Behavior Consultant FAQ

General

Why certify dog behavior consultants?

Establishing a credentialing program strengthens the reputation of a profession. While a certification program isn’t an endorsement of an individual, it tells anyone who is considering hiring a professional that this person has sought out a credentialing program and has passed the credential’s requirements.

Can people become certified without taking the examination?

No. The certification process is a standardized program specifically designed for fair treatment of all candidates. The only way to ensure the integrity of this process is to require that all candidates are assessed equally.

How many certified behavior consultants are there?

As of January 2017, there are 145 CBCC-KAs worldwide.

What is the difference between APDT and CCPDT?

The CCPDT offers independent certification to dog training and behavior professionals and is an organization of “certificants.” Certificants have taken and passed one of our examinations, and continue to recertify to retain the credential. APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) is an education-focused organization of “members.” Members are individuals with an interest in the goals of the organization, who pay annual membership dues to participate. Members continue to be part of the organization as long as they continue to pay their annual dues.

Why do I not have to be a CPDT-KA or CPDT-KSA to be a CBCC-KA?

We know many CPDT-KA/KSA certificants practice behavior consulting, but we also recognize important differences between the job tasks of a CPDT-KA/KSA versus that of a CBCC-KA. Our goal in having different examinations is to recognize each professional’s specialized role within our profession.

Examination

What information is tested?

We designed the knowledge assessed (-KA) behavior certification exam to test the knowledge a dog behavior consultant must have. The test questions are created by acknowledged dog behavior experts. The questions are multiple-choice—the most frequently used format in examinations that validate a candidate’s competence to perform the work of the profession—and are based on a general knowledge of dog behavior and application of behavior modification techniques.

When and where are the exams given?

We offer the behavior consultant examination every summer and winter at computerized testing locations all across the U.S. and Canada. We also arrange examinations in other countries. For more info, see the CBCC Candidate Handbook.

Do you allow exceptions or testing at other facilities?

Under certain conditions, we can arrange testing at other facilities and the setup of new test sites. We also allow exceptions/modifications for anyone with demonstrated need. For details, see the CBCC Candidate Handbook.

What material is covered in the examination?

The exam domains are applied behavior analysis; consulting skills and best practices; ethology, body language, and observational skills; health, development, and life stages; biology and anatomy; scientific method. For a complete test content outline, download the CBCC Candidate Handbook.

What is the passing score?

The examination is graded as Pass or Fail only. The CBCC-KA examination consists of 180 multiple-choice questions, each with 4 responses, only one of which is correct. The passing score for the current form of the examination is 138,however, this is subject to change as new forms of the examination are approved. We arrived at this figure using generally accepted psychometric principles and methods to determine what constitutes a competent dog behavior professional. Each candidate is measured against this standard, not against the performance of other individuals taking the examination.

How many people have taken the test?

As of November 2016, 213 candidates have taken the CBCC-KA examination.

What is the pass/fail rate?

As of November 2016, the cumulative pass rate is 67%.

Recertification

If I’ve earned excess CEUs, can I carry them forward to the next recertification period?

No. One of the requirements and objectives of certification is for behavior consultants to stay current on new research and behavior modification techniques.

Taking classes is expensive. How else can I recertify?

You don’t have to recertify by way of continuing education units (CEUs), you can instead re-take the examination. We allow this alternative because we continually keep our examination up-to-date with the latest techniques, methods, and equipment, so candidates have to be current in their field to pass it.

I missed the recertification deadline. What should I do?

You can apply for recertification up to 30 days past your deadline. A late fee of $100 (in addition to the recertification fee) applies. Any later than that, though, and you have to reapply for certification through the same process as when you originally became certified.

Can I get an extension on the recertification due date?

Under certain unusual or extraordinary circumstances, yes. To get a one-year extension, send a written explanation of why you need one to the CCPDT board at least 30 days before your recertification date.