It can be very hard to decide which group is the best for you and your needs, so I am trying to help you figure out which group is best for you if you decide you want to certify or just gain more knowledge and get training in a niche of grooming that you may have no experience with.
I am giving each certification group a chance to tell you all about themselves in their own words. The first of these "selling stories" as I would call them are about the cat organizations.
Daryl Conner provided this about the Professional Cat Groomers Association of America:
The PCGAA was founded by groomers, for groomers. We are a warm, friendly, welcoming and supportive group of people passionate about providing safe, compassionate handling for felines.
Knowing how hard groomers work for their money, we offer economical fees for membership and certification.
Tests may be taken at your own pace, in your home town with the use of a proctor. (A proctor is someone like a teacher, librarian or other professional person who will be willing to recieve your exams, monitor test taking and send them in for grading.) Tests have no expiration date, and you maintain your certification simply by paying your annual membership dues (currently $20.00.)
Our study guides were written by a collaboration of industry professionals, including a veterinarian. Some of our instructors will travel to your location if you desire training, others offer one on one lessons in their shops.
Practical exams may be filmed in your own work space, using your own tools, and uploaded for grading.
We practice kind, practical grooming integrating holistic care whenever possible to support the cats physical, mental and emotional needs.
You can find out more by visiting the PCGAA web site.
Danelle German provided this (written by by Liz Johnson) concerning National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc:
National Cat Groomers Institute of America, Inc.
The National Cat Groomer Institute is devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in the art of feline grooming worldwide. The association was founded in 2007 by Danelle German, industry author and speaker, in response to the need for a membership and certification organization specializing in feline grooming. The NCGIA currently consists of hundreds of members around the globe, varying from those who occasionally groom cats to Certified Feline Master Groomers™ (CFMGs), some with combined dog/cat grooming businesses and some with a feline exclusive clientele. All NCGIA members share one key characteristic: a desire to groom cats and to learn how to do so safely and effectively.
The CFMG certification process requires the passing of nine exams (4 written exams and 5 practical exams) as well as completion of an approved feline first aid/CPR course.
In order for a CFMG to be knowledgeable in interactions with clients, ensure the safety of the cat, and grow a profitable business, the written exams cover the following topics: Temperament and Handling, Breeds, Colors and Genetics, Health and Anatomy, and Business Management. Practical exams cover a number of key grooming techniques combined into 5 basic grooming styles: the Lion Cut, Lion Cut Variation, Comb Cut, Long Hair Full Coat Groom, and Short Hair Full Coat Groom. Those taking certification exams are graded on various aspects such as handling skills, safety for cat and groomer, neatness of lines, smoothness of finish, and balance and symmetry of groom. Because timing is so critical when working with cats, consideration is not only given to neatness and precision on the final groom, but also to working in a safe and efficient manner.
To prepare students for exams, the National Cat Groomers School provides high quality, focused instruction in the art of feline grooming. The school is the first and only feline-exclusive grooming school in the world, offering 2-week long school sessions as well as workshops throughout the year. NCGIA students have come from all levels of experience, from beginners to well known industry professionals.
Although school attendance is not required for certification, the overwhelming majority of CFMGs (98%) opt for training through the 2-week course as the school aids tremendously in the endeavor of certification. Certification during the 2-week program is completely optional. The goal of the National Cat Groomers School is to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of cat grooming combined with the business savvy needed to grow a successful business.
You can find out more about the NCGIA by going to their website.
Both organizations offer webinars, certification programs, cat grooming schools, educational opportunties at shows and in private situations. Videos, book material and much more is offered by both groups.
Hopefully choosing the right organization for you just got a lot easier. Both groups offer a lot of information and education for their money.
If you have no training in grooming cats and yet are interested one of these groups may be just what you are searching for!