Detection Dog and Handler Training Courses

This qualifications has been developed by NTIDPU and Inquest Canine Detection & Security Limited to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS’s) for a Security Detection Dog Handler and the training requirements contained within BS 8517-2:2016, (in that) it is an assessment of the learners (handlers) ability to read the indications given by a dog and to meet the required performance criteria. 

Through our operational experiences within the detection dog private sector, and by taking direction and guidance from the NTIPDU, we believe our course to be amongst the most informative in the industry and is designed to contribute towards the required skill set, knowledge and understanding needed to effectively deploy a detection dog in an operational environment. Our course will include classroom and scenario based learning which will teach the students how to effectively work their canine partner in a variety of environments to include:

* Vehicle Searches * Building Searches * Open Area Searches * Residential property searches * People scanning * Workplace environments 

Awarding Body

Skills For Security – An awarding organisation approved by the Regulatory Authority OFQUAL and recognised by the SIA

Level 3 – Certificate

Course Duration

Training would be delivered over 4 weeks and would be of sufficient duration to ensure competency, having a minimum of 100 guided learning hours (GLH’s) for the handler and an extra 100 hours for the dog. 

GLH’s are recorded hours of direct training, structured learning and assessment given to an individual learner by their tutor and not the duration of a course.

Programme Structure

The programme is flexible with a mixture of theory and practical tuition and is made up of 5 units all of which are compulsory (see content).

Prior Learning

All learners should hold an appropriate S.I.A. licence (unless exempt) and should be trained and competent in a Door Supervisor role or willing to undergo additional Sia license training. If you do not hold the SIA license the badge would cost £200 which is payable directly to the SIA. An SIA license training course can be arranged through our partners at the NTIPDU with the cost of that training being payable directly to them. (THIS IS ONLY APPLICABLE IF WORKING IN THE SECURITY INDUSTRY)

The learner should be competent in the handling of a dog. The dog should possess the suitable drives required for its role and have had basic obedience training.

Learners who have proven drug detection dog handling experience as a Police or Prison Officer or a Member of HM Armed Forces within the last 5 years may apply for accreditation of prior learning (APL). A minimum of 15 GLH’s shall be required for final assessment and examination and to confirm understanding of the private security industry dog sector.


Course assessment shall be of the team and carried out by an Approved NTIPDU Instructor/Trainer; internal moderation shall be carried out by NTIPDU. External moderation shall be carried out by Skills For Security.

The mode of assessment shall be by ongoing practical assessment, by question and answer sessions by a written examination and final practical examination.

Final assessment/examination regarding the indication of target scents shall be carried out by a suitably qualified examiner (i.e. NTIPDU) that does not have an interest in the learner passing the qualification. 

As part of the assessment and training process the team will be expected to carry out up to 20 hours live unpaid operations. This is to environment train the dog and to develop the handlers skills. (these hours are a combination of Units 1, 3 and 5 and are part of the GLH NOT additional)


Certificate(s) shall be for the handler and also as a Team i.e. handler and dog


The successful learner can proceed onto a variety of dog detection work including Drug Detection, Explosive Detection or into Dog Training.


Also applicable to Pyrotechnics Detection Dog training

Unit 1 (20 GLH)

Roles and Responsibilities of a Detection Dog Handler

Underpinning Knowledge

Unit 2 (10 GLH)





Unit 3 (50 GLH)

Operational Control

Prior Assessment

Scanning for Drugs/Pyrotechnics

Indication of Dog


Unit 4 (20 GLH)

Health & Safety

Health & Safety Assessment


Load & Unload

Emergency First Aid

Unit 5 (10 GLH)


Operational Management

Storage, Use and Transportation

Progression of Training

Ntipdu Professionals as standard

Please contact us for course availability, costs and job opportunities.