How long will the courses take?
- The Advanced Feline Behaviour for Cat Professionals is a 7-module course and will take 18 months to complete.
- The ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour is a 9-module course and will take 2 years to complete.
- Every student will be given a maximum of two years to complete either course.
- With each course, modules are released every 11 weeks. You will have 10 weeks to complete each module’s course notes and the assessment activities associated with the module.
How are the courses delivered?
- Courses notes and learning materials are provided for each module. The course will be delivered via an online platform so all you will need is access to a computer and the internet. Course notes are heavily unpinned with up-to-date published science and professional experience from a number of professionals working in the field – these include vets, vet nurses, clinical animal behaviourists and feline scientists.
What does each module consist of?
- Each module is divided into parts to help you break up your study and allow you to complete small chunks of study at a time. Within each part, there is a variety of learning resources that you will need to work through. These usually comprise:
- Course notes
- Additional Study, Essential or Optional
- Discussion Forum
- Assessment Activities
How do the two courses differ?
The Advanced Feline Behaviour for Cat Professionals and the ISFM Advanced Feline Behaviour for Veterinary Professionals share a common 6 modules:
- evolution, domestication, ethology and the human-cat relationship
- reproductive behaviour and behavioural development
- welfare and its assessment
- creating a cat friendly home
- learning, cognition and training
The Cat Professional course then has 1 additional module after the core 6 modules which covers the following:
- an overview of the problem behaviours cats can show
- how to prevent them
- what you can do in terms of behavioural first aid
- how to find a qualified behaviourist to help if a cat in your cat does show problem behaviour
- problems within the cat-human relationship
The Veterinary Professional course has 3 additional modules after the core 6 which cover the following:
- cat friendly clinic -how to make the veterinary clinic behaviourally friendly and the veterinary staff behaviourally aware, how to educate clients about their cats behaviour, and how to deal with behavioural dilemmas in the veterinary clinic amongst much other information specifically targeted for the veterinary professionals.
- clinical animal behaviour – part 1 (what is problem behaviour, who can treat problem behaviour, an overview of problem behaviours, identification of problem behaviour in the clinic and behavioural first aid)
- clinical animal behaviour – part 2 (problems within the cat-human relationship, behavioural psychopharmacology and behavioural consideration in disease)
Both courses are designed not only to provide new knowledge for the students undertaking the course, but how to apply this knowledge and develop skills specific to ensuring the cats in one’s care are behaviourally healthy, and developing the ability to educate others.
How much time do I need to dedicate to study for the course?
- This will be individual to every student but the course does require a fairly large time commitment. On average, students have previously estimated around 10-15 hours of study a week although this may be less or more, depending on the speed and depth you choose to study at.
- We have developed the course to be able to fit around your full-time work so study time is flexible.
Is English language important?
- The course notes and accompanying video materials are all in English. You will also be expected to write in English so you must feel confident to do this. We do take into consideration when marking assessment activities where English is not a first language and will not mark you down for grammar/spelling unless a sentence doesn’t make sense.
How many assessment activities are there for each module?
- Each module has between 8 and 10 assessment activities to complete by the given deadlines.
What sort of assessment activities am I expected to complete?
- Each module consists of a range of different assessment activities split into two types.
- Quizzes- these consist of multiple-choice, true/false and matching questions.
- Assignments- these consist of short or longer written exercises, developing resources such as articles, leaflets and posters, case studies and other exercises.
- We have included a range of different activities to suit different learning preferences. The assignments allow students to develop a range of skills as well as produce resources that they may then be able to use in their day to day work.
What happens if I don’t complete the assessment activities by the deadline?
- Throughout the course, you will be provided with set deadlines for each module’s completion. We expect you to work to these deadlines as we have markers who are only able to mark at set times.
- If you do not achieve the minimum pass grade of 50% for an overall module, you will be contacted personally by your Course Director to discuss what went wrong and how we can help. You will then be given 22 weeks to re-submit the Assessment Activities that were graded at less than 50% for this module.
- For Assessment Activities that have already been submitted and marked but failed to reach over 50%, on resubmission we will cap the mark at 55%. Otherwise, it would not be fair to other students as we will have given lots of feedback to help you pass.
- If you do not complete two or more assessment activities in a module- regardless of the overall grade for the module- you will be required to resubmit those assessment activities to pass the module.
- You will have the opportunity to re-sit two modules throughout the course (this can be for two different modules or the same module twice) however, you must complete and pass all modules within the 18 month/2 year course deadline.
- The fee for resitting a module is £45.00 +VAT.
- If you fail any of the modules, your overall grade for that module will be capped at Merit level.
- If you have to resit two modules your overall course grade will be capped at a merit. For example, if your overall module grade was 80% but you had failed two of the modules at first attempt, we would alter your grade to Merit level (79%). Thus in order to achieve a Distinction for the course, you need to gain overall grades of pass or above for all the module grades first time, and achieve an overall average of 80% or more.
- If you fail a module, we may consider deferral to the next cohort for a fee of £125 plus VAT. Places on the course can only be deferred on one occasion only. If transferring for reasons other than extenuating circumstances then the capping of grades will also apply as described in the paragraph above.
What counts as extenuating circumstances?
- Extensions due to extenuating circumstances will be assessed on application via an Extenuating Circumstance Request. It is impossible to list all circumstances that would not be accepted as extenuating circumstances but some more obvious examples are personal disruptions or events which could have been anticipated; such as holidays, weddings, moving house, changing address or employment, religious holidays or festivals which are usually known in advance.
- In extenuating circumstances, we may consider deferral to the next cohort. Places on the course can only be deferred for one year and on one occasion only.
How much do the courses cost?
- The Advanced Feline Behaviour for Cat Professionals costs £795
- The ISFM Advanced Feline Behaviour for Veterinary Professionals costs £995
Are there any options to pay in instalments?
- Each course must be fully paid for before commencing via the website or through requesting an invoice. We are unable to take payment by instalment.
Are the behaviour courses externally accredited?
- Our qualifications are not recognised by an external examining body. However, we have been running distance education courses for many years and consider ourselves very experienced in providing this type of learning. Our contributors to course materials and markers are some of the most qualified in the field. Additionally, although we cannot provide external validation, as an organisation we are recognised internationally and so hope our studying with us and achieving our qualifications is acknowledged and respected by other organisations.
Will either course allow me to become a qualified behaviourist?
- The courses are not set-up with the purpose of teaching people to diagnose or treat problem behaviour, although both courses contain information about how to prevent problem behaviour and what to do when encountering a problem behaviour (information appropriate for the profession). These courses will, therefore, compliment qualifications designed to teach someone to become a clinical animal behaviourist by enhancing the learner’s feline-specific behavioural knowledge. Likewise, these courses also provide an invaluable solid foundation in feline behaviour for anyone who may wish to continue on to study to become a qualified clinical animal behaviourist.
- For those in the UK that are interested in becoming a qualified clinical animal behaviourist, we recommend you visit the following websites:
CPD allocation for veterinary nurses from International Cat Care distance education courses (UK only)
- This course will provide you with many CPD hours. The RCVS does not accredit or endorse our CPD courses and leaves it up to the individual to keep a record of the hours studied and subjects covered. There is no limit on hours spent on online courses.
- Therefore, we advise you to log them as follows:
- Keep a record of the hours of study per module, and the subjects covered in the module and document in your RCVS CPD diary.
- In your CPD diary (paper or online) try to reflect on what you learn, include observations and information on what you are studying, you can also upload marks and feedback if recording online.
- Set objectives for your CPD for the year and then you can document how you have achieved them.
- For Nurses: to meet all your CPD requirements we also provide 12 hours a year (minimum) of webinars via our International Society of Feline Medicine nurse and technician membership. Sign up free at icatcare.org/nurses.