• “Certification Pet Parents Can Trust”


What does it mean to be a Certified Professional Animal Care Provider (CPACP)?

Becoming a CPACP shows your clients, colleagues, and community that your professional qualifications and body of knowledge have met the highest pet care standards established by industry experts and have been certified by an independent testing body.

Who Should Become a Certified Professional Animal Care Provider?

A Provider is the person in charge of the daily handling of the animals of a professional pet care business. Providers work in a variety of settings that include, but are not limited to, pet care centers (e.g., pet boarding facilities, dog daycare), pet sitters, dog walkers, grooming, bathing, customer service, and training. Providers oversee every aspect of an animal’s well-being while in their care. Providers must have knowledge and understanding of the importance of safety, animal health and behavior, and customer service. Providers strive to advance their education to better their pet care understanding and elevate the pet care they provide. Providers understand their role and how it plays a part in developing the success of the pet care industry.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to sit for the CPACP exam, a pet care professional must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 90 days or 500 hours of hands-on experience

Body of Knowledge Represented by CPACP Credentials

The in-depth, 125-question CPACP exam, conducted at an approved testing location for a total testing time of 2.5 hours, covers animal care topics including health issues such as administering medications, first aid and CPR, and cleaning and disinfecting. Additional tested health-related knowledge includes fights and bites; documentation; profile, play, behavior, and temperament; and animal management. Tested knowledge of operations includes the safety of animals and the facility (chemical usage, safety requirements); escape (prevention, owner notification, recovery); death; extreme weather, and disaster preparedness. Staff management expectations are also addressed. A complete outline of examination content is available in the Handbook for Candidates.

Benefits of Certification

Becoming independently certified in animal care makes you a leader in the industry.

Your certification sets you apart from the competition and signals to pet parents and potential employers that you have successfully demonstrated your comprehensive pet care knowledge and how much you care about pet safety.

You are included in the PACCC Certified Directory available to the public on the PACCC website at paccert.org/certified.

You receive a physical certificate suitable for framing and displaying at your place of business.

You can use your certification credentials (CPACP) with your name to signify your certified status.

You receive a digital badge to use with your email signature file and website.

What is the Cost of the Exam?

The cost to take the CPACP exam is $385 USD. PACCC is a not-for-profit that offers independent certification therefore payment covers the cost for the the exam to be taken in-person or virtually at a testing center that is run by a company that is separate from PACCC.

Maintaining Your Certification

CPACP certification is good for three years. To maintain certified status, a CPACP must report 20 approved Continuing Education Units (CEU). If 20 approved CEUs are not documented by the end of 3 years, retesting is required to become certified again. For information on PACCC-approved CEUs and reporting, visit paccert.org/ceu.