Teaching Your Way to Success

Ask the Grooming Tutor

By Michell Evans

“Hi Michell, My husband and I own a mobile pet grooming business in North Mississippi. He is a Certified Master Groomer with a certification from a college in Florida that is no longer operational. We are now trying to teach students to become groomers.

It would benefit us to have the reliable help, but we want to make sure we can benefit the student in the future. What do you recommend we do to take the right steps in this process? We aren’t sure if there is anything we can do to be an “accredited” grooming teacher, or if we teach and create our own certificates, will that be beneficial enough?

Thanks for your advice in advance.” —M.A.

Hi M.A. It is admirable that you are considering the benefit to your students. When people speak of being certified in pet grooming, they are typically speaking about one of our industry recognized organizations. The industry has organizations that certify groomers in either dog or cat grooming, or both. These organizations are recognized throughout our industry as being respected skills assessment organizations. National Dog Groomers Association of America, International Society of Canine Cosmetology, International Pet Groomers Inc, National Cat Groomers Institute and The Professional Cat Groomers Association of America are the five most notable.

There are also organizations in other countries that offer these skills assessment certifications. Plus, there is the American Kennel club S.A.F.E. (Safety, Assurance, Fundamentals, Education) program that certifies that your salon as a safe and productive space.

When a person claims to be a Certified Master Groomer (CMG) upon completion of a school or training program, it is typically viewed as a certificate of completion for an entry level course. It is frowned upon by the groomers who have actually gone through the skills assessment to become a Certified Master Groomer to call yourself a CMG if you have not been certified by one of these organizations. If you want to label yourself, try “Expert” instead of “Master”.

Typically these organizations require that you take a series of written exams as well as demonstrate your hands-on skills. Once you have completed your CMG exams, you can then train groomers and help to prepare them for their certification exams. Now you will be creating a grooming workforce with nationally and internationally recognized credentials.

With these credentials, the groomers that you have trained will potentially be more confident and productive employees for your business and they will have better job opportunities when they leave your business. With only a certificate that they learned grooming from your husband, they may not be considered over other applicants.

When it comes to creating certificates for your training program, consider calling them a certificate of completion. This will provide the student with something that shows they have a basic knowledge of grooming. This is not a Certified Master Groomer.

As far as “teacher accreditation” I am not sure about laws in Mississippi on this matter. I would be sure to find out what laws apply to training programs, schools and courses. Sometimes it is just a matter of the language you use and whether or not you charge the student for the training. The last thing you want is to find out that you are breaking laws after the fact.

Good luck in your venture.

—Michell ✂

I am a multi-Best-In-Show and Best-All-Around groomer. I am the recipient of many Barkleigh Honors Awards including journalist of the year. I am a Silver and Gold medalist for GroomTeam USA. I am the winner of Show Dog Groomer of the Year 2015. I am a (VIG) Very Important Groomer-Ambassador for Purina and I have been teaching as The Grooming Tutor since 2000. And I groom to make a living, just like you. Please send questions to [email protected]

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