BACBED comprises of 6 learning units :
All units comprise of theory & practicals
Upon completion of each unit, you will receive an electronic certificate from BHARCS that will specify the number of hours of study
Upon completion of all 6 units you will receive an electronic as well as a physical diploma certificate from BHARCS, plus transcripts from our Awarding Organisation (AO) – Laser Learning Awards, UK.
There will be no instructive classrooms. Instead, the entire diploma consists of 123 exercises. Each exercise will ask you a series of questions. We do not expect you to know the answers to all these questions. But the expectation is that you understand the question, you will do your own research, looking for credible sources and scientific papers, and with that information you will construct your response.
You are also not to copy paste answers. We have strong plagiarism checkers to ensure you do not do that. You will be required to understand a topic and then explain it back to us. In some cases, the information simply does not exist on the internet and you are required to form your own opinions, using logic and reasoning.
Your ideas may be different from that of the tutor and that is okay with us & is in fact encouraged. It is important for us that you find your own answers and form your own opinions. You will not be spoon fed information.
It is critical you are comfortable with this model if you want to succeed at BACBED.
The course fee is broken up into 30 day installments and allows for self paced learning. When you pay your monthly fee, the learning portal will be opened up for 30 days and you can make most of the time to send in as many submissions as you like. After 30 days, the portal automatically locks up. You are then free to take a break if you want, without paying fees and then come back to the course when you are ready. You will pay again for 30 days, and the portal will open up again.
The entire course fee is broken up into 30 installments. If you take less than 30 months to finish the course, the rest of the fee is computed at the end of the course and depending on how fast you finish the course, you are given a discount on the remaining component of the fee, ensuring that you will benefit if you finish the course fast.
If you take longer than 30 months, you will continue to pay the monthly fee for the additional months. However, if you take longer than 36 months, we will have to check with our Awarding Organization if we will be allowed to permit you to complete the course, which they may or may not approve. So it is in your best interest to complete the course within 30 months.
We use something called “continuous assessment”, rather than using an exam. The objective is to ensure you have understood the concept rather than answer a particular set of questions.
As mentioned, you will be given more than a 100 exercises, comprising of theoretical and practical exercises. After each submission, your tutor will get in touch with you for a discussion. This could include further leading questions, asking you to consider a different POV, debating your ideas or asking for more details. This may involve quite a bit of back and forth between you and your tutor.
Once you are able to convince your tutor that you have indeed understood the topic and are able to back up your ideas with logical arguments and solid evidence, we consider that you have adequately understood the topic and you can move on. We have no need for exams.
The course requires 500 hours of learning on average. Individual students may need more or less time.
We allow students to take up to 36 months to complete this course. In order to complete the course in this time, students will have to complete at least 3 exercises each month, which requires a minimum of 2 – 3 hours of study a week.
However, students can go much faster than that. We have had students complete up to even 10 exercises a month and our fastest student to date has taken a year and a half to complete the course. Your speed is up to you.
Practical exercises can be done on your own dogs, other’s dogs, shelter dogs, street dogs or in some cases, even some other animals like cats.
We start with extremely easy exercises that do not put you or your dog under undue stress and we gradually build up difficulty. For example, the first exercise is a very simple one of learning to take your dogs pulse, with consent of the dog. It is important to us that students do not feel overwhelmed, because when they do, they often end up stressing the dog out. So practical exercises have been carefully planned with the student’s and dog’s comfort zone in mind.
We have two ways of evaluating your skills. Towards the early part of the course, we expect students to introspect on why they were able to succeed or fail in a task. If students find tasks too easy, we may suggest they challenge themselves more or if they are struggling, we will find ways to simplify the task. Tutors will talk students through each trial, helping students learn how to evaluate themselves and find ways to improve. Towards the end of the course, as students start doing case studies and working with other’s dogs, we expect video submissions, so we can evaluate them.
Since our entire learning is online, we put a huge emphasis on the student community. We have an informal chat group on platforms like WhatsApp and FB for course-related conversations. We also do a monthly zoom catch up with all students. The idea is to give students as much support as possible, not only with course work, but also life outside the course like moral support, stress management, time management, support for personal projects, good physical and mental health etc.
There are specific buddy tasks that require senior students to help junior students out. In addition, students are also expected to be generally helpful to each other, not only regarding course work, but also moral support and after graduation, peer support.
We strongly believe that our strength lies in our community and we expect students to be enthusiastic members of the community, contributing as best as they can and relying on each other to grow.
Being accredited by Laser Learning Awards, we have had to hire and train an internal quality assurer (IQA)for our course. The IQA samples every student’s submission and reviews it to ensure the tutor’s work meets our standards. The tutor’s work is checked to ensure it is fair, thorough and helpful.
Once the IQA is done with the quality checks, Laser then assigns a quality assurer from their end, to check all of it again. They also expect annual reports from us on how our course is constantly improving. Thus we are being closely monitored.
We also have plenty of opportunity for students to provide feedback and a clear escalation path if students are unhappy about something. Our aim is to give the student the access to the highest quality education in this field and we have done all that we possibly can to ensure we are on the right track. We are always open to doing more and are proactively looking for ways to improve.
Just as we hold ourselves to the highest standards possible, we hold students too, to the highest standards possible. The BHARCS Code defines what we expect of our students, both in their professional practices, as well as how they engage with the school.
We recognize that students may not always be able to meet our expectations in their professional practices due to external pressures. In such cases, we expect students to proactively reach out to us, to get their practice audited by us, so we can give suggestions on how they can improve/change and we expect students to do the best they can to put our suggestions into practice.
We expect 100% honesty from our students and in return, we pledge to work with the limitations and challenges students face, to achieve the best we can for dogs.
Our course also relies on active debates between students and tutors. So students are expected to not get defensive during their study, be open to critique, be willing to engage in conversation and debate and be willing to question their own beliefs. The qualities we cherish most in students are honesty and ability for introspection. This is key to success at BACBED.
BACBED prepares students to be behaviour consultants and ethologists. After completion of the course, students can work as behaviour consultants or ethologists.
Behaviour consultants work with pet parents to identify what causes “problem behaviours” and advising pet parents on what they need to do to address such behaviours. Ethologists will focus more on research, particularly research on free ranging and free willed animals. Students that do not have access to free ranging dogs will be helped with research partners in India for data collection.
The course prepares students for both paths. Students are taught how to do some basic research and critique studies. Students are also guided through case studies and the business set up process, as part of BACBED.
BHARCS believes in Continued Professional Development (CPD) for all professionals. Towards this end, BHARCS will continue to offer learning modules for graduates to continue their learning journey and will also partner with other experts in the industry to offer other interesting and related, high quality courses. Several international professional organizations mandate at least 40 hours of annual CPD and BHARCS will provide sufficient learning opportunity to meet that requirement.
Students who would like to study further, should be able to do so at any institute that accepts an England level 4 diploma as a prerequisite. Upon request from students, BACBED is also open to having an affiliation with the school to create a clear path of progression.