Higher Diploma in Dog Grooming

The Higher Diploma is an advanced qualification to demonstrate the expertise and skill required from the experienced groomer, working in a commercial environment. The Diploma has been developed jointly by the British Dog Groomers' Association, and the Pet Industry Federation.


The qualification has recently undergone redevelopment, initiated in order to fulfil the new criteria for the City & Guilds Licentiateship (LCGI), but also to ensure that the qualification is kept current in relation to the ever evolving grooming industry. The re-design allows students to demonstrate their superior skills in dog grooming whilst incorporating broader theoretical content, necessary for any professional groomer running a business in the industry today.


The course is self-taught, by following the guidelines set out in the syllabus, students will prepare themselves for practical dog grooming exams as well as written assignments and exams.


The LCGI is now encompassed within City & Guilds’ Professional Recognition Awards. Those achieving the level 4 Professional Recognition Award are granted the internationally recognised post-nominal ‘LCGI’ (meaning they can use these letters after their name).


Once all 10 modules have been successfully completed students can apply to join The Guild of Master Groomers.

See a list of all the current members of the Guild of Master Groomers HERE


If you have any questions please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  


Entry requirements

In order to enrol onto the qualification you must have successfully completed either:


City & Guilds Diploma in Dog Grooming (7863-03)

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists (7763-03)


Be able to Demonstrate a CV of career profile and achievements, with recognition at the discretion of the Awarding Organisation



Option 1:The complete qualification can be purchased for £1000 (£1250 for non-members)

Option 2: The course can be purchased as individual modules at £140 per module (£175 for non-members)

Option 3: Purchase 5 modules for £600 (£725 for non-members)


Once you have made a purchase you will receive a copy of the full syllabus.


If you have already completed some modules and wish to pay for the remainder in one go, please email the address above.


Course Structure




Suggested breeds

Assessed by


Carry out scissoring (One)

Poodle; Bichon Frise; Bedlington Terrier; Kerry Blue Terrier)

Practical exam


Carry out scissoring (Two)

Tibetan Terrier; Shih Tzu; Lhasa Apso; Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier; Old English Sheepdog; Bearded Collie; Lowchen

Practical exam


Carry out clipping, blending and scissoring using innovative tools and techniques

Terriers; Schnauzers

Practical exam


Carry out hand stripping of wire coated breeds

Airedale Terrier; Scottish Terrier; Lakeland Terrier; West Highland Terrier; Sealyham Terrier; Welsh Terrier; Wire Haired Fox Terrier; Dandie Dinmont Terrier; Schnauzers

Practical exam


Carry out stripping of silky coated gundogs

Cocker Spaniel; American Cocker Spaniel; English Springer Spaniel; Welsh Springer; Setters

Practical exam


Carry out freestyling on dogs

Either a cross breed or pure breed with a coat suitable for styling

Practical exam


Premier grooming case studies

Dogs used in modules 1 or 2, 3 or 4 & 5

Portfolio evidence = 3 case studies


Promote and maintain animal health and wellbeing


Written 1.5 hour exam


Salon and business management


Written 1.5 hour exam


Work-based grooming industry project


Graded project



For more information, module summaries can be found here

Proposed route to LCGI

Module 1 or 2

Module 3

Module 4 or 5

Module 8

Module 9


The above ‘proposed route’ has been recommended as the pathway to achieve the LCGI.

New students will have 4 years in which to complete the Higher Diploma, and existing students will have 3 years.

Information on the LCGI can be found on the City & Guilds website by clicking here



We have appointed two lead examiners for the practical modules, who will work closely with a team of ‘Highers’ examiners. All of whom are members of the Guild of Master Groomers, and are highly skilled and experienced in the industry.


Practical examinations will be held at various times across the country. Dates and venues are available here.


The theory element of the course is completed in modules 7 to 10. Modules 7 and 10 will be submitted for grading by another suitably qualified member of the Guild of Master Groomers, working in the industry. Modules 8 and 9 are written exams which will take place twice per year.


Written exam dates are available here


Booking for the practical and written exams will be made available online, and will close 6 weeks before the respective exam date.

Any failed modules must be re-taken.


Credit Transfer

If you have already completed some of the old Higher Diploma, credit from modules successfully completedmay be transferred across and you will only need to pay for the remaining modules. Credit transfer is not applicable for modules 7 and 10 as these are new modules and would not have been previously completed.


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