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ISCC Certified Master Pet Stylist (MPS)

The Master Pet Stylist™ (MPS) certification program is the second step to becoming an ISCC Certified Master Pet Stylist™ (M.P.S). It includes educational and validation programs encompassing understanding and overall knowledge of breed standards, basic and advanced clipper scissor, and hand-stripping techniques, as well as, rules of perception, locomotion and geometrics as applied to the “ideal” sculpting and design of canine coats. Individuals who complete all the ISCC Petcare DermaTech Specialist™ and the ISCC Master Pet Stylist™ written tests and practical skills exams will be awarded the title of “Master Pet Stylist” or “MPS”. To obtain this certification, you must be an ISCC member, pass 9 written tests and 3 practical skills exams. Please take a moment to look at the topics & study aids required for each test.


ISCC Certified Master Pet Stylist™ Syllabus

Test
No.
Topic Required Study Aids Additional Study Aids Seminars
201 Clipper Techniques Read & Study: ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.4) “Clipper Art” lecture by Pam Lauritzen

202 Clipper Maintenance & Repair Attend seminar and returned signed form as proof of attendance to ISCC Office ISCC approved Clipper Maintenance & Repair Seminar.

203 Dynamics of Scissoring Read & Study: ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.4) Shear Control DVD by Pam Lauritzen ISCC approved “Dynamics of Scissoring” lecture

204 The Art of Pet Styling Read & Study: ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.4) Shear Illusions DVD & Workbook by Pam Lauritzen ISCC approved “The Art of Pet Styling” lecture

205 Advanced Hand-Stripping Techniques Read & Study: ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.5) ISCC approved “Hand-Stripping” lecture

206 Non-Sporting Group (Conformation & Utility for all Non-Sporting breeds) Read & Study: The Complete Dog Book by AKC. (Non-Sporting Group)

207 Sporting Group (Conformation & Utility for all Sporting Breeds) Read & Study: The Complete Dog Book by AKC. (Sporting Group)

208 Terrier Group 
(Conformation & Utility for all Terrier Breeds)
Read & Study: The Complete Dog Book by AKC. (Terrier Group)

209 All Other Purebred Groups
(Conformation & Utility for all other Purebred Groups)
Read & Study: The Complete Dog Book by AKC. (Working, Herding, Toy, Hound & Miscellaneous Groups)

210 Non-Sporting Breeds Practical Skills Exam Acceptable Breeds: Poodle or Bichon

211 Sporting Breeds Practical Skills Exam Acceptable Breeds: Any AKC recognized Sporting breed that requires comparable styling skills and techniques. See Practical Skills below.

212 Terrier Breeds Practical Skills Exam Acceptable Breeds: Any AKC recognized Terrier breed that has a harsh coat requiring comparable hand-stripping skills and techniques. See Practical Skills below.


Study Aids & Preparatory Programs

ISCC Study Guide and its Addendum
The ISCC Study Guide and its companion Addendum, which consists of self-tests covering all aspects of the Pet Groomer programs, are designed to help you study and prepare for the extensive written tests offered in this program. Click here for product details.

The Complete Dog Book by AKC
Official publication by the American Kennel Club and the approved study material for ISCC’s breed ID, Coat Characteristics and Conformation tests required for ISCC Pet Groomer, Petcare DermaTech Specialist & Master Pet Stylist written tests. This book can be purchased on amazon.com or other book retailers.

ISCC Videos & Workbooks
From Shear Control to Shear Illusions w/workbook, these videos demonstrates scissoring techniques from holding the shears correctly to sculpting an “ideal” breed standard into the imperfect dog. The Shear Control DVD is recommended for MPS Test 203 and Shear Illusions with its companion workbook is recommended for MPS 204. Click here for product details.

ISCC’s Mentor Program
ISCC approved Mentors are individuals who have completed their written and practical skills exams and are certified Master Pet Stylists. They have experienced and understand the ISCC Testing process and have volunteered to provide assistance and guidance to anyone striving become ISCC certified. ISCC recommends that everyone entering the ISCC certification process request a mentor. There is no charge for this service and Mentors are an excellent motivational and guidance resource. To request a mentor, just contact us.

ISCC’s Private Coaching Program
For individuals who wish additional assistance and “hands-on” coaching to improve their practical skill level, private coaching sessions are recommended and may be scheduled with any of ISCC’s approved Consultants & Certifiers. Private coaching sessions may be conducted at any industry show where ISCC Certifier is present or at any ISCC approved seminar, workshop, School or facilities. You can also arrange for Private Coaching to be conducted in your salon.

Click here for our full list of Certification Study Aids.



Written Exams

Written examinations may be taken on-line or may be administered by an ISCC approved proctor in your local area.

Online Written Exams: The on-line test format consists of true/false, multiple choice or matching questions. These are timed tests in which you will have 30 minutes to complete. The score of the test will be presented immediately following the completion of the test and a copy of your results will be emailed to your email address provided at the beginning of the test. All scores above 70 % are considered passing. Should any of these on-line tests need to be taken again, please contact the office before any additional attempts, as the testing program will only allow one test per student.

Written Exams with a Proctor: The paper written test format consists of true/false, multiple choice, matching questions, fill in the blank and essay questions. This is NOT a timed test. An ISCC approved proctor in your local area may administer written examinations. First, locate a facility or individual who is willing to act as your “Proctor” and with whom you have no “conflict of interest” or close relationship. Then, forward their name, address, and phone number to the ISCC Office. We’ll contact the “Proctor” to qualify them, and then notify you of their approval status. Once your proctor is approved and when you are ready to take any of your exams, just contact the ISCC Office and we will mail your “Proctor” your desired exam. Make sure when you are taken each exam, you follow all the instructions carefully that have been included in your test packet. The “Proctor” will make sure all test study materials are put way, no cheating has occurred and will be in charge of mailing the test back to the ISCC Office. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your test to be graded. You will be notified by phone and mail of your grade. All scores above 70 % are considered passing.



Practical Skills Exam

The Master Pet Stylist™ Practical Skills Exam has a 2-1/2 hour allowable time to style each dog. All dogs must be styled according to their breed’s standard. Poodles may be styled in any pattern, but the trim must create the illusion of an “ideal” Poodle. The evaluation of your skills is based upon 1) Preparation of the dog’s coat, 2) Knowledge of the mechanical techniques and tools required to execute the correct breed standard trim, and 3) Knowledge of the artistic techniques required to create the “ideal” illusion of the breed. The required mechanical techniques are A) Non-Sporting Breeds Practical Skills Exam requires satisfactory performance of straight and curved shears, B) Sporting Breeds Practical Skills Exam requires satisfactory performance of thinning shears and “carding” techniques and C) Terrier Breeds Practical Skills Exam requires satisfactory performance of hand-stripping techniques.

Practical Skills Exams for the ISCC Master Pet Stylist™ practical skills program is conducted at select sites by one or more ISCC approved certifiers. Candidates are furnished with a thorough evaluation of their performance and are afforded an opportunity to discuss their grades with each of their certifiers. Professional consultations and workshops are strongly recommended prior to practical skills testing.

In order to certify practical grooming skills for the Master Pet Stylist™ status, ISCC has established a “Standard of Pet Styling Excellence” which is a concept of the ideal of Professional Pet Styling; i.e., ideal preparation of the dog’s coat, ideal execution of all pet styling techniques, and the ideal sculpting and design of the dog’s coat per its breed standard – ideal in all of the following aspects:

Arrow Presentation: ISCC considers the presentation to be an integral part of the Professional Pet Stylist’s overall expertise and knowledge, and believes that skin and coat care is rudimentary to the success of a quality pet trim as well as essential to the good health of the pet.

ISCC is not concerned with the conformation of the dog, but does place considerable emphasis on the candidate’s knowledge and ability to ideally prepare the dog’s coat for styling.

In order to attain the maximum number allowable points, a candidate present their dog to the Certifier(s) in the following condition:

  1. Clean with a healthy, bright, fresh smelling coat.
  2. Properly brushed out and dried consistent with the breed standard and without tangles or mats.
  3. With sufficient length of coat to allow the candidate to adequately demonstrate their practical styling skills.
  4. With nails properly trimmed and ears cleaned so as to allow for proper health and hygiene.
  5. The dog’s skin and coat must be well conditioned with no signs of infection, parasites or dermatological problems.

Arrow Mechanical Techniques: Mechanical Techniques such as clipper, scissoring, carding and animal handling are essential skills that are integral to the Professional Pet Stylist’s overall knowledge and expertise. ISCC does not endorse any particular type of equipment but rather, emphasizes the methodology to achieve the ideal results.

In order to attain the maximum achievable points for mechanical techniques, the candidate must have:

  1. Demonstrated their knowledge of the breed standard by executing the pattern placement on the dog to enhance its overall balance, symmetry, and “ideal” appearance.
  2. Not razor burned, irritated or nicked the dog’s skin.
  3. Demonstrated their proficient use and control of their equipment.
  4. Utilized the appropriate tool to produce the “ideal” length and texture of coat per the breed standard.
  5. Achieved a smooth, well blended, and properly set pattern per the breed standard with no roughness, gaps or marks.

Arrow Overall Appearance: ISCC places considerable emphasis on the candidate’s knowledge and ability to produce an attractive, eye appealing trim that represents the “ideal” image of the breed standard.

In order to achieve the maximum points allowed for the final outcome, the candidate must:

  1. Creatively performed their practical styling skills to correctly interpret the breed’s standard and thereby sculpting the dog’s coat to visually create the illusion of the “ideal” dog of its breed.
  2. Achieved a pleasing harmony (balance) of the various elements so as to enhance the overall appearance and pattern design.
  3. Achieved a similarity of form (symmetry) so as to enhance the overall appearance and pattern design.
  4. Accomplished an eye appealing and pleasing relationship of all components so as to improve and enhance the overall appearance of the dog.

Arrow MPS Practical Skills Grading Scale: The following is the “scale of percentage points” allowed for each aspect of the MPS practical skills certification test:

Preparation 20%
Mechanical Techniques 30%
Overall Appearance 50%
Total allowable points 100%

Maximum allowable points are 100% based upon the ISCC Standard of Excellence. While attainment of the maximum allowable points is “ideal”, it is not expected of any individual that they must obtain a score of 100% to pass any if the “MPS” practical skills exams. However, a score of 70% averaged from the ISCC Certifier(s) assigned to the test site must be achieved to pass the practical skills exam.

Need assistance or have questions: Call (877) 738 – 4451 – or Email: iscc@petstylist.com