Ofqual Animal Courses 

These Ofqual regulated qualifications meet the new Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements

We are the largest UK animal care training provider offering Ofqual approved qualifications that meet rigorous government regulated standards.

Our canine qualifications comply with Animal Activity Licensing Regulations. 

Established in 2005. Rated Excellent by Trustpilot. Enrol Now and study with us with confidence!

Students enrolled on our Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 Ofqual regulated qualifications are eligible to apply for a TOTUM Student Card. 

Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Behaviour

The Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Behaviour is a regulated qualification providing training aimed at learners who wish to work in the canine industry. This is the course we suggest that students start with as a foundation for a career working with dogs.

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Basic Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £350


 Click here for more course details


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Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/4154/3

Level 2 Award in Feline Care and Behaviour

This Level 2 Award in Feline Care and Behaviour is an Ofqual regulated qualification providing training aimed at learners who wish to work with cats. 

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Basic Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £350



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Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/4264/X

Level 3 Award in Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare

The Level 3 Award in Feline Care,  Behaviour and Welfare is an Ofqual regulated qualification that is suitable for anyone working with cats. 

The 2 units in this Award course also feature in the Level 3 Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare Diploma qualification and do not need to be repeated if progressing onto the Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare Diploma course.

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £399



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Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/4263/8

Level 3 Diploma in Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare

The Level 3 Diploma in Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare is an Ofqual regulated qualification that is suitable for anyone working with cats. 

This is an online course that consists of 8 units. 

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £899



Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/4536/6

Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare

The Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare Award qualification is a short Award course consisting  of 2 units about the care of dogs in kennels and dog day care/boarding facilities and an introduction to canine behaviour.  The 2 units in this Award course also feature in the Level 3 Canine Care and Behaviour  Diploma qualification and do not need to be repeated if progressing onto the Diploma course.

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £399



Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare 

The Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare Diploma qualification is a comprehensive Diploma course consisting of 2 units from the Award couse and and additional 5 units exploring canine care, welfare, first aid, training, handling, transportation, legislation, grooming, behaviour and more. 

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £899



Level 4 Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Training Management

The Level 4 Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Training Management is an Ofqual regulated qualification. It  forms progression from the Level 3 Canine Care Behaviour and Welfare Qualification.

This qualification is relevant for those wishing to expand their knowledge of canine anatomy and physiology, training and behaviour, the role of exercise and nutrition and how to run dog training classes.

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Enrol Now Pay in Full

Course Fees:  £1,200

Enrol Now Instalments

£130 x 9 monthly instalments


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Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/5090/8


The Level 6 Diploma in Applied  Canine Behaviour Management is a highly sought after qualification for working as a Canine Behaviourist.

Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management

This qualification is  equivalent to a degree with honours - for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons.

The qualification meets the Defra Higher Standard Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements.

Graduates who complete the Level 6 qualification can apply for membership to:

  • The Association of INTODogs - as a full member - Certified Canine Behaviourist. As a full member of INTODogs, you will have accredited canine behaviourist status 
  • Students enrolled on this Ofqual regulated qualification are eligible to apply for a TOTUM Student Card. 

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Please complete the application form to allow us to assess your academic abilities/ experience, and to ensure that this is the correct level of study for you.



Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management

The Level 3 Kennel Cattery Management Diploma course is for those working in kennel or cattery management.

This Qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements.

Course Fees:  £899



Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma

The Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Qualification is ideal for anyone working as an Animal Welfare Inspector and for those wanting to work as an Animal Welfare Officer. This is the accepted qualification for Local Authority Animal Welfare Inspectors who inspect and license Animal Activity businesses 

This Ofqual regulated Qualification meets the new Animal Activity Licensing (AAL) Regulations Higher Standard requirements.

Enrol Now Pay in Full

Course Fees:  £1500

Enrol Now Instalments

£160 x 10 monthly instalments


Small Animal Hydrotherapy Diploma Level 3

The Level 3 Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals is an Ofqual regulated qualification for working as an Animal Hydrotherapist. 

This animal hydrotherapy qualification enables students to develop the required knowledge for working as an animal hydrotherapist - providing small animal hydrotherapy for a variety of small animals including dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals that the hydrotherapist may come across in day to day practice.

Theory and Practical training. 4 Month Fast Track, 1 Year and 2 Year study options.

Practical venues: Students can select from: Oxfordshire, Aberdeen, Newcastle or Chepstow - or for USA students we offer the practical training in Houston, Texas.




Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

Ofqual Qualification Code: 603/4410/6

Enrol Now Pay in Full

£3995

Enrol Now Instalments

        £350    

 Then  11 x monthly instalments of £350


Dog Grooming Courses


Veterinary Nursing Assistant Diploma

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Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/5172/X

Veterinary Nursing Assistant Level 2

This  Level 2 Veterinary Nursing Assistant Diploma is an Ofqual regulated qualification that has been developed for students seeking a specialised qualification in Animal Nursing, with the overall aim being to prepare learners for a career in animal care or Veterinary Nursing, based within a Veterinary Practice. We are able to include a  practical placement as part of this course; students can attend the placement in Gloucestershire or Thailand.

With Practical

Enrol Now Pay in Full

Course Fees:  £1500

With Practical

Enrol Now Instalments

£160 x 10 monthly instalments

Without Practical

Enrol Now Pay in Full

Course Fees:  £1200

Without Practical

Enrol Now Instalments

£130 x 10 monthly instalments


Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/4158/0

Level 3 Diploma in Zookeeping

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Level 3 Diploma in Zookeeping

The Level 3 Diploma in Zookeeping is an ideal qualification for anyone who wants to pursue a career  working in zoos as a zookeeper, or in a voluntary capacity working with wildlife in zoos, safari parks, wildlife collections etc.

This qualification includes 1 week Practical training at Blackpool Zoo.

Enrol Now Pay in Full

Course Fees:  £2300

Enrol Now Instalments

£200 x 12 monthly instalments



Do you work in Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Cattery, Day Care for Dogs, Dog Home Boarding, Dog Breeding or Pet Shop?

The Animal Welfare (licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018: 

On 1 October 2018 new regulations came into force, which provide for the licensing of persons whose work involves boarding for cats or dogs, selling animals as pets, hiring out horses, breeding dogs or keeping or training animals for exhibition. As part of the licensing requirements, staff must have clear evidence of knowledge & experience or a minimum of an Ofqual regulated Level 2 qualification in a relevant subject. To meet the Higher Standard, a member of staff with a relevant Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.  All of the Ofqual regulated qualifications offered by Animal Courses Direct meet the new regulations.

Under the new regulations, any business that commercially boards dogs or cats and those that commercially trade live animals, will be required to be issued with a licence. Pet sitting, pet grooming, dog walking, animal hydrotherapy and animal shelters are not covered by the new regulations.

The new Licensing regulations are applicable upon renewal and for businesses where the scope of licensing will apply for the first time. Existing licences issued under the Boarding Establishments Act 1963 or the Pet Animals Act 1951 will be valid until due for renewal through expiry.  

There is a framework of minimum standards which businesses must meet in order to gain a licence. A  star rating system has been introduced into the standards. Local Authorities will determine a business’s star rating based on welfare standards found during an inspection and on whether that business is deemed low or high risk. Businesses deemed low risk and meeting higher welfare standards will gain the Highest Standard ratings, which in turn is likely to lead to less intensive inspections and potentially to lower fees. To access the full legislation and guidance documents, please click here.

Under the new Animal Activity Licensing Regulations, as from 1st October 2018, staff working for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Cattery, Day Care for Dogs, Dog Home Boarding, Dog Breeding and Pet Shops, must have must have clear evidence of knowledge & experience or a minimum of an Ofqual regulated Level 2 qualification in a relevant subject.  Or, to meet the Higher Standard, a member of staff with a relevant Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.

Dog Qualifications

The Ofqual Approved Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Behaviour  is a short Award course consisting of 2 units set at Level 2. This qualification meets the new Animal Activity Licensing Regulation (AAL) requirements for the Basic Standard license.

The Ofqual Approved Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare  is a short Award course consisting of 2 units set at Level 3, exploring the care of dogs in kennels and dog day care/boarding facilities and an introduction to canine behaviour.  This qualification meets the AAL regulations for the Higher Standard requirements.

The Ofqual  Approved  Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare  course is a substantial Diploma qualification consisting of the 2 units from the Award course and and additional 5 units exploring canine care, welfare, first aid, training, handling, transportation, legislation, grooming, behaviour and more. This qualification meets the Higher Standard AAL Regulation requirements.

The Ofqual Approved Level 4 Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Training Management course is a regulated qualification that meets the Higher Standard Animal Activity Licensing Regulation requirements. Students who have previously studied at Level 3 can enrol directly on this qualification and can progress further onto the Level 5 and 6 courses.

Cat Qualifications

The Ofqual  Approved Level 2 Award in Feline Care and Behaviour course is a short Award course consisting of 2 units set at Level 2. This qualification meets the new Animal Activity Licensing Regulation (AAL) requirements for the Basic Standard license.

The Ofqual Approved Level 3 Award in Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare  is a short Award course consisting of 2 units set at Level 3, exploring the care of cats in catteries and an introduction to feline behaviour. This qualification meets the Higher Standard AAL Regulation requirements

The Ofqual  Approved Level 3 Diploma in Feline Care, Behaviour and Welfare course is a substantial Diploma qualification consisting of the 2 units from the Award course and an additional 6 units exploring cat care, welfare, legislation, nutrition, behaviour, anatomy & physiology, transportation, handling, first aid and more. This qualification meets the Higher Standard AAL Regulation requirements. 

Other Animal Qualifications

The Ofqual regulated Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management  course explores the care and welfare of dogs and cats in boarding kennels and catteries and meets the Higher Standard AAL Requirements.

The Ofqual Approved Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma course has been developed for those wishing to pursue a career working with animals in Animal Rescue Charities, the RSPCA and other Animal Welfare Charities. Also working for Local Councils as Dog Wardens, Animal Welfare Officers and Animal Activity Licensing Inspectors. This qualification meets the standards for those inspecting and licensing animal activities businesses and for careers working as an Animal Welfare Officer.

The Ofqual Approved Level 2 Animal Nursing Assistant Certificate course is relevant for students seeking a specialised qualification in Animal Nursing, with the overall aim being to prepare learners for a career in animal care or Veterinary Nursing, based within a Veterinary Practice. 

The  Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Animal Management within a Pet Store Qualification meets the Higher Standard Animal Activity Licensing Regulation requirements. This qualification will soon be offered by Animal Jobs Direct, please contact us to register your interest.



New Licensing Requirements

Under the new regulations, as from 1st October 2018, staff working for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Cattery, Day Care for Dogs, Dog Home Boarding, Dog Breeding and Pet Shops, must have must have clear evidence of knowledge & experience or a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated Level 2 qualification in a relevant subject.  Or, to meet the Higher Standard, a member of staff with a relevant Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.

Many of the qualifications that we offer are regulated & officially recognised by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). All of the Ofqual regulated qualifications that we offer meet the new Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements.

There are many training providers who claim that their courses are Ofqual regulated and therefore meet the new AAL requirements - this is not always the case -  to check whether a qualification is Ofqual regulated,  search the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications to find out if a qualification is regulated (officially recognised), and what level it is on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Put simply, if it isn't on the Ofqual Register, it isn't Ofqual regulated.

Our Ofqual regulated qualifications meet the new Animal Activities Licensing requirements


Contact us for more information about ofqual animal courses