Competence is the most ethical obligation a professional has in their field of expertise (Welfel p 81 2009).  To be competent means the professional is knowledgeable, is schooled in the theory and research of their industry and has the necessary skills to actually apply that field of knowledge to a working situation with their clients (O’Heare 2009).

Competence is the measure of actual professional performance, not the level and amount of education.  It is unlikely that professionals will be competent across all their industry interventions. The scope of services offered by companion animal training and behavior professionals are referred to as “scope of practice”.  Competent professionals only work within the boundaries of their knowledge and skill body (Welfel p 83 2009).

Professionals are diligent and focus their attention on the needs of the client (Welfel p 84 2009). With companion  animal training and behavior consultations the client includes the animal. The animal is the vulnerable component in the consultation process as  they cannot offer informed consent. The priority is always using successful interventions (O’Heare 2009).

O’Heare, J. (2009) Professional Ethics 106 2009, CASI,

O’Heare, J (2009) AABP A Guide to the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals’ professional practice guidelines

Welfel, E.R, (2009) Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy.  Fourth Edition. Brookes Cole USA.