grooming stock

Like their humans, pets have their own unique style and “look.”

By taking a little off the top or adding a touch of fun color, a blueberry facial, shampoo and nail trim, today’s groomers have transformed themselves into image stylists for our beloved four-legged family members. Consumer demand for professional groomers is at an all-time high, due in part to pet adoptions during the pandemic and owners’ desire to take their grooming needs to a professional who is “cut out” for the challenging work of styling a (sometimes) unpredictable and unruly client.

“Booking out weeks in advance, groomers are experiencing a volume of clients growing at a rapid pace, and with the increase in demand, it’s important for professionals to be properly recognized within the grooming community to maintain trust between client and provider,” said Vic Mason, president of the World Pet Association (WPA). “In response, the WPA has launched the Professional Grooming Credential (PGC) program designed for practicing professionals, schools and instructors.”

The PGC is the first of its kind test offered and is intended for groomers, educators and schools to administer to their students as a “final” exam.

Measuring core competency standards in a multiple-choice exam, the PGC program was designed by an industry task force comprised of members of the grooming community, veterinarians, salon owners and corporate entities who have expressed the need to provide certification to their clients. The PGC will enable groomers to showcase their knowledge of safety, health, client relations and technique in one comprehensive test.

“Unlike other licensed services, such as hair or nail salons for humans, the grooming industry has been unregulated,” said Judy Breton, an early supporter of creating a national credentialing program. “This credentialing program is different from other grooming certifications in that it is not privately owned and instead is being run by the WPA, a nonprofit organization showing its support for the industry.”

The PGC will be available multiple times a year and will be administered by The Professional Testing Corporation, an independent, third-party testing facility with global locations. Preparation for the test will be featured on the PGC website page, which will outline how to register, general preparation and test-taking strategies. Groomers may apply to take the test based on experience, education and knowledge of the pet grooming practice. The content of the exams will be weighed carefully for accuracy and relevancy to the working pet grooming professional.

“The PGC is elevating standards and embracing the grooming industry to raise the bar of professionalism and education,” said Maryellen Mahoney, credentialing program manager at WPA.

Groomers can leverage the PGC benefits immediately after earning the credentials.

“Setting premium pricing for their services, staying competitive, and building confidence among peers and clients are just some of the reasons why groomers should consider taking the PGC,” Mahoney said. “Groomers can show off their credentials to set them apart from the rest.”

“We are here to educate and guide groomers on their career path, and present the reasons to strongly consider taking the PGC,” Mahoney said. 

The PGC is a benchmark to establish the basic requirements to be an accredited groomer.

“Clients will be at ease knowing their pets are in the care of trained experts,” Mahoney said. “While groomers will have the confidence knowing their skills are valued by their clients. The PGC is a win-win for everyone, especially for the four-legged pet receiving the service.”

To schedule a time to meet with a WPA representative at SuperZoo, email Maryellen Mahoney, credentialing program manager (maryellen@wpamail.org), or Pete Risano, vice president of membership and partnerships (pete.risano@wpamail.org).