ofqual Level 3 4

Downloadable Learning Materials

Home Boarding Ofqual Level 3 5

Completion Certificate

Home Boarding Ofqual Level 3 6