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Key Industry Organization Definitions

a)      Professional/Trade/Industry Associations

An industry association is also referred to as a trade association. The association is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association conducts business activities to promote and lobby for the collective interests of the association members. Business activities such as education, advertising, lobbying are all designed to build collaboration between the membership and to promote their business well-being in their individual and macro operating environments. Most associations are non-profit, governed by bylaws and directed by officers.

b)     Educational Organization 

Educational organizations have multiple goals dependent on their infrastructure. The PIAI considers Educational Organizations to refer to any educational business that provides Pet Industry professionals and students pursuing pet industry careers access to programs of study ranging from diplomas to certificates to webinars granting continued education units.  Programs can be short or long in length and delivered via in person activities or virtually. 

c)      Credentialing Organization

A credentialing organization is an independent body of recognized experts responsible for the assessment of a candidate’s competency to perform a specific role and job function. The credentialing organization will independently assess a professional’s competence through a set of eligibility requirements such as individual conduct, ethics and background experience.  Academic knowledge is tested through an independent proctored examination. In job functions where the delivery of mechanical skills is necessary then the credentialing body will assess skill delivery and teaching competency based on the output of a structured Job Task Analysis study.

d)     Industry Licensing

Licensing is a form of professional regulation.  Many industries, medicine for example, grant licenses for qualified practitioners to ensure the health and/or safety of the general public and to reduce any threat due to incompetence. It allows disciplinary action to be taken when standards are breached.

Licensure is considered like professional certification; however, certification is an employment qualification and not a legal requirement for practicing a profession.

Licensure means a restricted practice or a restriction on the use of an occupational title, requiring a license. A license created under a "title act" restricts the use of a given occupational title to licensees, but anyone can perform the activity itself under a less restricted title. For example, in Oregon, anyone can practice counseling, but only licensees can call themselves "Licensed Professional Counselors

e)     Non-Profit

A nonprofit organization also known as a not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit.  A nonprofit is subject to the non-distribution constraint which means any revenues that exceed expenses must be committed to the organization's purpose, not taken by private parties.

f)       For-Profit

In contrast to a nonprofit organization a profit organization operates as a business aiming to generate a profit for its owners. Each of the business activities is designed to drive revenue with as few expenses as possible to maximize the owners’ profits.

About the coalition

The Pet Industry Advocacy International (PIAI) believes there is a need for a high level of oversight in the pet industry across all professional disciplines. Licensing has been a proposed option, but licensing without a strong underlying ethical code of conduct and a minimum standard for knowledge and skills of service providers does not provide the protection and level of service needed by pet owners and their pets


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