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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Further Education and Training Certificate: Dog Handling 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
57938  Further Education and Training Certificate: Dog Handling 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Security 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Safety in Society 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  121  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

The purpose of this qualification is to provide a nationally recognized qualification in the utilization of service dogs in an operational or needed environment. This sector requires many competencies from caring for service dogs to the actual utilisation of service dogs. This qualification will provide access to learners into the sector of dog handling and will form the basis on which learners will be able to build onto to acquire higher-level skills and competencies within this specialized area. Learners will be able to use a service dog whilst performing their duties and or everyday activities.

The learner obtaining this qualification will be able to enhance service delivery to internal and external clients by caring for and making use and training of service dogs. Qualifying learners will be able to exercise their dog handling responsibilities in accordance with the law enforcement principles and current legislation by taking into account the rights of persons and animals contained in legal prescripts. The qualification will allow for transformation processes within this sector by standardizing acceptable training within this sector thereby creating mobility for learners within this field of expertise.

Learners will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the elementary needs of dogs.
  • Explain the use of equipment associated with the handling of dogs.
  • Describe dog reactions to various environments.
  • Condition a dog to react to commands.

    Rationale:

    This qualification reflects the workplace-based needs of the dog-handling sector pertaining to the handling and utilisation of service dogs. Service dogs fulfill many functions within society such as assisting in law enforcement activities and activities in which they support communities for specific purposes. The specialized competencies outlined in this qualification will not only serve the country by offering support to the sector safety in society but will also serve the needs of persons with certain physical disabilities who rely on service dogs for specific purposes. This qualification will further contribute to better service delivery to the community thereby providing an increasingly safe and secure environment, which will contribute towards the growth of the economy by protecting people and businesses and assisting persons who rely on service dogs for specific purposes. This qualification includes outcomes that are relevant to and will benefit government, semi-government and private sectors within the law enforcement and safety in society arena as well as the enabling support services offered by private sectors.

    In the past, dog handlers were in most occasions required to do re-training when moving from one institution to another. This qualification will standardize training to a large extent when training learners to handle service dogs throughout the country. Learners will have the necessary dog handling skills in specific specialized areas in order to enhance the professional status of this occupation. The emphasis of this qualification is on the training of competent dog handlers who will support the law enforcement and security sectors as well as the dog utilization sectors for private use. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning

    This qualification may therefore be achieved in part or in whole through the recognition of prior learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. The learner should be thoroughly briefed on the mechanism to be used and support and guidance should be provided.

    Access to the qualification
  • Open access.
  • Learners with certain physical disabilities may find it difficult to successfully complete this qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.

    To be awarded the Qualification, learners are required to obtain a minimum of 121 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.
  • Communication in a Second South African Language at Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.

    It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at Level 4 and the other at Level 3.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 55 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 78 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 10 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the elementary needs of dogs.
  • Range: Elementary needs refer to but are not limited to the physical needs, shelter, nutrition, feeding.
    2. Explain the use of equipment associated with the handling of dogs.
  • Range: Equipment also includes reference to accessories.
    3. Describe dog reactions to various environments.
  • Range: Environment may refer to but is not limited to physical environments and handling environments.
    4. Condition a dog to react to commands.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes
  • Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made by assessing given training situations when training a dog. Behaviour demonstrated by a service dog which was not anticipated during the training given to the service dog will be analysed and appropriate actions will be taken to rectify the behaviour.
  • Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group organization, community. Dog handlers will need to train new handlers and/or users of service dogs and would need to be able to work in a team to ensure that the service dog is familiar with its working partners.
  • Organise and manage oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively. Dog handlers will need to organize and manage their training activities and should be able to re-plan should a service dog be unable to perform on a specific date. Flexibility must be demonstrated by the dog handler and as a logical result he/she must be able to re-plan activates.
  • Collect, analyse, organize and critically evaluate information. Service dogs' behavior should be observed and evaluated in order to form an opinion about the condition, well-being and trainability of the dog.
  • Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentation. The ability to communicate with an animal such as a service dog and the possible future handler is extremely important.
  • Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the health and legal prescripts pertain to animals. Equipment used in the training of a service dog must be assessed in terms of its operating principles.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. The dog handler must understand the valuable nature of referrals and must respect the various other role-players who have a stake in the safety and well-being of animals such as service dogs
  • Contribute to the full personal development of the learner. This qualification must open up avenues for learners to specialize and further their own understanding of the service dog environment. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1.
  • Physical needs of a dog are described in terms of their influence on the dog.
  • The effect of various environments on a dog is described with examples.
  • Care practices are applied within a kennel environment.
  • Supervision skills are applied within a kennel environment.

    2.
  • Equipment is identified in terms of their uses.
  • Equipment is described in terms of their operating principles.
  • The use of equipment is demonstrated in a given situation.

    3.
  • Normal and non-normal behaviour is identified and distinguished from each other in terms of their influence when training and using a dog.
  • Various breeds are described in terms of their characteristics and their effect on the use and training of a dog.
  • Potential dangerous environments for dogs and handlers are identified in order to inform decision-making.

    4.
  • Dog-handling skills are applied and demonstrated in a given situation for a specific discipline.
  • Dogs' behaviour is interpreted in order to select training techniques.
  • A training situation is assessed in order to determine whether and when corrective action should be taken.

    Integrated Assessment

    The applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective competencies) of this qualification will be achieved if a learner is able to achieve all exit level outcomes of the qualification. The identification and solving of known problems, team work, organising self, using of data, implication of actions and reactions in the world as a set of related systems must be assessed during any combination of practical, foundational and reflexive competencies assessment methods and tools to determine the whole person development and integration of applied knowledge and skills.

    Certain exit level outcomes are measurable and verifiable through assessment criteria assessed in one assessment. Applicable assessment tool(s) to establish the foundational, reflective and embedded knowledge to problem solving and application of the world as a set of related systems within the Policing environment. Competence will be assessed when conducting formative and summative assessment.

    The assessment criteria for formative assessment are described in the various unit standards. Formative assessment takes place during the process of learning and assessors should use a range of assessment methods and tools that support each other to assess total competence.

    The assessment methods and/or tools used by the assessor must be fair in a sense that they do not hinder or advantage the learner, valid in a sense that they measure what they intend to measure, reliable in a sense that they are consistent and delivers the same output across a range of learners and practical in a sense that they take into account the available financial resources, facilities, equipment and time.

    Summative assessment and terminal assessment are carried out at the end of the learning programme to assess the achievement of the learner. A detailed portfolio of evidence is required to prove the practical, applied and foundational competencies of the learner. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The qualification has been benchmarked against countries who are currently regarded as experts in the training and handling of service dogs such as Australia (training and utilization of service dogs), Scotland (training and utilization of dogs) and New Zealand (training and utilization of service dogs).

    Australia:

    In Australia the following unit of competencies and qualifications were found and compared with this qualification and unit standards. Although some of the titles of the unit of competencies are not the same as in this qualification, the competencies covered by this unit of competencies and qualifications are the same as the competencies covered by this qualification and unit standards.

    The qualifications framework provides a balance between achieving the requirements set by the industry and its sector, which demonstrate competency in the area of work covered by the qualification and the need to provide for maximum flexibility. Units of competency have been packaged and aligned to a specific qualification within the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) to establish the qualification level and title.

    Qualifications Titles:

    National Code: RUA98
  • Competency Standard Name: Agriculture Unit:
    > RUAAG3414SWA Manage working dogs.
    > RUAAG3465GTA Care for working dogs.
    > RUAAG3511BCA Care for working dogs.

    National Code: PTRS03
  • Competency Standard Name: Asset Security Unit:
    > PRSS0313A Manage dogs for security functions.
    > PRSS0314A Handle dogs for security patrol.

    National Code: PRS98
  • Competency Standard Name: Asset Security Unit:
    > PRSSG24A Manage dogs for security patrols.

    National Code: CSC01
  • Competency Standard Name: Correctional Services Unit:
    > CSCSAS015A Manage dogs for security purposes.

    National Code: THH97
  • Competency Standard Name: Hospitality Industry Unit:
    > THHBTHS15A Manage dogs for patrol.

    National Code: RTE03
  • Competency Standard Name: Rural Protection Unit:
    > RTE2106 Care for and train working dogs.

    The FETC Dog Handling qualification contains almost the same competencies as the above-mentioned qualifications. The focus of the competencies is to render a professional service to the community. Most of the competencies and standards in this framework link directly to the FETC: Dog Handling and therefore the FETC: Dog Handling compares favourably with this qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework.

    Scotland:

    On the qualifications framework for Scotland the following qualifications and unit standards were found and compared with this qualification. Although some of these titles refer to Guide Dog handling and other dogs handling skills, the competencies were compared with the competencies in this qualification, and it was determine that the skills, knowledge and values are the same.
  • E8WR Intermediate Gundog care and handling.
  • E9L4 Higher Sheepdog care and handling.
  • D25X Intermediate Sheepdog handling - Breeding.
  • D25W Intermediate Sheepdog handling - Care of the working dog.
  • D25Y Intermediate Sheepdog handling - Health Care.
  • D26A Sheepdog handling - Working the dog.
  • D25V Intermediate Sheepdog handling - Introduction.
  • D7EM Intermediate Small Animal Husbandry: Introduction to Dog Handling.

    New Zealand:

    On the qualifications framework for New Zealand the following qualifications were found and compared with this qualification. Although these titles refer to Guide Dog handling, the competencies were compared with the competencies in this qualification, and it was determine that the skills, knowledge and values are the same.

    Qualifications:
  • NQF Ref: 0263.
    National Certificate in Animal care and handling with strands Guide Dog Breeding Services, Guide Dog Puppy development, and Guide dog Kennel Services.
  • NQF Ref: 0242.
    National Certificate in Animal Care and handling (Dog Groomer).
  • NQF Ref: 0243.
    National Certificate in Animal Training (Dog Trainer).
  • NQF Ref: 0256.
    National Diploma in Animal Training (Guide Dog Instructor).
  • NQF Ref: 0266.
    National Diploma in Animal Training (Guide Dog Trainer).

    Unit Standards:

    Various unit standards on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQA) were compared with the unit standards similar in this qualification and it was found that the elements and performance criteria stated in these standards were in line with the specific outcomes and assessment criteria stated in this qualification.

    General dog handlers skills:
  • 21379 (2 Credits) Demonstrate knowledge of requirements relating to transport of cats and dogs.
  • 7337 (5 Credits) Monitor health and provide husbandry for dogs.
  • 7403 (10 Credits) Groom dogs.
  • 7404 (4 Credits) Clip dogs.
  • 7406 (15 Credits) Handstrip and pluck dogs.
  • 7405 (16 Credits) Scissor dogs.

    Animal Handling:
  • 7391 (120 Credits) Develop training programmes for selected dogs, train those dogs for Guide

    Dog work under supervision.
  • 7402 (12 Credits) Train a dog to be under control of the handler.
  • 7407 (13 Credits) Train a dog to protect the handler.
  • 7394 (120 Credits) Train clients to manage the prescribed Guide Dogs, under supervision.

    Level 5:
  • 11680 (40 Credits) Assess and train a dog for accelerant detection, and search for accelerants.
  • 11676 (30 Credits) Assess and train a dog for avalanche rescue, and carry out a simulated avalanche rescue.
  • 11678 (40 Credits) Assess and train a dog for explosives detection, and search for explosives.
  • 11679 (40 Credits) Assess and train a dog for firearms detection, and search for firearms.
  • 11672 (17 Credits) Assess and train a dog for general purpose police work - criminal work.
  • 11677 (40 Credits) Assess and train a dog for narcotics detection, and search for narcotics.
  • 11675 (30 Credits) Assess and train a dog for search and rescue work, and carry out a simulated search and rescue.
  • 11671 (26 Credits) Assess and train a police dog for agility and obedience.
  • 11670 (30 Credits) Assess and train a police dog for general-purpose police work - tracking.
  • 7390 (43 Credits) Assess dogs for Guide Dog training.
  • 11673 (17 Credits) Assess, select, and train a dog for general purpose police work - property and person search.
  • 11674 (30 Credits) Assess, select, and train a police dog for Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) work.
  • 7396 (40 Credits) Coordinate a puppy development programme for potential Guide Dog work.
  • 7392 (120 Credits) Develop training programmes for selected dogs, and train those dogs for Guide Dog work.
  • 7409 (15 Credits) Train a dog for agility.
  • 7410 (30 Credits) Train a dog for obedience.
  • 7408 (30 Credits) Train a dog for tracking.
  • 19659 (20 Credits) Train a dog for urban search and rescue incidents.
  • 19658 (10 Credits) Train a dog to locate multiple victims at urban search and rescue incidents.

    Level 6:
  • 7393 (44 Credits) Assess applicants, match applicants with qualified Guide Dogs.

    Level 7:
  • 7395 (120 Credits) Train clients to manage prescribed Guide Dogs.

    Compliance And Regulatory Control:
  • 12814 (6 Credits) Control feral dogs and uncontrolled domestic dogs.
  • 14937 (3 Credits) Describe dog breeds, characteristic dog behaviours and actions required to prevent injury.
  • 14935 (4 Credits) Register dogs in voluntary and involuntary situations.
  • 14936 (5 Credits) Investigate and action dog nuisance complaints.

    Farming skills:
  • 19111 (4 Credits) Demonstrate knowledge of the types, breeds, uses, and health requirements of farm dogs.
  • 597 (6 Credits) Use farm dogs.
  • 19110 (4 Credits) Use farm dogs.
  • 586 (6 Credits) Rear and train working dogs and work a team of dogs.
  • 19107 (7 Credits) Rear and train working dogs and work a team of dogs.

    Sheep farming:
  • 578 (5 Credits) Kill a sheep for dog food.

    Veterinary nursing:
  • 5213 (2 Credits) Assist with artificial breeding of dogs.

    Netherlands:

    No nationally recognized units of competency, unit standards and/or qualifications are available but a number of short courses are offered and a comparison reveals that the competencies in the FETC Dog handling compare with these in the short courses.
  • Dominant and Aggressive Dog Problems.
  • Breeding, Feeding and Health.
  • Police, Protection and Shhutzhund Training.
  • Tracking and Search and Rescue.
  • Breeding, Whelping and raising Puppies.
  • Dog behaviour problems.
  • Basic Obedience.
  • Protection training for police service dogs.
  • Selection testing for police service dogs.
  • Tracking and Scent work.
  • Hard surface tracking.
  • Search and Rescue Dog.
  • Police service Dogs work in Holland.
  • Basic cadaver training by using scent.
  • Feeding an all-natural diet to young dogs.
  • Police K-9 Training.
  • Use of force information.
  • The relationship between the helper and dog in the bark and hold.
  • Selection testing puppies.
  • Vaccinations.
  • Hip and Elbow X-rays on dogs.

    Other countries:

    Norway, Iceland, Russian, Switzerland and U.S.A:

    These countries do not have registered unit standards and qualifications but have some training courses that deal with dog handlers training which compare well with the competencies required for dog handlers as indicated in this qualification:

    Some topics (competencies include):

    Norway:
  • Kennel practices.
  • Criminal Investigations.
  • Police guidance.
  • Police Dogs.

    Iceland:
  • Rescue dogs.
  • Police Dogs.

    Russia:
  • Guard Dogs Investigation.
  • Dog-breeding.

    Switzerland:
  • Swiss Mine & Explosive detection Dogs.

    U.S.A:
  • Animal behaviour.
  • Police Dogs training.
  • Connecticut State police canine.
  • Fire Accelerant Dogs.
  • Working Dogs.
  • Arson Investigations.
  • Dog breeding.
  • Explosives and Drugs.
  • Law enforcement. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification may articulate horizontally to:
  • FETC: Specialist Security Practices NQF Level 4 ID: 57713.
  • FETC: Road Traffic Management NQF Level 4 ID: 48921.

    This qualification may articulate vertically to:
  • National Certificate: Dog Handling Level 5 ID: 50102.
  • National Certificate: Policing Level 5 ID: 50122.
  • National Diploma: Policing Level 5 ID: 48865. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • An individual wishing to be assessed (including through RPL) against this Unit Standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard or assessing this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
  • All assessors must be registered as assessors with the relevant ETQA.
  • The assessor must be competent in the outcomes of this qualification and have working experience in a dog handling and or dog training environment. 

  • REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  243188  Care for a service dog  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Core  120458  Condition a service dog in obedience  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Core  120471  Evaluate the use of equipment and accessories for the socializing and conditioning of service dogs  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  243192  Maintain training standards of a trained service dog  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  243196  Supervise kennel practices  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9015  Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119462  Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119469  Read/view, analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  9016  Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  12153  Use the writing process to compose texts required in the business environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119459  Write/present/sign for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243190  Handle a trained service dog to deter crime  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  120463  Handle a patrol dog to assist in searching for and the apprehension of a suspect  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  120461  Handle a trained sniffer dog to assist in the detection of substances  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  120456  Utilize a tracker dog to follow a human scent trail  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  120469  Handle a sheep dog in the investigation of stock theft  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Elective  120468  Utilize a search and rescue dog in structured scenarios to locate missing persons and evidence  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.