The Pet Industry Federation steps in to fill grooming regulation void

The Pet Industry Federation is launching a Quality Assurance Standard for Groomers to lift public confidence in the grooming industry.

Recent media coverage of tragedies in grooming salons has cast a dark shadow over the entire sector, with damaging aspersions made about groomers’ concern for the safety and wellbeing of animals. ‘This negative coverage is contrary to the British Dog Groomers’ Association’s long experience in supporting dedicated, passionate, skilled groomers,’ commented Heidi Anderton, chair of the British Dog Groomers’ Association (BDGA).

However, the BDGA and the Pet Industry Federation recognise that the grooming industry has never been subject to the same scrutiny that is applied to pet retailers selling pets, or kennels and catteries boarding animals, all of which require a licence to operate. The consequence of this regulatory void is that members of the public are choosing their grooming services virtually blind, with no legislative framework to offer reassurance and no prospect of the government addressing this.

‘The Pet Industry Federation realises that a bold move is needed to counteract the negative press groomers have recently experienced, and what better than to robustly demonstrate just how safe, caring and professional groomers are through an industry-agreed Quality Assurance Standard,’ explained Nigel Baker, chief executive of the Pet Industry Federation. ‘A working party of members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association has helped the Federation Secretariat devise a standard which provides BDGA members with the opportunity to be professionally audited and then to proudly display the assurance logo and certificate on successful completion.’

The standard consists of an independent audit of the grooming business, covering areas such as animal welfare, staff training, equipment, health & safety and customer care. Groomers also take an online assessment to measure their technical competence. Extra star ratings are achieved on an evidence basis: the more accomplished a groomer is (demonstrated through qualifications and experience), the more stars they will receive.

‘We are delighted to have received support for this initiative from within industry, through such well respected groups as the English Groomers Group and Groom Team England,’ said Nigel. ‘The confidence already shown indicates the desire groomers have to prove they are true professionals with animal welfare at the core of their business.’

‘It is a positive step for the grooming industry that the Pet Industry Federation are taking the initiative to introduce standardisation for grooming salons,’ said Joanne Angus from Groom Team England. ‘This has been a matter of great debate for some time now, and can only be of benefit to groomers and also the pet owning public, by giving them confidence in their choice of salon.’

‘We at EGG are thrilled with the launch of the Quality Assurance Standard for groomers,’ said Louisa Tandy of the English Groomers Group. ‘It will help tremendously with customer awareness of our industry and the brilliant people that work within it, encouraging them to find a quality assured  groomer who has been assessed to be working at the required standard in a safe environment .  We feel it is a positive step towards moving the industry forward in a direction that all groomers will want to support and be part of.’

The public will be informed how and why to seek out Quality Assured groomers through an ongoing public-facing marketing campaign by the Pet Industry Federation in partnership with consumer media including Your Dog magazine – wide-reaching publications that are seen as trusted sources of information for pet owners.

‘We are launching the Quality Assurance Standard this weekend at GroomPro Expo and Mastergroom taking place at Warwick Hall in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire,’ said Nigel. ‘We will explain some of the detail during our timetabled seminars and will be available to answer questions at our stand. This will be groomers’ first opportunity to sign up to join the scheme and I am looking forward to seeing the take up.’

Notes to editors
· The Pet Industry Federation is the overarching umbrella body to five trade associations including the British Dog Groomers’ Association.
· The Quality Assurance Standard for Groomers is only available to members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association.
· Any groomer is welcome to join the BDGA provided they agree to abide by the British Dog Groomers’ Association Code of Conduct and pay the membership fee.
· The standard guidelines will be made available to members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association to use to self-assess at any time, and see whether their business may need development.
· Pre-designed templates and policies about business systems, good management and animal welfare will be sent to those who sign up to the standard to help with the audit.
· Participants can complete the multiple choice online assessment before or after the audit.
· Participants will need to assemble their paperwork evidence ready for the audit, including any certificates showing qualifications and continuing professional development (CPD).
· On passing the audit, the member will receive their window sticker, certificate and web profile and benefit from ongoing marketing.
· The cost of the annual audit fee is available on application.

 

 

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