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ISCC Certified Professional Pet Groomer (ICPG)

The Certified Professional Pet Groomer™ (ICPG) certification program is designed for individuals seeking validation that they have achieved the skills required for the care, safety, management and grooming of pets entrusted to their care. It includes canine and feline skin and coat care inclusive of understanding skin and hair anatomy; topical conditioning of pet hair (brushing, combing, bathing, drying and topical conditioning); basic animal behavior and management; pet injury prevention, First Aid & CPR; Breed ID and Coat Characteristics; and basic clipper, scissor, thinning shear and “carding” techniques and methods. Individuals who complete all the ISCC PDS written tests and practical skills exam will be awarded the title of “Certified Professional Pet Groomer” or “ICPG”. To obtain this certification, you must be an ISCC member, pass 5 written tests and one practical skills exam. Please take a moment to look at the topics & study aids required for each test.

Test
No.
Topic Required Study Aids Additional Study Aids Seminars
250 Canine/Feline Skin & Hair Anatomy, Topical Conditioning, Ectoparasites & Insecticides Read & study:  ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec. 1)  & SuperCoats™ Book by Pam Lauritzen SuperCoats™ Module Pam Lauritzen’s SuperCoats™ seminar series

251 Pet Injury Prevention, Health, First Aid & CPR, Canine Anatomy, Zoonotic Diseases and Sanitation Read & study:  ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.  2), Shear Illusions Workbook, pgs. 4-5 and Pet First Aid and Disaster Response by G. Elaine Acker First Aid & CPR Seminar Series (normally offered twice at the US Pet Pro Classic)

252 Animal Behavior & Management Read & study:  ISCC Study Guide/Addendum (Sec.  3) and Behavior Problems in Dogs by William E. Campbell Animal Behavior Seminar Series

253 Breed ID & Coat Characteristics for Toy, Sporting, Non-Sporting & Hound Groups Read & study: The Complete Dog Book by AKC (pictures, coat & color for each breed)

254 Clipper & Scissoring Techniques, Breed ID & Coat Characteristics for Working, Herding & Terrier Groups Read & study:  ISCC Study Guide (Sec.  4) and The Complete Dog Book by AKC (pictures, coat & color for each breed)

255 Practical Skills Test Read & study:  ISCC Study Guide (Sec. 1)  & SuperCoats™ Book by Pam Lauritzen


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.

SuperCoats™ Module
Three easy to understand, instructional audio CDs, a visually interactive computer CD (power point format) allowing the user to learn at their own pace and a fully illustrated, step-by-step book covering skin and hair anatomy and Topical Conditioning of Canine/Feline skin and coat. It is designed to assist individuals who are preparing to take their Petcare DermaTech Specialist or Professional Pet Groomer practical skills exams.

Pet First Aid and Disaster Response Guide by G. Elaine Acker
The Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide is approved study material for ISCC’s Pet Injury, Prevention and Health written PDS Test 105. This book is designed to help pet owners & pet professionals provide temporary, urgent care to pets until they can reach a veterinary or emergency clinic. This book can be purchased on amazon.com or other book retailers.

Behavior Problems in Dogs by William E. Campbell
A comprehensive book covering canine behavior and handling techniques, it is required study material for individuals taking PDS tests 106 & 107. This book can be purchased on amazon.com or other book retailers.

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’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 to 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 ISCC Certified Professional Pet Groomer™ Practical Skills test requires 2 dogs with a “Stand-Out, Straight Coat” and a “Harsh, Flat or Double Coat”. Candidates are required to supply dogs and all the appropriate equipment (brushes, combs, topical conditioning products, towels, styling table, dryers, clippers, clipper blades, scissors, etc.). Applicants who have successfully completed any or all of the ISCC Petcare DermaTech Specialist or Master Pet Stylist written and/or practical skills exams will be given appropriate credit to be applied toward their ISCC Certified Professional Pet Groomer testing process. A testing fee of $150 will be required for each testing site, so if both dogs are groomed at the same site the fee will be $150. If the second dog is groomed later on at a different site, then another $150 will be required for the second dog.

Practical Skills Exams for the ISCC Certified Professional Pet Groomer™ 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.

Let’s take a look at the 2 different dogs that are required.

Arrow DOG 1: The dog with a “Stand-Out, Straight Coat” should sufficiently have a coat long enough to require brushing, combing, bathing, drying, topical conditioning, clipping and scissoring skills and to make a distinct difference in the length of the coat following practical skills demonstration of applicant’s grooming skills. Short, flat, harsh and double coated dogs are excluded from this category.

Acceptable breeds include but not are limited to: Poodle, Bichon Frise or any similarity coated breed or mixed breed as approved for use by ISCC. Faces are NOT required to be clipped. However, sufficient clipper & scissor work must be performed to demonstrate the candidate’s skills. Poodle mustaches are acceptable.

When selecting your dog, keep in mind that brushing, combing, bathing, drying, topical conditioning of the skin and coat, clipping and scissoring skills (straight & curved shears) are an integral part of this exam and must be demonstrated.

Demonstrating the following attains successful completion of the practical skills test:
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of brushing, combing, bathing, drying and topical conditioning techniques & methods.
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of nail and ear care. One nail must be trimmed and one ear must be cleaned during the exam.
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of clipping and scissoring techniques and methods.
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of breed profile, pattern lines, and grooming techniques and methods required for trimming
“Stand-Out, Straight Coated Dogs”

Arrow DOG 2: The dog with a “Harsh, Flat or Double Coat” should sufficiently have coat long enough to require clipping and use thinning shear and carding techniques.

Acceptable breeds include but not limited to: Short or long-legged, harsh-coated terriers, Sporting Breeds such as American or English Cocker, Springer Spaniel, Setters, or any double-coated breed such as a Sheltie or Collie – or any similarly coated breed as approved by ISCC.

When choosing this dog, keep in mind that clipping and the use of thinning shears and carding techniques are integral part of this exam and must be demonstrated.

Demonstrating the following attains successful completion of the practical skills test:
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of brushing and combing, techniques.
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of the following techniques: clipping, thinning shears (bulking & blending) and carding.
• Proficiency, knowledge, and understanding of breed profile, pattern lines, and grooming techniques & methods required for trimming
“Harsh, Flat or Double Coated Dogs”.

In order to certify practical pet styling skills for ISCC Certified Professional Pet Groomer™ status, ISCC has establish a “Standard of Pet Grooming Excellence” which is the concept of the ideal of Professional Pet Grooming; i.e., ideal preparation and topical conditioning of the dog’s coat, the ideal execution of all pet grooming techniques and methods, and the ideal finish of the dog’s coat to suit its breed profile – ideal in all of the following aspects:

Arrow Preparation: ISCC considers preparation 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. Exhibit proficient knowledge and usage of skin/coat and sanitation products; i.e., cleansers, conditioners, therapeutic treatments, chemicals,
color process, stain removers, disinfectants, etc.
2. Thoroughly understand skin and coat care therapeutic programs, methods, terms (keratolytic, keratoplastic, hydrating, exfoliating, anti-inflammatory,
antimicrobial, secondary infection, etc.)
3. Select the most effective skin and coat care and sanitation products (cleansers, conditioners, therapeutic treatments, chemicals, disinfectants, etc.)
for optimum conditioning and health of the pet’s skin and coat.
4. Select and use the most effective tools (brushes, combs, nail clippers, carding and dematting tools, etc.) for optimum conditioning and health of the
pet’s skin and coat.
5. Safely use and/or apply all products and tools.

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 profile.
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 pet’s style and profile.

ISCC is not concerned with the conformation of the dog, but does place considerable emphasis on the candidate’s ability to apply their skills, knowledge and expertise to evaluate any breed or mixed breed’s conformation and to trim the dog’s coat creating the “ideal” illusion to disguise its faults and emphasize its attributes.

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

1. Creatively performed their practical styling skills to correctly evaluated the dog’s conformation and thereby trimmed the dog’s coat to visually create
the “ideal” breed profile and pattern lines.
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 ICPG Practical Skills Grading Scale: The following is the “scale of percentage points” allowed for each aspect of the ICPG 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 “ICPG” 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