UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Details Released About New Professional Grooming Standards
The Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance unveiled new standards for the grooming industry at this year’s Groom Expo.
The relationship between a groomer and a pet owner and their pet is built on trust. Groomers and stylists commit to providing responsible care. Pet owners entrust their companion animals to that care. It’s only natural that owners should want to be sure that their groomer or stylist is an attentive professional.
At Groom Expo, held in Hershey, Pa., in September, the Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance (PPGSA) unveiled new standards of care, safety and sanitation (scroll down for video of the presentation, courtesy of Melissa Verplank's YouTube channel) that will provide that assurance to clients by establishing a uniform, industry-wide approach. The standards were presented to a receptive crowd of groomers and stylists who listened as Teri DiMarino, president of the California Professional Pet Groomers Association and spokesperson for PPGSA, walked them through the document.
It begins with a declaration: “It should be the goal of every Pet Groomer and Stylist to treat all animals entrusted to their care with kindness, patience, respect and compassion, ensuring their safety, health and well-being.” From there, the document goes on to discuss specific standards addressing pet housing, bathing facilities, grooming areas, dryers and general facility standards, as well as standards covering animal management, handling and safety. The standards do not dictate styles, methods or techniques, whether in general or breed-specific.
What makes these standards truly noteworthy, however, is the fact that they were developed by a broad coalition of leading industry organizations, all of which have committed to incorporating the contents of the document into their education, training or certification programs. In doing so, they ensure that anyone who completes a course of study with these groups will have covered these standards in the process. Additionally, the PPGSA will continue to invite new organizations, training programs and grooming schools to join as Alliance members by making similar commitments.
“This is an historic collaboration by grooming and styling professionals,” said DiMarino. “It is an effort by groomers, for groomers, pet owners and pets themselves.” She noted that it has long been a goal within the industry to develop a common set of standards, but that this is the first time that so many key organizations have come together to work on them.
The PPGSA began with a meeting at the World Pet Association’s SuperZoo trade show in July 2014, and the coalition has been working on the standards since then. Along the way, members sought input from individual groomers, stylists and veterinarians with a wide range of experience and backgrounds. “This document represents the expertise gained from literally hundreds of thousands of hours of hands-on, professional experience,” DiMarino explained. “We drew from ongoing education efforts by national and state grooming and styling associations, industry training programs and schools to develop these protocols for animal safety and standards of care.”
The industry is already taking notice. A question-and-answer session held at the All American Grooming Show in Chicago in August drew a packed house. At the Barkleigh Honors award ceremony held during Groom Expo, DiMarino was recognized with the Contribution to the Industry award for her work on behalf of the PPGSA.
The standards are viewed as a living document and will be reviewed by the members of the PPGSA as needed to reflect the most up-to-date safety and sanitation practices. The current version can be found at www.pijac.org/PPGSA-Standards.
The founding members of the PPGSA include: International Professional Groomers, Inc., the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, the National Dog Groomers Association of America, the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, the Professional Cat Groomers Association of America, the California Professional Pet Groomers Association, the New Jersey Professional Pet Groomers Association, Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, Petco, PetSmart, Barkleigh Productions, the American Kennel Club, the World Pet Association, America’s Pet Registry and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
Mike Bober is executive vice president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. For more information on ways to engage the public and your elected officials, contact Bober at email@example.com.
In the video below, Teri DiMarino, president of the California Professional Pet Groomers Association and spokesperson for the Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance (PPGSA) discusses what PPGSA is and is not, as well as its role in shaping industry standards in response to growing attention from government regulators.
In the video below, Mike Bober, executive vice president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and Teri DiMarino detail the standards drawn up by the Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance.