Frequently Asked Questions

Currently to be a professional dog groomer, experience, knowledge, hard work, and natural talent can be enough to sustain a great career or business. However, there has been talk in the industry for a long time about licencing being placed on dog groomers (like those that dog breeders or boarding kennels already require) with calls for better practice and formal training to meet regulations and achieve licenced status.

Our new qualification, the Open College Network West Midlands Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming is regulated and approved by Ofqual, the government’s own independent assessor. Ofqual regulate all formal UK qualifications and ensure they provide the correct knowledge required at all levels. This means different awarding bodies such as Open College Network West Midlands or City and Guilds can produce qualifications that are of the same standard or levels on the national framework. If the regulation mentioned ever came into force, you would simply need to be qualified to level 3 in dog grooming. Which provider you choose is down to your personal preference in training schools and the packages available therefore we would always recommend the Open College Network West Midlands Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming for anyone wanting to become a professional dog groomer.

We have qualified tutors who carefully monitor and capture each student’s progress through our dog grooming courses. Until you are confident and able to work to the standard required we won’t let you progress through the course. This is because our courses are designed to build on your skill and knowledge, we need to ensure the foundations are secure before adding more bricks (so to speak). However, more time or support is never a problem and we will happily welcome you into our school for additional tutorage.

All of the dogs that you will groom during your course are doggie models that are brought to our school to be groomed by students under our supervision and guidance. Their owners are charged a small fee to cover materials used in exchange for making them available to our students. We assure our doggie models owners of kind handling and excellent care whilst in our custody and that we will return them looking great in a style they like.

There are no upper age limits, and no restrictions by previous abilities or otherwise to attend any of our courses. However, we do require that all students are 14 years of age or older.

Dog Grooming can be a very physical role and it is important that you are aware of your own abilities but we are always happy to support additional needs. However, please make us aware of any special considerations prior to booking your course.

Throughout the dog grooming training course we aim to give you hands-on experience on one or two dogs each day which you will groom from start to finish (with assistance from your tutor when required.)

We can offer advice to all of our students on setting up and running a dog grooming business but it does not form a formal part of your course. Business management is a large topic on its own and we feel that concentrating on your grooming skill is more important initially (no dog grooming business will survive without this!)

However, we now offer a great franchise package where Four Paws can support all aspects of your business and help you get started with a winning formula. Please discuss this with your tutor.

See for yourself! Please look at our Facebook reviews, a taster of which are on the next page.

Usually there is a tutor to 5 student maximum ratio but occasionally we like to bring additional students in to see an unusual breed or technique. Therefore the ratio does fluctuate depending on the students present but we vow that you will always get your own dog to groom start to finish (no sharing!) We have several tutors across our salons and schools and encourage you to learn from them, each has a unique skill and knowledge to share.

No! We have lots of equipment for you to try and test before you purchase your own. This gives you chance to find out what you like and which tools you find most valuable. We have a small selection of essential tools for sale at the school but have arranged discounts with our suppliers specifically for our students. We love Mutneys who offer 12% off your first order when you have started training with us.

The Groomers Spotlight is a website which recognises certain qualifications as meeting the industry standard needed to safely groom dogs. Achieving the iPET Network Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming and Salon Management enables you to join The Groomers Spotlight.  Shorter courses or qualifications we offer do not give access to The Groomers Spotlight but can act as a starting post for your learning journey.

At Four Paws Groom School, we accept some funding for our courses. This funding is applied for directly by the learner and must be secured before booking a course.

The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in each of a maximum of three separate financial years for higher level learning of a nationally recognised qualification at Level three or above or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider.

Funding is available from Jobcentre Plus across the UK via the Low Value Procurement Scheme. Aimed at people who are unemployed and looking at being re-trained to get back into employment. However criteria can vary and will depend on the area.


In short, yes!  iPET Network, City and Guilds and Open College Network West Midlands (OCNWM) are all Awarding Organisations that offer qualifications covering the Canine and Feline Sector.  Each has a Level 3 Diploma covering the skills and knowledge required for dog grooming and as such are often directly compared.  The qualification levels may match but credit value, learning hours, content and units do not and nor is the assessment method.  

To be sure any qualification is Ofqual regulated, you can find and check qualifications on the Ofqual register via their website

Currently, iPET Network only offers regulated qualifications and all our qualifications are on the register.