(Latest update October 2021—Previous update October 2018)

By enrolling on one of the courses offered by Ethology Institute Cambridge, signing up for a proficiency verification, or considering to complete a program consisting of several courses, you declare that you have read and accepted the following Rules as well as the general Terms and Conditions.


1. Students

1.1 A student is anyone who is duly registered and has signed up for a course.

1.2 An AREP is an Approved Regional Education Provider. An AREP is a school employing at least one person approved and certified by the institute as competent to instruct and verify a student’s proficiency in practical animal training.

1.2.1 All AREPs must follow the guidelines issued by the Institute as to criteria for proficiency verifications, quality of offered courses as well as price range.


2. Registering and signing up

2.1 You can register anytime you like. Registration is free of charge.

2.2 You can sign up for a course anytime you want.

2.2.1 You can sign up for any course at any level, though you will earn a diploma only when you have: 

(a) completed all courses on a particular level,

(b) have earned the necessary number of study credits,

(b) logged the required minimum number of animals trained, and

(c) have been proficiency verified for that level.


3. Admission requirements

3.1 Everybody can register and sign up for a course. We don’t require any proof of academic records as a requirement for signing up for our courses. It is your responsibility to choose a course compatible with your background knowledge or to acquire the necessary background knowledge to be able to complete the course.


4. Study Programs

We offer three study programs: (1) Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), (2) Certificate in Applied Canine Ethology (CACE), and (3) Certificate in Advanced Applied Ethology (CAAE).


5. Responsibility

5.1. It is your responsibility to choose courses compatible with the professional career you have in mind and to achieve the necessary degree of proficiency. The diplomas of the Ethology Institute certify that you have the minimum essential level of knowledge and skills. The Institute is not liable for how a graduate will fare.

5.2 A student’s logbook consists of entries attesting your practical experience. It is solely your responsibility to keep these records accurate and honest. The Institute cannot verify the veracity of logbook entries and entrusts you with this responsibility. The Institute is not responsible or liable for incorrect entries.

5.3 Our official language is international English. It is the student’s responsibility to acquire the necessary language proficiency.


6. Fees

6.1. Registration is free of charge.

6.2. Signing up for a course or a proficiency verification is subject to a fee except for the free courses.

6.2.1. After receiving payment for a course, the Ethology Institute grants you access to all material concerning that course for an unlimited period. A course fee includes the necessary reading material (except for some courses which require external literature) reviewing of assignments, quizzes, tuition when applicable, and the option to print a signed certificate for a passed course.

6.2.2 The fee for a proficiency verification includes a verification when accomplished online. Should your instructor deem that you don’t have the necessary skills to be proficiency verified, you may need to sign up for an additional practical course to acquire the required experience and qualifications.

6.2.3 The fee for a proficiency verification submitted by video includes an unlimited number of submissions within six months.

6.3 Paid fees are not reimbursable or transferable under any circumstances.

6.4. Redeeming points — Counting from November 1st, 2018, you will earn redeeming points for completing courses and programs. The Institute can change this policy at any time without prior notice. Student receiving grants automatically forfeit earning redeeming points.


7. Grants

7.1 The institute will confer upon approved application two grants yearly to students complying with the requirements.

7.1.1 The Professor Paulo Abrantes Grant will be given once a year to five students born and resident in Southeast Asia or Africa. The student must send a written application to the EI and attach proof that he or she lacks the necessary funds and has a sincere wish and realistic possibility to work full time as an animal trainer after graduation. The grant covers all expenses concerning courses, tuition, assignments, tests and proficiency verifications for the CAAE program, except travels, accommodation, meals, equipment or other necessary material related to participation in optional on-campus courses.

7.1.2. The Engineer Antonio Abrantes Grant will be given once a year to five students born and resident outside the EU, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. The student must send a written application to the EI and attach proof that he or she lacks the necessary funds and has a sincere wish and realistic possibility to work full time as an animal trainer after graduation. The grant covers half of all expenses concerning courses, tuition, assignments, tests and proficiency verifications for the CAAE program, except travels, accommodation, meals, equipment or other necessary material related to participation in optional on-campus courses.

7.1.3. The institute confers grants only to individual persons, and not to organizations or persons subsidized by an organization or company.


8. Requirements for graduation and approvals

8.1 You must have passed all quizzes, assignments and proficiency verifications of a program, earned the necessary study credits, and have logged at least the minimum required number of animals you have trained to receive the diploma for a particular program.

8.2 Quizzes—Quizzes need 75% to a 100% score of correct answers to pass.

8.2.1 You may attempt to pass a quiz or improve your score as many times as you wish.

8.3 Assignments and proficiency verifications must be tutor approved.

8.3.1 You write an assignment according to the guidelines for that assignment. If your assignment needs correction, your tutor will provide the necessary help so that you can turn in an improved version and achieve the required minimum level to pass. Once your tutor has approved your assignment, you cannot submit newer or improved versions.

8.4 If you do not show the minimum required level of proficiency in the practical work with the animals, the institute or the AREP will suggest you take the appropriate coursework to improve your proficiency to a satisfactory level.

8.5 Logbook—You must have logged at least the required minimum number of animals you have trained or treated for problem behavior in the last five years to be eligible to receive the diploma for that particular program.

8.5.1 For logging purposes, you must have worked with one animal at least two hours and have achieved a significant and observable behavior modification to count it as “trained.”  To log one IT, you must have worked with one animal and its owner for at least two hours, have written a behavior modification program and delivered it to the owner, and followed up the case at least once within 30 days of your first intervention.

8.5.2 If you train a dog class of, say, eight dogs, you may log eight dogs provided the class has extended throughout at least eight sessions of one hour each.

8.5.3 If you work on a vet clinic, shelter, equine center or any place where you handle many animals every day as part of your job, you may not log them as trained animals unless or until your work with any particular animal complies with 8.5.1.

8.5.4 Zoo workers and marine mammal trainers must enroll directly in the CAAE program. We do not require you to train a certain number of animals of the same species as long as the total is correct.

8.5.5 We cannot check the integrity of your logbook, and we will state in your transcript that the number of logged cases is your responsibility solely.

8.6 Study credits— You must collect the minimum necessary study credits required for any particular program to earn your diploma for that program.

8.7. For the purpose of issuing a diploma (CPDT, CACE, or CAAE), course certificates are valid for a period of two years. If you discontinue your studies for over two years, you may need to retake some or all courses whose validation date has expired.

8.7.1. Self-Imposed Quality Control: We strongly recommend all students retake tests every second year.

8.8. The PRE-2019 curriculum loses its graduation validity (diploma issuing) on November 1st, 2021.


9. Grades

9.1 We do not assign grades. Your score percentages give you a reliable indication of your knowledge.


10. Courses

10.1 Online courses do not require scheduled attendance.


11. Quizzes, assignments and proficiency verifications.

11.1. Quizzes are assessments (mostly) of a multiple choice format.

11.1.1 To pass a quiz, you must score from 75% to 100% correct answers.

11.2 Assignments are written essays answering several questions.

11.2.1 You must write assignments on a standard page format and comply with the required minimum and maximum length for that specific assignment.

11.2.2 You must write assignments in a language agreed upon between tutor and student. English is our official language. We try to give our students some choice of language for their assignments by having faculties proficient in several languages. However, students must not expect us to be able to accommodate all their language wishes. Tutors will be lenient, to a reasonable extent, when reviewing and grading assignments written by students in English as their second language.

11.3 Proficiency verifications are assessments of knowledge and skills of a student in a specific area. You will have to demonstrate a series of skills in a fixed program known in advance. Approved proficiency verifications are added to your records and shown on your transcript.

11.3.1 You may need to sign up for a course before taking a proficiency verification. The duration and cost of such a course are at the discretion of the student and the AREP.

11.3.3 Video Proficiency Verification — Contact your tutor to take a video proficiency verification.

11.3.4. Video proficiency tests must: (1) be shot in one sequence (no clipping or editing), (2) maintain student and animal on the picture at all times, (3) be taken as close to student and animal as necessary for the instructors to evaluate the work done, (3) be in 16Ă—9, mp4 or m4v format, and 1280Ă—720 dpi.


12. Syllabus

See all courses at a glance.


13. Ethology Institute has the right to alter or cancel any of the rules in this document, as well as introduce new rules, to be effective 30 days after published. It is the responsibility of the student to keep updated.

For further information, please contact our Admin Team at


Pre 2019 Students — Read This

November 1st, 2018, we have launched our (new) present website and introduced our current program structure with new courses and requirements.

Development implies inevitable changes in routines, but we’ve worked hard to minimize any inconvenience to you.

If you are a registered student, click the login button on the new site and you’re in, as earlier—same login and password.

The new site resets your records. Since all courses are new (although some keep the same name), you’ll have to buy and take them, even if you completed a similar course earlier. However, we’d like to repay your loyalty and genuine enthusiasm for learning by giving you a 75% discount on any course equivalent to the one you bought previously. For example, you want the new “The 20 Principles All Animal Trainers Must Know” at EUR 148. You apply coupon code EI2019 and pay only EUR 37 (valid until December 31, 2018). Complete the course, and you earn redeeming points—an additional discount.

If you have taken a Proficiency Verification, we will transfer it to the new database. Just click the ‘Transfer My Proficiency Verification(s)’ button.

If you registered for a CPDT, CACE or CAAE program and paid it fully, you can also use the same coupon code to get all the new courses at the extraordinary fee.

If you are a CPDT or CACE student, and you are on the installments option, you can continue your studies as earlier until you complete your program. Alternatively, you can request to be transferred to the new ones. Click the ‘Transfer My Installment to the 2019 upgrade’ button.

CAAE Premium students are transferred and receive the upgrades free of charge. You’ll have to retake all courses because of the substantial improvements with new lessons, videos, etc., and there is no way to define an equivalence. Your huge benefit is that you’ll have your knowledge updated, at no extra costs.


IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PRE-2019 STUDENTS: Issuing certifications and diplomas for the pre-2019 courses and programs will cease on November 1, 2021. We believe it is irresponsible to offer certificates  and diplomas based on programs that have not been updated in three years.

Ethology Institute