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Competency Assessment Programme (CAP)

Assessment opportunities are held through the year and may be in conjunction with other events or workshops. The cost per live assessment will be in the region of 25 ($35) depending on the cost of the venue and resources. Assessment by Video or DVD is acceptable, please make sure the format is in a form that can be viewed by the assessor.  

It is essential you have a clear plan for your demonstration and make sure all criteria are clearly and sufficiently demonstrated, particularly for video assessment. You may refer to your plan through the demonstration.

More advanced trainers can be assessed simultaneously at Level 1 and Level 2, but the trainer is responsible for ensuring their demonstration adequately covers ALL the required criteria.

Trainers may take any assessment as many times as they wish until a Distinction is achieved. Trainers may review their grades and discuss areas in need of improvement with the assessor. For details of assessment days at Wag More Barn please go to the Book a Workshop link


All Active Assessors are certified by Learning About Dogs. Two Assessors independently assess the Advanced Level 4.

Requirement for Assessor status:

    • Completed the Learning About Dogs assessor training and achieved certification for the Competency Assessment Program (CAP).
    • Received endorsement for completing the required amount of shadow and supervised assessments from a Certified and Active Assessor.
    • Achieved with Distinction at Level 3 in the Competency Assessment Program (CAP3).
    • Contact details for published on the Learning About Dogs website.

If you would like to book an Assessor for your own class / organisation please refer to the Certified Assessor list.

Online classes are a convenient, enjoyable and informative way to build your CAP skills, and to share knowledge with other students who are building their skills. more details ....

Guidelines for taking Assessment by video

Assessment by video (DVD format) brings special benefits and challenges. When preparing your video for assessment:

  • Make sure both you and the dog can be seen clearly in the video during demonstration of each criterion. If the assessor is unable to see your cues and the dog’s response to them throughout the video, he/she will not be able to complete your assessment.
  • No music overlay please. The assessor must be able to see and hear the demonstration of the criteria.
  • If any of the criteria is unclear, ask a CAP assessor for clarification before you prepare your video.
  • Make sure you have included demonstration of each criterion. If you miss criteria, you will need to resubmit your CAP assessment and pay a second CAP assessment fee for the time the assessor takes to re-assess.
  • Keep your demonstrations short and concise. If the dog has been taught the behaviours with clarity, he will be able to demonstrate the criteria quickly and successfully. If it takes too long to demonstrate a set of quality behaviours, then you probably need more practice, or perhaps some assistance in your learning journey.

Submitted CAP videos may be used for assessor training.

Pay for video assessment ......

Shaping Exercises

For shaping exercises, you are expected to achieve a high success (click) rate to accelerate the learning process and avoid confusion or frustration in your learner.  Aim for upwards of one click every 2 – 5 seconds in general.  If you are clicking less often, check that the behaviour you are aiming for (the criteria level) is not a gross movement. Thin-slice the behaviour into minute movements – eye movement, head movement, movement of one paw in the right direction – rather than looking for a near-finished behaviour on the first click.

You may use placement of the reinforcer after each click to help build the behaviour.  You may also use placement of the object and your body, if those do not overtly prompt or lure the behaviour.

Your decisions to adjust the training to meet the needs of your learner are under assessment during shaping, as they are during the entire CAP assessment process.  How you set up the room and initiate the shaping process, how you set and increase the criteria toward the end behaviour, when you initiate breaks (for you to think, or for the learner to recharge), etc. are all considered.

Ideally, the behaviour can be finished within a short shaping session (5 or 10 minutes) with short rest breaks as needed.  However, the end product is not under assessment; the process is what is assessed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can I bring more than one dog to the assessment?

A:  Only the demonstration dog is allowed in the assessment room during assessment.  If you are assessing by video, only one dog should be in the room during demonstration of the criteria.  You may ask permission of the assessor, prior to the assessment day, to have another dog in the room if there are special circumstances.  If the assessor agrees, the second dog must be quiet and crated, and may not be present during other people’s assessment.

Q:  Can I use someone else’s dog for assessment?

A:  No, not normally.  You would require prior permission from the assessor to use someone else’s dog.  Your training skills are under assessment, therefore all the behaviours used to demonstrate the criteria, including the foundation work to build those behaviours, must have been trained by you.

Q:  Can I use multiple dogs for assessment, where each dog demonstrates different sets of criteria?

A:  No, not normally.  You would require prior permission from the assessor to use multiple dogs. Part of the assessment is the overall development of your learner, and the criterion is chosen to show that a single learner has been successfully taught foundation skills. 

Q:  Can I use a target to position my dog throughout the assessment?

A:  No.  The demonstration dog should be under verbal or visual prompt.  A target may be used during demonstration of target-specific criteria, but should not be used for other criteria.

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PO Box 13, Chipping Campden, Glos. GL55 6WX.

01 December 2014