Course overview

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This microchipping course is recognised by DEFRA as an approved qualification for anyone wishing to implant microchips into dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets.

This course is ideal for people that are working with animals, such as animal care workers, breeders, rescue centre workers and lay staff working in a veterinary practice. Over the course of the qualification, you will gain the practical skills and underpinning knowledge to enable you to effectively and safely implant microchips in line with current legislation and requirements.

It is now a legal requirement for all dogs over eight weeks of age in England, Scotland and Wales to be microchipped. According to The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 and article 10A of The Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011, any person implanting microchips into dogs, cats and ferrets must first be satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the Secretary of State for that purpose. This qualification meets this requirement. Whilst there are no such requirements for rabbits it is obviously good practice for any animal to be microchipped by someone who can demonstrate that they have the necessary competence to carry out the procedure.

The following categories of persons are not required to have been additionally satisfactorily assessed on an approved training course in order to implant identification microchips into dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets:
(a) a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon,
(b) a student of veterinary surgery or a student veterinary nurse and in either case are acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon,
(c) a person who, before the 29th December 2014,has received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip.

This qualification consists of a college course and an assessment day. You will need to undertake both in order to successfully achieve the qualification.

1. The course

The course can be undertaken either online or by attending a two day weekend course.

  • Online course: All course materials are provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and should take you approximately 8-10 hours to complete in your own time. When you are ready to be assessed you will need to book a place on a practical assessment day. Please note that you must have enrolled onto the online course at least two weeks before your assessment day.
  • Weekend classroom course:You will attend College for one weekend during which you cover the theoretical and practical training behind the microchipping of dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets. On the following day (Monday) you will attend an assessment day.

2. Assessment day

The assessment day is held at our centre near Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and consists of two elements; a multiple choice examination and a practical assessment. The practical assessment involves microchipping at least two animals to the required standard. You must pass both the examination and the practical assessment in order to achieve the qualification.

Please contact us for dates of forthcoming assessment days.

Details about how to book onto an assessment day will be provided to you after you have applied for either the online or weekend classroom course.

Please note the following as a matter of importance: The microchipping of any animal species other than dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets, is deemed an act of veterinary surgery and may only be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon. Learners may not legally perform any action either during their training, or post-qualification, which may be interpreted as an act of veterinary surgery as defined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Course content

On completion of this qualification you will have covered:

  • The uses and benefits of animal microchip identification
  • The function of microchips and scanners
  • The sites for microchip implantation in animals
  • How to ensure the safety of the animal and operator during the implantation process
  • How to correctly assess the functionality of and implant microchips in animals
  • How to advise animal owners about aftercare and maintenance following implantation

Practical assessment

You must be able to demonstrate that you can successfully microchip a minimum of two animals from the permitted species on your assessment day. At least one of these animals must be the species that you wish to be qualified to microchip, i.e.:

  • If you wish to be qualified to microchip dogs only, then you must successfully microchip two dogs.
  • If you wish to be qualified to microchip dogs and one of the other species such as a cat, then you must successfully microchip at least one dog and one cat making up the minimum of at least two animals.
  • If you wish to qualify on more species (as well as dogs and cats) e.g. rabbits then you must microchip one dog, one cat and one rabbit.
  • To be qualified to microchip all four species, you would be required to microchip one of each (four animals in total)

Please note, you will be required to bring the animals you will be microchipping to the assessment day with you.

Entry requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements, however accessing and completing the course material and online multiple choice examination will require basic IT, literacy and numeracy skills.

You MUST bring along a minimum of TWO animals to the assessment day, including the species that you wish to microchip. All animals brought to the assessment day must comply with the following:

  • Dogs: Minimum of eight weeks of age and must have had their first vaccination
  • Cats and rabbits: Minimum of 12 weeks of age and fully vaccinated
  • Ferrets: Minimum of 12 weeks of age

Please note that when booking onto your assessment day you will be required to inform the College of which species of animals you wish to be assessed on, and how many animals of each species you will be bringing with you.

Important information for those who have already undertaken training to microchip animals before 1 April 2015
If you have already completed a microchipping training course before April 2015, you are not currently required to achieve another DEFRA recognised qualification in order to continue microchipping dogs, cats and ferrets. However, we welcome applicants who would like to undertake further microchipping courses as a means to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date, and be entered onto the VetSkill Register of Qualified Microchip Implanters.

Course fees

Option 1 – Online learning and practical assessment day
£255 plus £71 Awarding Body Fees

Option 2 – Weekend classroom learning and practical assessment day
£400 plus £71 Awarding Body Fees

Sources of financial help may 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.

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

* Awarding Body Fees are recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

What next?

Successful completion of this qualification means that you are able to join the VetSkill Register of Qualified Microchip Implanters, allowing you to legally microchip identification microchips into the species you have been assessed as competent to do.

Depending on your area of work you may wish to consider undertaking short courses in a related subject, such as animal first aid or dog handling. You can find more information about our upcoming animal care CPD courses here.

Alternatively, if you’re an animal care professional looking for a new opportunity, you can find the latest animal care jobs advertised on our job board here.


This course is new; we hope to have some testimonials from people who have undertaken this microchipping course soon!