From education to employment

UK’s first ever cat grooming qualifications launched to help drive up safety


By groomers for groomers Awarding Organisation iPET Network has launched the UK’s first ever dedicated portfolio of cat grooming qualifications. Previously the only industry qualifications available were add-ons to dog grooming courses.

But with the upsurge in demand for grooming of all kinds, and key differences in the core skills required to be a cat groomer, the Awarding Organisation decided that cats needed their own qualifications too.

Leading industry experts have helped develop the qualification to ensure the outcome is appropriate for the Cat Grooming Industry and the continued growth and development of the sector.

The qualification is a balance of theoretical and practical learning to ensure that vocational skills lead the qualification with underpinned knowledge developed throughout.

 The practical training will be delivered at several approved iPET Network Training Providers around the country, offering the iPET Network Level 3 Award in an Introduction to Cat Grooming, iPET Network Level 3 Certificate in Cat Grooming and Introduction to Styling, iPET Network Level 3 Diploma in Cat Grooming and Salon Management and the iPET Network Level 3 Award in Feline Emergency First Aid.

 These qualifications are perfect for those new learners that want to gain a qualification specific to cat grooming or offers a progression route for those who are already qualified as a Dog Groomer. The qualifications also allow a Fast Track route for those who meet the eligibility of having 1 years’ experience styling cats. These qualifications aim to take Candidates on a journey from complete beginners to competent and confident commercial cat groomers.

 One of the providers who will offer the qualification is Absolutely Animals Ltd in Lewisham, South East London which currently grooms twenty cats a week, as well as a host of dog clients.

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 Salon owner Heidi Anderton has run the business for 28 years and can’t wait to welcome the first students through the door.

She said: “We are so excited to be offering these cat grooming qualifications, and think they are so important.

 “Cats are very different to dogs, they are very fragile and so is their skin, they must be handled with great care.

 “The industry has needed this qualification for a long time, because without the proper training things could go wrong.

 “Unlike a dog, cats really read you from your core, in our salon we have two groomers per cat, All the focus is on the cat where they have the maximum support and attention to bring a lovely grooming experience.

“The industry needs more cat groomers, and getting the qualification shows that you are working to the correct standard. Groomers of all animals also need to provide services appropriate for that animal’s coat type and spot any potential health issues.

 “Because iPET Network is run by groomers the courses move with the times too and you are learning from people who know all about the industry and all about animals.”

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 According to PDSA figures 24% of the UK adult population have a cat, with 10.9 million pet cats being cared for in this country.

And with an ever more discerning customer base, which are increasingly demanding to see a qualified groomer, iPET Network founders Sarah Mackay and Fern Gresty believe the industry needs to level up, and get its existing skills recognised too.

They said: “Grooming is a growth industry with more people than ever owning a pet, and it is never a better time to get qualified.

“Even if you have worked in the industry for a long time, there are ways to get the recognition you deserve for your experience on our courses.

“iPET Network is proud to be the first in the country to offer these dedicated cat grooming qualification, which not only help to safeguard the welfare of cats, but also our industry as whole.”

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