Commonly asked questions

iCat Care Certificate and ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour – commonly asked questions

 
How long will the courses take?

  • the iCatCare Certificate in Feline Behaviour is a 7-module course
  • the ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour is a 9-module course
  • both courses take 2 years to complete with each course, modules are anticipated to be released at a rate of one every two months

How much study will I need to dedicate to the course?
It is really difficult to answer this question 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. Based on our current students reported hours of study for Module 1, on average students on the ISFM advanced certificate study for about 5-6 hours per week and students on the iCatCare certificate study for around 8 hours per week. Module 1 is identical for the advanced certificate and certificate.

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 do the courses cost?

  • the iCatCare Certificate in Feline Behaviour costs £750
  • the ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour costs £950

Are there any discounts available in price?
We have costed our courses to make them extremely competitive in comparison to other online behaviour courses – for this reason we cannot offer any discounts.

Are there any options to pay in installments?
Each course must be fully paid for before commencing but there may be an opportunity to pay in installments prior to commencing the course. You must allow at least three months prior to the course start date to be able to ustilise this option.

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. Additionally, in the future as we develop more modules, there may be an opportunity for people who have completed the ICC certificate to top their certificate up to an advanced certificate. 

How do the two courses differ?
The ICC Certificate and the ISFM Advanced Certificate share a common 6 modules:

  • evolution, domestication, ethology and the human-cat relationship
  • communication
  • reproductive behaviour and behavioural development
  • welfare and its assessment
  • creating a cat friendly home
  • learning, cognition and training 

The ICC course then has 1 addition 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

The ISFM 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 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.

How is the course assessed?
Each module of the course contains Assessment Activities that must be passed in order to successfully complete the module. 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. 

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 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:
http://www.abtcouncil.org.uk/standards-for-practitioners
http://www.apbc.org.uk/info/careers

Is there a limit to how many people can be on the course at any one time?
From May 2017, we will only take a maximum of 30 students per course at each enrolment. We feel 30 is an appropriate number for a class size, albeit it a virtual one(!). If you wish to enrol and the course intake is already full, we will ask you if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for the next intake and nearer the time we will check to see if you still wish to be enrolled at this particular time.