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:
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:
- Clean with a healthy, bright, fresh smelling coat.
- Properly brushed out and dried consistent with the breed standard and without tangles or mats.
- With sufficient length of coat to allow the candidate to adequately demonstrate their practical styling skills.
- With nails properly trimmed and ears cleaned so as to allow for proper health and hygiene.
- The dog’s skin and coat must be well conditioned with no signs of infection, parasites or dermatological problems.
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:
- Demonstrated their knowledge of the breed standard by executing the pattern placement on the dog to enhance its overall balance, symmetry, and “ideal” appearance.
- Not razor burned, irritated or nicked the dog’s skin.
- Demonstrated their proficient use and control of their equipment.
- Utilized the appropriate tool to produce the “ideal” length and texture of coat per the breed standard.
- Achieved a smooth, well blended, and properly set pattern per the breed standard with no roughness, gaps or marks.
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:
- 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.
- Achieved a pleasing harmony (balance) of the various elements so as to enhance the overall appearance and pattern design.
- Achieved a similarity of form (symmetry) so as to enhance the overall appearance and pattern design.
- Accomplished an eye appealing and pleasing relationship of all components so as to improve and enhance the overall appearance of the dog.
MPS Practical Skills Grading Scale: The following is the “scale of percentage points” allowed for each aspect of the MPS practical skills certification test:
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.