Who is Ofqual and why does regulation in education matter?


Here is what Ofqual says about its Qualifications - 

Who and what Ofqual regulates

Ofqual regulates certain qualifications and the organisations that produce them. See more about Ofqual HERE.


What is a qualification?

A qualification: gives a reliable indication of someone’s knowledge, skills or understanding is only awarded to someone who has demonstrated a specified level of attainment awards a certificate naming the qualification to anyone who completes it successfully.


Training courses are not usually qualifications because they only certify that someone attended the course, and don’t make a judgement about someone’s knowledge, skills or understanding. Ofqual can’t regulate anything that isn’t a qualification, so they don’t regulate most training courses or training providers. A regulated qualification is any qualification that Ofqual has ‘recognised’..


What does ‘recognised’ mean?

Only Ofqual-approved providers can supply regulated qualifications. This means that Ofqual expects all those qualifications to meet their rules and be valid and fit for purpose. If  a regulated qualification, does not meet these rules Ofqual can take action to put things right.


Only regulated qualifications can appear on the register of regulated qualifications and can use the Ofqual logo on course certificates.


COAPE can offer you an appropriate study course whether you are interested in learning more about your own pet's behaviour or you are planning to pursue a more professional role in companion animal behaviour and training.


The science and practical application of companion animal behaviour and training is constantly evolving and all COAPE courses are designed to offer you the most up-to-the-minute theories and practical approaches available. We pride ourselves in constantly updating our resources to include the latest new ideas and techniques, and animal welfare considerations and legislation.


As an independent course provider, COAPE understands the importance of giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about which of our courses might be right for you.


Certa has worked closely with COAPE to produce a suite of unique regulated Qualifications for people working in Canine and Feline fields to ensure an up to date skills set and approach as well as the best learning experience for the course participants.


COAPE offers TWO distinct types of courses:


Accreditation levels credits Courses leading to Regulated Qualifications
A number of our courses can lead to Regulated Qualifications. Students whose assessments reach the required standards will be awarded a Regulated Qualification through Certa. These qualifications are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and regulated by Ofqual, the official Government regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessment in England and of vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
COAPE training course COAPE Introductory Courses
These unaccredited courses are written and assessed by COAPE tutors as an introduction to the study of companion animal behaviour, both for students who wish to progress onto formally accredited and regulated courses later and/or for existing professionals and pet owners to improve their knowledge and understanding of pet behaviour. These courses come packed with COAPE's full expertise in tutoring and assessment procedures to ensure that students enjoy the learning process and achieve their full potential.


The widely used term 'qualification' in relation to courses can give rise to a great deal of confusion for prospective students and the general public at large. In academic terms a 'qualification' means something quite specific and there are two circumstances where the term may be used legitimately. The first is that the qualification meets the requirements of a regulated profession, such as a veterinarian or a veterinary nurse, who are regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).


The second legitimate use of the term 'qualification' is where a course leading to a qualification appears on a qualification framework such as the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).






When I was studying at veterinary college the teaching of the subject of behaviour was virtually non-existent. The COAPE Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Training was so well rounded – covering everything from neurobiology (which I now understand better than I ever did at veterinary college!), through learning theory, to the emotionality of domestic animals and many subjects in-between.


Hannah Lyon BVetMed DipCABT MRCVS