Pet Sense College is primarily a correspondence/ distance learning college for education in animal care, welfare, behaviour and training which exclusively represents Compass Education and Training, in Africa. Our association ensures that our courses are of the highest standard.

Pet Sense College provides quality education to students who would like to work with animals in a professional capacity.

Pet Sense College aims to provide education which is competitive and prides itself in offering courses which are internationally recognised thanks to our partnership with Compass Education and Training UK.

People who love animals and want to work with them are often faced with the challenges of not being able to prove their skills or to build on those that they have.

It is for these people, who want to work in shelters, day care, pet sitting, vet practices or animal training, that Pet Sense College is introducing a series of diploma courses. 


Our courses are recognised by the South African Companion Animal Professionals who are the registering authority for animal training and behaviour in Southern Africa as well as recognition by the International Society for Animal Professionals and the International  Assocation of Animal Behaviour Consultants.

 Registration is open all year round. You decide when you are ready to register as all our courses are correspondence. There are no exams as you are marked on course work and module projects. You can work at your own pace, within reason. We believe there should be a limit, as the longer the gap between modules the more you need to reacquaint yourself with previous work.

Our payment options are flexible. You can either pay for the whole course or pay per module. SHOULD YOU WISH TO PAY FOR YOUR COURSE IN INSTALLMENTS, YOU CAN CONTACT ENQUIRIES@PETSENSECOLLEGE.CO.ZA For more terms and conditions, have a look at our FAQ page and refund policy.

 We accept payment from our website using PayFast or else you can download the Registration document from the website and email it to us.

meet the tutors

Angela Willerton

Angela is a qualified adult education teacher. She has studied and taught animal behaviour, welfare and handling for several years at Grimsby College and has a National Diploma in Animal Management as well as having completed a number of Open University courses in Ecology and Conservation. She has a passion for animal welfare and has been a tutor at Compass for over 20 years…

She has kept a range of different species over the years including cats, dogs, small mammals and fish. She currently has two dogs.

Joanne Martin

Joanne has a BSc (hons) Natural Sciences (including oceanography, evolution and environmental studies), an MSc Biology (brain and behaviour) and Medicinal Chemistry and an MEd. She also tutors for the Open University.

She spent some time as a Veterinary Nurse and has a particular interest in horses, cats and dogs.

Celia Forsyth

Celia Forsyth started Pet Sense College back in 2015 to offer education to passionate people who want to start careers in the pet care industry.  She completed various canine and business courses including two Advanced Diplomas in Applied Animal Behaviour. She has been training dogs since 2011 and is passionate about the ethical treatment of all pets in our care…

trainer with SABCAP and runs a successful dog school in Linksfield, Johannesburg.
She is a regular columnist for Canine Zone and has written articles for various magazines and newspapers and has done many talks on dog behaviour to professionals and dog owners. She works with Top Dogs Therapy Dogs as the assessor for dog owners who want their dogs to work as therapy dogs. She tutors some of the canine courses and facilitates the Canine Behaviour and Training Instructor’s Diploma.

Foundations of Canine Behaviour Management and is currently completing her Advanced Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour.

For the past 3 years she has worked as a Certified Small Animal Hydrotherapist and is part of the Dogs at Home Training Team based in Cape Town. She facilitates the Canine Behaviour Instructor’s Diploma in Cape Town.

way to improve the life of pet dogs is to help owners humanely educate their dogs by establishing a positive and caring relationship between them and their humans. To this end Louise established her own dog training school in the Natal town of Kloof in 2006 where she holds classes for pet owners as well consulting privately to help with behavioural problems. She has also held a number of Gundog Workshops in the Cape.

Casey Ward

Casey has been training dogs since 2010 and is very passionate about using the latest techniques and positive reinforcement.

After completing her Honours Degree in Biological Sciences she chose to follow her passion of working with dogs by helping owners with behaviour problems. She has completed her Diploma in the…

Foundations of Canine Behaviour Management and is currently completing her Advanced Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour.

For the past 3 years she has worked as a Certified Small Animal Hydrotherapist and is part of the Dogs at Home Training Team based in Cape Town. She facilitates the Canine Behaviour Instructor’s Diploma in Cape Town.

Louise Welsford

Louise is an accredited Super Pup and Super Teen trainer and has successfully completed the Basic Behaviour Course with Ethology Academy. She has trained her own Labrador Retrievers for Field Trials and Retriever Working Tests since 2001 and is a Field Trial A Panel Judge.

She is an advocate of force-free training methods and believes that the…

way to improve the life of pet dogs is to help owners humanely educate their dogs by establishing a positive and caring relationship between them and their humans. To this end Louise established her own dog training school in the Natal town of Kloof in 2006 where she holds classes for pet owners as well consulting privately to help with behavioural problems. She has also held a number of Gundog Workshops in the Cape.

Charmaine du Toit

Animal Professional titles:  Dog Trainer and Behaviour Consultant.

“Official” day job –  Advocate and Legal Advisor specialising in Insurance and mediation.

Location of practice: Edenvale/ Modderfontein, Gauteng…


I realized  in 2011 that working with companion dogs and their guardians  had to be a part of my  life and completed various courses including the The Ethology Academy of SA.  I co- founded the educational website www.friendsofthedog.co.za  with my mentor, Scotty Valadao and am currently busy with my Diploma in Animal Behaviour through COAPE International.  I am a part owner of Mutt-Club Doggy Daycare and Owner and Instructor of Mutt Manners Puppy and Dog School,  as well as a  member of the Pet Professional Guild. I am qualified to teach and assess for the Pet Dog Ambassador Programme which is similar to Canine Good Citizen, but run under the auspices of the PPG. I have recently been elected to chair the committee of the South African Board of Companion Animals(SABCAP) and I am excited to try and make a  positive difference through this organisaton.

My vision is to share education and knowledge about animal behaviour and facilitate healthy and strong bonds between companion animals and their guardians as well as between pet professionals’  believe in working with animals (even  and perhaps especially humans)  without the use of force, fear, or pain.

I have also come to realise that to achieve this it is necessary to collaborate with  like minded professionals to create a community where it is safe to connect, share experiences and knowledge, be accountable and raise the bar in respect of the quality of services rendered to the public.

Pets and other hobbies: I am owned by a Beagle and a Basset, Wilson and Shelby respectively who keep me humble in all things dog and who have ears purely for ornamental and therapeutic purposes. Nothing relaxes me more than stroking those long silky ears.

My ‘spirit’ animal  is definitely a grizzly bear. I love the idea of hibernating through winters.

I am looking forward to embarking on what promises to be an exciting and educational journey with Petsense and sharing my knowledge and learning from both students and faculty.



We at Compass/ Pet Sense College are constantly asked about recognition and accreditation of our courses.

We have worked hard at establishing a quality service delivering quality courses in a way that satisfies the rigorous standards applied by a number of independent bodies. These independent bodies range from the professional to the academic and many are under the control of government departments and offices.

We believe that our list of organisations that approve or recognise Compass and its courses is unrivalled in the private provision of animal related courses.

ICOES Full Accreditation Status

Full Accreditation status has been awarded to Pet Sense College by the International Council for Online Educational Standards.  Our courses and procedures were strictly evaluated and we meet with their stringent standards ensuring our students get a great learning experience coupled with a high standard of education.  As an added bonus, all our students may request the internationally accredited certificate.  Cert No: ICOES/00763/24/92

South African Board of Companion Animal Professionals

South African Board for Companion Animal Professionals or SABCAP is a constituted body/statutory board, whose members act in a coordinated way, serving the non-clinical companion animal industry needs. SABCAP is directed to the group of professionals who operate in sectors which offer and render services regarding companion animals, in five categories, namely Companion Animal Behaviourists, Companion Animal Welfarists, Animal-assisted Activity Practitioners, Companion Animal Groomers and Companion Animal trainers.

Our members fulfill a specified minimum membership criteria and are obligated to abide by a code of ethics. We strive to protect the interests of pet owners and their pets as well as our members.

We are continuing to work hard at improving and keeping our courses relevant. We recently gained approval to become members of the international association of CPD. CPD enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive. CPD is the holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers. CPD combines different methodologies to learning, such as training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development.


As a result of our mutually compatible interests in promoting highly qualified, ethical animal behaviour advisors, Compass and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants are pleased to announce…

the approval of continuing education units now being awarded for select Compass courses and classes. The IAABC is a professional association for the field of animal behaviour consulting. The association represents the professional interests of behaviour consultants throughout the world. It is involved with the problems, needs and changing patterns of animal-owner relationships, and helps to ensure that trained practitioners meet the public’s needs.

The association’s members meet standards for education and training and are held to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Certified members qualify in one or more species-specific divisions, working with dogs, cats, horses, and/or parrots. Associate members are consultants in practice, on the path to Certified membership. www.iaabc.org


As a result of our mutually compatible interests in promoting highly qualified (practically and academically), professional and ethical canine behaviour advisors…

Compass is pleased to announce a formal association with the TCBTS (formerly UKRCB). The TCBTS (formerly UKRCB), founded in 1992 is a professional body of canine behaviour therapists with members practising throughout Great Britain and a selected number of international members. It comprises a nationwide network of canine behaviour advisors who offer a comprehensive referral service to veterinary surgeons and their clients for owners of dogs with behaviour problems.

The TCBTS (formerly UKRCB), recommended by the Dogs Trust (formerly the National Canine Defence League) has a real commitment to education and promoting responsible dog ownership.

Membership is open to practising canine behaviour advisors who meet the criteria and high standards set by the UKRCB. For further information please apply in writing to: Patricia White, Secretary UKRCB, 53A Oxford Gardens, London W10 5UJ; email patw@rcwlitagency.co.uk ; web: www.UKRCB.co.uk


ISAP (www.is-ap.org) is a professional community of people working with animals around the world with a common interest of sharing knowledge and experiences. They also accredit all Compass courses and are able…

 to award appropriate Certificates and Diplomas to those registered as Student Members. Many Compass courses qualify students to apply for Associate or Full membership on successful completion of their studies.


The EADL is the European association of schools, institutions and individuals working in correspondence and distance education. With members from over 20 European countries, the Association is a representative…

forum for the exchange of information and ideas on current practice and developments in the expanding field of distance learning. Nearly all member states of the European Community are represented in the EADL. But the EADL has also members in Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. With 5,000 different courses the members of the EADL work with more than 2,5 million students all over Europe. www.eadl.org


The National Search and Rescue Dog Association is the organisation that provides a point of contact for all the regional SARDAs around the country.

Compass is operating in partnership with and supports the work of NSARDA, it runs a specially developed diploma course for SAR dog handlers and heavily subsidises the students.


NCFE is a national Awarding Organisation, passionate about designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards. These qualifications contribute to the success of…

millions of learners at all levels, bringing them closer to fulfilling their personal goals.

Last year alone, over 340,000 learners from over 2,000 colleges, schools and training organisations chose NCFE as the Awarding Organisation to help them move their careers forward.

Apart from an extensive list of benefits to individuals we feel that it is an honour to have been allowed such an arrangement which permits us to promote and support the conservation and research work that is carried out by such an esteemed organisation.


We are pleased to announce that the ZSL will accept Compass students’ applications for Student Fellowship of their organisation (application forms are sent out as part of the registration process). 


The Institute for Animal Care Education exists to promote education within the animal care industry. It was founded in 1996 and promotes a range of courses for the industry.

Working closely with key partners, we seek to enhance the skills and employability of individuals and the competitiveness of companies, by encouraging disadvantaged and disaffected people back into learning to improve their personal and work-related skills and by helping small businesses to access training and development opportunities for their staff.

ILA Scotland is a Scottish Executive scheme which helps you pay for learning that you can do at a time, place, pace and in a way to suit you. Compass has been approved to accept ILAs in payment for its courses.

equality policies and practises in place. The Equality Register is managed on behalf of the Association of Equality Scheme Providers (AESP) and are able to verify and update an organisation’s equality status on The Equality Register and are able to issue Accreditation and Certificates which confirm and that an organisation’s policies and practices meet the AESP National Equality Framework (NEF) standard requirements.

The Institute fulfils the requirement for a body within the animal care sector which is focussed on the education and welfare needs of the industry. The executive council also agrees the appointment of a panel whose role is to agree codes of practice and standards within organisations delivering courses as well as appointing external verifiers to ensure that those animal welfare and educational standards are maintained. All courses recognised by the Institute that are outside the National Framework (privately provided) are certificated by them.

All Compass Education Ltd courses are written by industry experts and provided exclusively in the UK by Compass, they are not available anywhere else. Courses are unique to Compass and accredited by Ofqual regulated Awarding Bodies and/or Industry Professional Bodies as indicated in each course description. In common with the overwhelming majority of private educational provision in this sector they do not appear on the QCF or SCQF.

We are proud to announce our confirmed membership with the Pet Professional Guild as Diplomat Partners. With so much outdated information out there about how to train and care for animals, it is key that education centres are up-to-date with the latest science and advocate for the best treatment of pets.  We are excited about our collaboration with such a prestigious organisation.