Course overview

This apprenticeship is ideal if you are looking for a City & Guilds dog grooming course where you will gain a nationally recognised qualification with significant practical experience and the underpinning knowledge to back this up.

Gaining an industry recognised dog grooming qualification will increase your job prospects and demonstrate to clients your proven abilities; providing much needed reassurance to those looking for pet grooming services.

Key Facts

  • Attendance: Work-based learning. You will not be required to come into College; your assessment and support will be carried out in the workplace, and via email and telephone contact, with one of our work-based learning assessors.
  • Duration: 14 – 16 months.
  • Start date: You can start this programme at any time.
  • Location: Your place of employment must be within 90 minutes of our Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), Potters Bar (London) and Leeds (West Yorkshire) centres. If you are located outside of this area, please contact us, we may still be able to meet your training needs.

Course content

During your dog grooming training, you will look at dog grooming equipment, the grooming environment, bathing and grooming dogs and client care. You will undertake the following mandatory units:

  • Maintain and develop personal performance
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others
  • Promote and maintain health and well-being of animals
  • Deliver basic treatments to animals
  • Select and prepare accommodation for animals
  • Maintain animal accommodation
  • Control and restrain animals
  • Moving animals between locations
  • Make sure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety
  • Maintain the cleanliness and bio security of the animal care working environment

You will then choose from a range of optional units such as:

  • Prepare and groom dogs prior to bathing
  • Dry dogs and prepare their coats for styling
  • Welcome, receive and care for visitors to site
  • Handle payments from clients

Functional Skills

You will undertake level 1 Functional Skills in Maths and English (unless exempt) and complete a Lantra Employment Rights and Responsibilities Workbook, Personal Learning and Thinking Skills as well as the main Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care (Dog Grooming) programme.


You will complete a portfolio, pass work-based practical assessments and undertake a technical certificate test.

Entry requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements, however you should be employed in a suitable dog grooming environment in England and be earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices. To complete this apprenticeship within 14-16 months you will need to be working for a minimum of 30 hours per week, if you are working less than 30 hours a week the length of your apprenticeship will be extended depending on your working hours.

If you have a level 4 (or above) qualification, from May 2017 you are now still able to undertake this apprenticeship if your current qualification is in an unrelated subject. If your existing qualification is in a similar subject you will not be able to undertake this apprenticeship, in which case you may wish to undertake the City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants qualification.

Course fees

Apprenticeship fees are payable by the employer. Prior to commencing the course an invoice will be issued for the total course fee. There are, however, several payment options to choose from:

  • Full Fee:  Payment in full before the beginning of the course
  • Annual:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by equal payments every 12 months thereafter
  • Quarterly:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by payments every three months thereafter
  • Monthly:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by monthly payments thereafter

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, you will be able to continue to receive support and access to your course by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification of your award.

Course Fees

The way apprenticeships are funded, and paid for, has now changed. Employers should take note of the fees that are applicable to their organisation. As an employer you will either be an Apprenticeship Levy Payer (employers with over a £3 million pay bill) or Non-Digital Account Holder (employers with less than a £3 million pay bill).

If your organisation has less than 50 contracted employees, apprenticeship training will be fully funded for your learner if they under 19 years of age (and for those aged 19-24 meeting certain eligibility criteria e.g. has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or has been in the care of their local authority).

Course fees for Apprenticeship Levy Payers

Course fees are made up of two parts; a digital account payment and college course fees, as below:

Digital account payment – £2,000
College course fees:

Full Fee Annual Quarterly Monthly
£1,457 £728 per year £243 every three months £81 per month

Course fees for Non-Digital Account Holders

Course fees for non-digital account holders are paid via co-investment with the government, meaning that the government provide some funding towards course fees. The additional fees that you will be required to pay are as follows:

Full Fee Annual Quarterly Monthly
£1,657 £828.30 per year £276 every three months £92 per month

Awarding Body Fees*

City & Guilds registration and certificate fees: £168

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page. Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

These are current figures and may be subject to change. The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be as a result of age, employment status, previous education achievements, or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.

What next?

On successful completion of this programme you will be awarded the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care (Dog Grooming) qualification.

Dog groomers have never been in more demand, particularly with the increase in popularity of breeds that have extensive grooming requirements over recent years. Opportunities exist for self-employment (either working from home or via a mobile service), or through employment in an established dog grooming parlour. Dog grooming jobs also be found in existing animal organisations such as pet shops and boarding kennels.

The salary you can expect as a dog groomer varies greatly but starts from approximately £14,000+ per year for an assistant role.

You may then wish to continue studying dog grooming to the next level by undertaking a level 3 dog grooming qualification such as the City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming.


Please check back soon.