Accreditation for professional gundog trainers

The Gundog Trainers Academy Teachers Course has been designed for dog trainers wishing to teach gundog skills in their classes; professional trainers wishing to ‘crossover’ to positive reinforcement methods; and existing positive reinforcement gundog trainers looking to gain accreditation with a respected body.

The Gundog Trainers Academy Teachers Course and its full assessment process was awarded accreditation by the ABTC (Animal Behaviour Training Council) in 2020, making it the only gundog trainers qualification in the UK to have met industry agreed criteria for welfare and ethics; teaching and training dogs and people; professional conduct; and underpinning knowledge.

The ABTC is the UK's only organisation with a nationally agreed criteria for animal training which must be met by all council member organisations and is in itself in the process of becoming accredited to the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). The ABTC is the gold standard to aim for in terms of quality and ethics for trainers in the UK.

Successful GTA students and members will have achieved an industry recognised accreditation as a professional gundog trainer and will be entitled to use the suffix GTA (accredited on dummies and game) or GTA-AD (accredited on dummies only).

Your GTA accreditation will help you to attract customers and give them the confidence that your knowledge, techniques and ethics are of the highest standards and are the most scientifically sound methods of animal training. This will also give you an enormous sense of personal achievement and credibility as well as potential advantage when seeking professional insurance.

  • What you'll learn

    • How to teach dogs and people
    • How to teach gundog specific skills
    • Modes and drives of behaviour 
    • Sport of game shooting and etiquette
    • History and behaviour of gundog breeds
    • Legal obligations and professional codes of conduct 
    • Ethics and welfare
    • Exercise and fitness 
  • How you'll learn

    The GTA Teachers Course is made up of four modules which will be taught over four blocks of four days. These practical and theory sessions spread over an eight month period. Alongside the lectures and practical instructor, students will also be required to complete course work in the form of diary and record keeping plus a few specific assignments.

  • How you'll be assessed

    Students will be invited to participate in a pre-assessment, a shortened version of the final assessment, to ensure that they are ready for final assessment and have a good chance of success.

    When you apply for final assessment you will be required to:

    • Submit your final teaching and training diaries 
    • Pass a multiple choice theory test
    • Teach two observed classes


Successful trainers who have completed the GTA Teachers Course will be invited to become full members of the GTA and will be entitled to use the suffix GTA-Ad (Accreditation on Dummies) or GTA-Ag (Accreditation on Game) on receipt of their annual membership subscription and their continued adherence to the GTA’s Code of Practice by means of declaration on their website and/or other relevant marketing forum.

Non GTA students (i.e. already practising gundog trainers) have the opportunity to apply to the GTA for membership subject to the completion of a comprehensive application form and provided they have supplied a full portfolio of evidence including completed assignments, training and teaching diaries, and that they have passed the GTA final theory exam and have taught two observed classes. The assessment criteria will be identical for external applicants as for internal applicants.

Membership is renewable annually and must be accompanied by the relevant subscription fee, evidence of the expected CPD requirements and feedback from at least two current students of the trainer.

Currently membership fees are £65 p.a. and CPD requirements are 40 units p.a.