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Dogs Australia (DA)
Canine Groomer Certification

Canine Groomer certifications are accredited by Dogs Australia (DA), the peak body that responsible for Registered purebred dogs in Australia.

DA will be validating the groomer's proficiency as a Certified Canine Groomer. 


These certifications involve performance testing focused of the set of principles underlying the work of a particular techniques and of your finishing groom, based on the Canine’s breed profile as set forth by DA breed standard.

DA certifications will have Conformation Grooming and Salon Trim (Teddy Bear Trimming) certifications. Anyone who grooms professionally is eligible to sign up through DA certification process. However, it is not a requirement to professionally groom, nor does it guarantee financial success, but having a DA certification can distinguish and give you a competitive advantage over your peers. 

DA canine grooming certification is considered the superior recognition Certificate in Australia and may include the privilege of displaying the DA-certifying logo in your business and promotional materials.

Conformation Grooming Certification

The DA Conformation Grooming Certification is divided into three levels, each comprising 12 modules, with 4 in each level. 
The levels are as follows: 

  • Level C - Novice

  • Level B - Intermediate  

  • Level A - Advance

To enrol, the candidate must become a member of Dogs Australia Member Body

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Level C – Novice

Any groomer who grooms professionally is eligible to sign up for this level. We refer this level to candidates with less than 2 years of experience from the First Full Grooming experience. It's recommended that an accredited grooming course be completed well before taking on the challenges of groomer certification offered through dog grooming associations.

  • The pass mark for Level C is 70%

The judge will be looking at candidate understading of the basic techiniques and considerations required for a Canine Groomer. . Safe Handling and restraint, effective use of clipping and scissors for stlying a canine profile, show skill in use of clippers, blades, scissors within the specified time frame. The judge will at the time of judging the dog, he/she may ask the candidate a question about the dogs basic anatomy or the breed history. 

 

Level B – Intermediate
For confirmation of entry into Intermediate Level, participants must must have Level C qualification. 

 

  • The pass mark for Level B is 80%

 

The judge will be looking at candidate understading of the techiniques and considerations required for a Canine Groomer. . Safe Handling and restraint, effective use of clipping and scissors to bring the canine profile up at the same time show skill in use of clippers, blades, scissors within the specified time frame.  The judge will at the time of judging the dog, he/she may ask the candidate a question about the dogs basic anatomy or the breed history. 

Level A – Advanced

For confirmation of entry into Intermediate Level, participants must must have Level B qualification. 

 

  • The pass mark for Level A is 90%

 

The judge must satisfied the the candidate able to demonstatrate safe handling and styling to breed profile of the the breed used. Points are awarded for the skills and technique in the usage of scissors, clippers or stripping knives and the results on the coat with these tools and skills.

The more detailed the work on the coat, the more points

Master Groomer Classification

A+ Groomer

For A+ Groomer tiltle, the participant have Level A qualification in any group

 

Bronze Master Groomer

For Bronze Master Groomer, the participant must have achieved a qualification in Level A in 2 groups

 

Silver  Master Groomer

For Silver Master Groomer, the participant must have achieved a qualification in Level A in 2 groups 

Gold Master Groomer

For Gold Master Groomer, the participant must have achieved a qualification in Level A in 3 groups 

Platinum Master Groomer
The participant who have achieved a qualification in Level A in all 5 categories will get the ultimate title of “Platinum Master Groomer

At the examination - What the judge will be looking for?

The judge will assess the candidate's ability to complete the grooming according to the breed standard, awarding points based on the suitability of the trim for the dog, handling skills, use of tools, symmetry of the groom, and overall scissor finish 

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1. Suitability 
Dependent on the balance of the dog, the chosen style should cover up the flaws and emphasize the positive features of the dog 

 

2. Profile 
Candidates are expected to be knowledgeable about dog breeds, understand deviations from breed standards, and be capable of covering or correcting these faults during grooming.

 
3. Dog Handling Skill

The participant’s handling skill is judged based on how they interact with and control the dog while grooming. For example, if the leg is held too high while scissoring, it may put the dog in an uncomfortable position0

 
4. Technical 
Balance, symmetry, and smoothness - For example, length of legs must be balanced with the depth of the body, length of body must be balanced with the height according to the breed standard.


5. Degree of Difficulty 
This can be based on what the judge sees from the start of the groom to the finished style. If the groomer can make a big change between before and after, or to handle a coat of poor quality by improving it in relation to the breed standard this will be rated positively. Difficulty level in 
descending order of Group 1 Hand Stripping is also taken into consideration i.e. (1) Long Legged Terrier (2) Fully Hand stripped (3) Usage of Clipper and Scissoring.

 
6. Finishing work 
Points are awarded for the skills and technique in the usage of scissors, clippers or stripping knives and the results of the grooming with these tools and skills. The more detailed the workmanship observed, the bigger impact it will have on the judging. For example, in the 
scissoring class, whether the finish is plush, velvety and free of scissor marks, and whether the legs are scissored evenly and of sufficient fullness to balance the dog. 


7. Presentation 
Proper presentation of the breed with the dog standing, candidate will be assessed the proper posing method (stack) for their particular breed. Candidate shall have the knowledge on the proper positioning of the dog’s head and tail. Bait is allowed if needed. 

 

Permitted Breeds for examinations and Time Frame to complete 

 A 2-Tier format is being formed for DA certifications and segregating them into level A, B and C of skills. Candidates from Class B & C will have breeds that are being grouped based on their merits and abilities while Candidates in Class A will see breeds are explicit, more challenging, and have higher expectations within their level.

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DA Group Time Frame.jpg

Salon Trim Certification

All successful Salon Canine Groomers possess a combination of breed grooming  competence, creativity and an outgoing personality.

The Certificate – Teddy Bear Trimming (Salon Trimming) in DA Canine Grooming Certification will prepare you for work in a Canine Groomer team as a salon assistant with Level C Certification


Higher level of this qualification can provide you a pathway to work as a senior Pet Groomer in a salon environment, a freelance session stylist or a technical advisor in some product companies. 
 

The DA Salon Trim Grooming Certification is divided into three levels, comprising 4 modules, with 2 in Level A. 
The levels are as follows: 


Level C - Novice
Level B - Intermediate  
Level A - Advance

 

​To enrol, the candidate must become a member of Dogs Australia Member Body

Classification of Levels 
 

Level C – Novice Level 
This level is suitable for candidates who are new graduates from grooming school or with less than  two years of experience from their first full groom experience.

Participants are permitted to use dogs with curly or wavy coats example, toy poodle, miniature poodle or poodle mixed breeds. 
Participants are required to groom only the dog's face, while the grooming of the dog's body and  legs is to be completed off-site. Participants are permitted to 'touch up' the finishing on the body and legs during the examination

The pass mark for Level C is 70%

At the examination - What the judge will be looking for? 
The judge will assess the candidate's ability to complete a basic salon styling on the dog, awarding points based on the tidiness of the overall groom, dog handling skill and use of tools. 
 
Level B – Intermediate Level 
This level is for participants who have obtained the Level C certification. Participants are permitted to utilise dogs with any curly or wavy coats example, toy poodle, miniature poodle or poodle mixed breeds. 
Participants are required to groom the dog's face and the dog'ss body and legs iwithing the 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

 

The pass mark for Level B is 80%


At the examination - What the judge will be looking for? 
The judge will assess the candidate's ability to complete a salon teddy bear styling on the dog, awarding points based on dog handling skill, use of tools, and overall scissor finish on the dog.

Level A – Advanced Level 
This level is for participants who have obtained the Level C and Level B certifications. Participants 
must complete two parts: 


Part 1 Drop Coat 
Teddy bear styling with flare legs 


Part 2 Curly or Wavy Coat 
Participants are required to groom more advanced face styling example, 'mushroom’ head with 
scissored flare legs

Participants are required to groom the dog's face and the dog'ss body and legs iwithing the 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

 

The pass mark for Level C is 90%

At the examination - What the judge will be looking for? 


Part 1 Drop Coat 
The judge will assess the candidate’s ability to complete a more advanced teddy bear styling with 
scissored legs. Points will be given based on the suitability of the trim for the dog, handling skills, 
use of tools, and overall scissor finish 


Part 2 Curly or Wavy Coat 
The judge will assess the candidate's ability to complete more advanced head styling example 
'mushroom’ head with scissored flare legs, awarding points based on the suitability of the trim for 
the dog, handling skills, use of tools, symmetry of the groom, and overall scissor finish 

Teddy Bear Pointscale.jpg

1. Suitability 
Depending on the dog's coat, the style should be chosen to cover up any flaws and highlight the dog's positive features 


2. Dog Handling Skill 
The participant’s handling skill is evaluated based on their interaction with and control of the dog during grooming. For instance, their ability to manage a situation where the dog pulls away while being groomed showcases their skill in gaining control and maintaining a calm grooming 
environment 


3. Technical 
Evaluation is based on the overall balance, symmetry, and smoothness of the scissor finish of the groom 

 

4. Degree of Difficulty

This can be based on what the judge sees from the start of the groom to the finished style. If the groomer can make a big change between before and after, or to handle a coat of poor quality. 

5. Finishing work 
Points are awarded for the skills and technique in the usage of scissors, clippers and the results of the grooming with these tools and skills. The more detailed the workmanship observed, the bigger impact it will have on the judging. For example, in the scissoring class, whether the finish 
is plush, velvety and free of scissor marks, and whether the legs are scissored evenly and of sufficient fullness to balance the dog. 

 

6. Presentation 
Proper presentation of the breed with the dog standing, candidate will be assessed the proper posing method (stack)

RPL Recognised Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) formally recognises a canine groomer’s existing skills and knowledge towards the achievement of a Statement of Attainment.

  • Skills may have been gained through:

  • Work experience

  • Formal training and education 

  • Informal training and education

  • Voluntary work at Dog centers

 

This is a process that assesses your competency—acquired through formal and informal learning—to determine if you meet the requirements for a module of certification in which DA will be provided.

DA uses a straightforward RPL assesment process yet robust meaning: 

your existing skills and knowledge can be counted toward your certification
you only need to do modules which are higher and challenging
your certification costs may be reduced
you can use your time effectively
you may finish your certification at Master level sooner


If you are applying the necessary skills and knowledge in your current (or recent) job, then don’t underestimate your skills – consider getting them recognised!

How much does RPL cost?

RPL requires enrolment into the process and RPL fees (non-refundable) are required at the time of enrolment

The fees are $50 per unit, capped at $150 per certification.

 

How to get a DA certificate through RPL?

 

To receive your RPL certificate, all you need to do is apply to DA Qualify me. You'll need to provide evidence to support your application. This may include documents such as a report or a portfolio of work samples, or evidence of assessment activities, such as a before and after photos of your past grooming works.

Recognition Prior Learning Claim Form 

Certification Venue

Besides at the Royal shows venue, DA certifications will be conducted across Australia and will be based on participants numbers.

Wherever there are enough groomers in one area who wish to have their skills being certified we will set up a certification venue.

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Participants must have a current DA membership for testing and groomers must pre-register and fees are usually to be paid in advance, once we have enough participants, the certification will go ahead and groomers will be duly notified.

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