Commonly asked questions

ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour – commonly asked questions


How long will the course take?

The ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour is a 9-module course and takes 2 years to complete. A new module will be released every two months.

How much study will I need to dedicate to the course?

This is a difficult question to answer as everyone learns at different speeds and people on the course will be starting from different levels of prior experience. In addition, everyone has different work/family and general life commitments influencing how much time they can dedicate to study. As a guide, past students on the ISFM Advanced Certificate told us they spent 5-6 hours per week studying for module 1.

Do I need computer skills to undertake the course?

Yes, basic computer skills are important. The course is entirely online based and materials are accessed via a Virtual Learning Environment and students will be required to complete and submit Assessment Activities electronically. Thus, a basic understanding of Microsoft Office (or equivalent) including Word is useful.

Can I do the ISFM Advanced Certificate if I am not a vet, vet nurse or vet technician (qualified or in training)?

The short answer is no. The ISFM Advanced Certificate is designed for those working in a veterinary clinic and dealing with cat owners. There are three modules which are veterinary specific and include information on how to:

  • make the veterinary clinic behaviourally friendly
  • make the veterinary staff behaviourally aware
  • educate clients about their cats’ behaviour
  • deal with behavioural dilemmas in the veterinary clinic
  • support clients whose cats are exhibiting problem behaviour

How much does the course cost?

The ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour costs £995.

Are there any discounts available in price?

If your practice is a current ISFM practice member, there is a discount of £45 for the ISFM Advanced Certificate.

If I am unable to start the course can I get a refund?

If you have paid in full for the course and are subsequently unable to proceed, you are entitled to a full refund upto one month prior to the course start date.  If it is two weeks before the start date you will have £100.00 deducted for adminstration costs, if the course has started there is no refund.

Are there any options to pay in instalments?

We are sorry there is not an option to pay in instalments. 

Do I have to do the whole course or can I just pay to do one or more modules?

Currently, we are only offering the courses as full courses and not as stand-alone modules. However, in the future there may be the opportunity to complete some of the modules individually. 

How is the course 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 underpinned 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.

How is the course assessed?

Each module of the course contains short assessment activities and are combined to give you an overall module grade. Examples of some of the types of Assessment Activities we employ are multiple choice quizzes, short written answers, assessing video material and development of educational materials such as handouts and posters. 

The overall module grade is important as it determines whether you have passed or failed the module. Therefore, if you fail an individual assessment activity by receiving a grade of less than 50% or by missing a deadline, it does not necessarily mean you will fail the entire module. As long as your overall grade for the module is a 50% or over, you will have passed the module and no re-takes are required.

What if I do not pass a Module?

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 the opportunity to re-sit the assessment activities for that module. There is a fee of £45 plus VAT to resit a module. There is a maximum of 2 resits per student.

If you fail any of the modules, your overall course grade will be capped at Merit level. This means that if your overall course grade was 80% but you had failed one 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. 

What if I do not meet the deadline?  (Extenuating Circumstanes)

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.

Where possible, Extenuating Circumstance Requests should be submitted before a module deadline. If you have missed a deadline you have 5 working days to apply

If it is not an extenuating circumstance, we may consider a transfer to the next cohort currently for a fee of £125 plus VAT.  You can only transfer once.

Is the behaviour course 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 this course allow me to become a qualified behaviourist?

The course is not set-up with the purpose of teaching people to diagnose or treat problem behaviour, although the course contains information about how to prevent problem behaviour and what to do when encountering a problem behaviour (information appropriate for profession). The course will therefore compliment qualifications designed to teach someone to become a clinical animal behaviourist by enhancing the learner’s feline-specific behavioural knowledge. Likewise, the course also provides 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:

Is there a limit to how many people can be on the course at any one time?

We are able to take a maximum of 60 students for the ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour