The Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians is a professional body which promotes the interests of independently accredited clinical animal behaviourists, veterinary behaviourists and those training to become accredited.
We aim to inspire and nurture the relationship between people and animals, promoting the human-animal bond and the emotional well-being of animals.
We promote the highest standard of practice in clinical animal behaviour and support independent accreditation of clinical animal behaviourists. In the UK, we conform to standards set by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a clinical animal behaviourist (CAB)?
Following a referral from an animal’s veterinary surgeon, an accredited clinical animal behaviourist works with animals and their carers to address unwanted behaviours, including all types of undesirable, inappropriate, problematic or dangerous behaviours. CABs who are also vets are known as Veterinary Behaviourists (VBs).
What is independent accreditation?
There are several professional organisations that support and assess clinical animal behaviourists through their own, internal assessment/accreditation systems. However, accreditation as a CAB is also available through organisations independent of and external to any professional bodies and education providers.
FAB Clinicians believe that independent accreditation and assessment is important for ensuring that the highest standards of qualification, experience, ethics and up-to-date evidence-based clinical practice are set and maintained. To this end, we have developed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of our independent accrediting bodies. While academic knowledge and clinical skills necessary to be a CAB are transferable across species to a degree, FAB Clinicians believe that a level of species-specific knowledge and clinical experience is necessary, and that this knowledge and experience should be externally and independently assessed. In turn, this ensures that the highest standards of animal welfare are met.
Who sets the standards and what is accredited?
In the UK, the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) is an umbrella organisation made up of several practitioner and advisory organisations, which aims to regulate the animal behaviour and training industry. It sets standards of knowledge and practical skills for those practising as CABs, along with other types of behaviour and training practitioners. To date the ABTC has only accepted one scheme for assessing CABs that is external to any of its professional member bodies: that is the CCAB accreditation scheme run by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. We believe there is no other independent CAB accreditation system in the UK.
Outside the UK, FAB Clinicians are aware of three other independent accreditation schemes that are equivalent to or exceed the ABTC CAB standards. These are the specialist veterinary behaviour colleges in Europe, North America and Australasia. However, members certificated through bodies outside the UK are unable to register with the UK’s ABTC.
On an annual basis all of our practising Certificated Members are required by the independent bodies to seek out up-to-date CPD, keep abreast of the latest scientific findings in the field and maintain a minimum caseload of experience for each species they have been accredited in.
What is a community interest company (CIC)?
A CIC is a limited company which operates to provide a benefit to the specific community it serves. FAB Clinicians is a CIC limited by guarantee, which means we are a not-for-profit social enterprise. We work to inspire and nurture the relationship between people and the animals under their care. We are passionate about ensuring the emotional well-being of animals by promoting the human-animal bond and providing evidence-based behavioural support to the highest welfare and clinical standards.
Our mission means we have a community impact on those working in clinical animal behaviour, veterinary medicine, animal welfare, animal carers and the animals in their care; as well as members of the public who are interested in the behavioural welfare of animals.
What bodies are the independent accreditors for your members?
FAB Clinicians currently identifies the following independent accrediting bodies for assessing FAB Clinicians Certificated Members:
So you represent both veterinary and non-veterinary clinical animal behaviourists? Do you recognise the difference in their roles?
FAB Clinicians recognise that, as Veterinary Clinical Animal Behaviourists are also veterinary surgeons, they have assessed competencies in all CAB roles with the additional capacity to diagnose, treat and prescribe for medical conditions of the animals referred to their care. A CAB who is not also a veterinary surgeon does not have these extra competencies and hence, should not attempt to include them within their clinical role. All practising members only work on veterinary referral/delegation as part of the vet-led team and according to the FAB Clinicians Code of Conduct.
So, are you a UK or an international organisation?
FAB Clinicians is a UK-based organisation for independently accredited clinical animal behaviourists, or those working towards independent accreditation. However, we also very much welcome graduates and aspirants of the other independent international assessment bodies to apply for membership. In fact, we welcome anyone who shares in our vision and wants to contribute towards our mission, either as a Contributing Supporter Member, or as one of our FAB Sponsors.
Do you conform to any national regulatory standards?
FAB Clinicians is a practitioner organisation recognised by ABTC, an umbrella body aiming to regulate animal behaviour and training practitioners in the UK. We also conform to any standards set by the RCVS. All of our members are required to sign up to our Code of Conduct, and our Certificated Members are assessed and accredited by at least one of the following bodies on an annual basis:
- Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour;
- European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine;
- American College of Veterinary Behaviourists;
- ANZCVS Veterinary Behaviour Chapter.
As a Community Interest Company, FAB Clinicians are regulated by the UK CIC Regulator. We have adopted the UK Good Governance Code. This Code was first published in 2005, in response to demand from the voluntary and community sector. It was written by representatives of the sector, with support from the Charity Commission.
Who runs FAB Clinicians?
What is the difference between your Certificated, Candidate and Student Members?
All FAB Clinicians Members support our mission statement and adhere to the FAB Clinicians Code of Conduct, including that they only work on veterinary referral/delegation and within the limits of their professional competence. Certificated Members have been independent accredited as being highly qualified, highly experienced and work to the highest ethical standards as clinical animal behaviourists, following up-to-date scientific techniques. Candidate and Student Members are training and working towards independent accreditation.
All of our Candidate Members have gained the academic knowledge necessary for undertaking clinical animal behaviour work, so they are currently gaining the necessary practical experience in each species they would like to be independently accredited in.
As a minimum our Student Members are enrolled on an FHEQ Level 5 (or above) academic course relevant to clinical animal behaviour. This means this category reflects a wide spectrum of professional competencies, experience and backgrounds. Student Members do not yet have the required academic or practical knowledge for clinical practice according to the standards set by the independent accrediting bodies.
Can I support your mission even if I’m not a practising behaviourist?
Yes! Part of FAB Clinicians’ mission is to improve animal welfare by supporting the veterinary and animal welfare communities. We provide excellent behaviour advice, as well as affordable, and often free, opportunities for continuing education. Consequently, FAB Clinicians welcomes support from parties who wish to share in FAB Clinician’s mission, either as a Contributing Supporter Member, or as a FAB Sponsor. As a mark of our gratitude, you would be welcome to join us, often on a complimentary basis, at many of our events and be able to access our scientific research hub.
What Drives Us
To promote evidence based behavioural support for animals and their carers, to the highest scientific standards, in an empathetic and compassionate manner.
To forge strong links between animal carers, behaviourists and veterinary professionals.
To support the development of independently accredited practitioners in the field of clinical animal behaviour through mentoring, continuing professional development and supportive fellowship.