Current Affairs

PIF lays down industry guidelines for grooming

The Pet Industry Federation is launching a Quality Assurance Standard for groomers to lift public confidence in the grooming industry.

Recent media coverage of tragedies in grooming salons has cast a dark shadow over the entire sector, with damaging aspersions made about groomers’ concern for the safety and wellbeing of animals. Heidi Anderton, chair of the British Dog Groomers’ Association (BDGA) said: “This negative coverage is contrary to the British Dog Groomers’ Association’s long experience in supporting dedicated, passionate, skilled groomers.” 

Both the BDGA and the Pet Industry Federation recognise that the grooming industry has never been subject to the same scrutiny that is applied to pet retailers selling pets, or kennels and catteries boarding animals, all of which require a licence to operate. The consequence of this regulatory void is that members of the public are choosing their grooming services virtually blind, with no legislative framework to offer reassurance and no prospect of the government addressing this.

“The Pet Industry Federation realises that a bold move is needed to counteract the negative press groomers have recently experienced, and what better than to robustly demonstrate just how safe, caring and professional groomers are through an industry-agreed Quality Assurance Standard,’ explained Nigel Baker, chief executive of the Pet Industry Federation. 

The standard consists of an independent audit of the grooming business, covering areas such as animal welfare, staff training, equipment, health and safety and customer care. Groomers also take an online assessment to measure their technical competence. Extra star ratings are achieved on an evidence basis: the more accomplished a groomer is (demonstrated through qualifications and experience), the more stars they will receive.

“We are delighted to have received support for this initiative from within industry, through such well respected groups as the English Groomers Group and Groom Team England,” said Nigel. “The confidence already shown indicates the desire groomers have to prove they are true professionals with animal welfare at the core of their business.”

“We at EGG are thrilled with the launch of the Quality Assurance Standard for groomers,’ said Louisa Tandy of the English Groomers Group. “It will help tremendously with customer awareness of our industry and the brilliant people that work within it, encouraging them to find a quality assured  groomer who has been assessed to be working at the required standard in a safe environment.  We feel it is a positive step towards moving the industry forward in a direction that all groomers will want to support and be part of.” 

Image: The Kennel Club

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