Level Three: Full consultation
The goal of Level Three is for the candidate to demonstrate that they possess the skills and ability to operate independently at a standard that is consistent with those demanded as a minimum for a certificated clinical animal behaviourist. They must demonstrate an extensive understanding and knowledge of clinical animal behaviour and the treatment of behavioural disorders in animals, and the related scientific literature, an ability to apply this knowledge to specific cases, and an ability to implement a programme of treatment through an appropriate evaluation and identification of likely cause(s), the recommendation and explanation of a programme of treatment likely to be effective, an assessment of the effectiveness of this programme and liaison with the client and other individuals involved in each case.
This goal is achieved through active participation in ongoing supervised consultations, with the candidate conducting and having their performance assessed over a minimum of 20 consultations from their start to finish, including collection of all relevant information about the case from the client, diagnosis, and follow-up, with the supervisor only offering guidance as required; overall responsibility for the case to remain with the supervisor.
Specifically candidates must:
- Critically evaluate the owner/pet relationship in the development of the problem and its subsequent treatment (1,3,5,6).
- Demonstrate an ability to extract relevant information about the background to the case and presenting signs from the client and other relevant individuals (1,3,5,6,8).
- Critically evaluate the quality of the evidence provided about the behaviour of the animal (2,3,4,6,8,9).
- Critically evaluate the evidence for and against competing explanations of the behaviour (1,2,3,4,8,9).
- Demonstrate appropriate action that is likely to address areas of concern or deficiency when information relevant to the identification and treatment of the behaviour is lacking (5,6,7).
- Devise an appropriately structured treatment regime and follow-up based upon the information collected (3,4,6).
- Explain the rationale behind the recommended treatment and how it will address the problems identified (1,2,3,4,5,6,8).
- Demonstrate an understanding the impact of medical history on behaviour (4,8).
- Identify relevant legal and safety issues that need to be considered before, during and after the consultation and ensure that these are appropriately addressed (2,5,7).
- Identify any professional, ethical or other issues arising from the consultation and take the appropriate action necessary to address these (5,6,7,8).
(NB Numbers after skills refer to the areas of related background knowledge, listed in the academic requirements, from which they draw)
A minimum of three supervisors must be involved at this level. At least one must be a clinical animal behaviourist who is not a veterinarian, and at least one must be a veterinary surgeon who possesses recognised expertise in the field of behaviour medicine. A maximum of 12 cases can be supervised by any one supervisor and a minimum of 5 cases by veterinary surgeon(s) possessing recognised expertise in the field of behaviour medicine, and a minimum of 3 by any other supervisor.
At least five of the assessed supervised cases must involve a team approach, e.g. liaising with a veterinary surgeon who has no special expertise in animal behaviour, an animal trainer, or a Chartered Psychologist.
Assessment of the above knowledge and skills is the responsibility of the supervising clinical animal behaviourists and should be based upon performance in the consultation, direct questioning and assessment of submitted written case histories over a minimum of 20 cases that must reflect the range of disorders characteristic of the species for which competency is being claimed* and that accurately reflect the key issues and areas addressed in the consultation. For individuals claiming competency in more than one species, the candidate is expected to have conducted, written up and had their performance assessed over a minimum of 15 cases for each species.
At least 12 consultations for each species should be written in the style of a short case history (click on link for an example) using the headings:
- Background (including owner perspectives),
- Presenting signs (i.e. a description of the various behaviours that the animal performs, and the context in which they are performed, that may be relevant to the case, and any relevant physiological factors),
- Differentials (i.e. evidence for and against different explanations of the behaviour),
- Behavioural diagnosis (i.e. the most likely cause, motivation and context of the behaviour),
- Goals (i.e. what any programme of behavioural modification should aim to achieve),
- Treatment Programme,
- Follow up.
*For example, for competence in canine behaviour, may include one from each of the following case types: own-species aggression, aggression towards human(s), inappropriate elimination, fear/phobia, repetitive behaviour, separation-related problem, attention-seeking behaviour.
Included in all reports should be references to the most relevant scientific and veterinary literature. All letters or reports written on the case and sent to the client or referring veterinary surgeon should also be included.
In addition, for each species for which competency is to be claimed, three consultations must be written in the style of a long case history and include extensive and comprehensive references to the literature.
Verification that the candidate has demonstrated the specific skills both in the consultation and in the submitted written case histories should be recorded by the supervisor on the Supervised Experience Requirements: Level Three - Full Consultation form, in the appropriate place.
Click the links to download:
- Form - for Level Three: Full consultation (to be completed by supervisor)
- Example of a long case history: cat
- Examples of short case histories: (1) dog, (2) rabbit