Code of Practice

ACAT Code of Practice constitutes terms and conditions of membership


ACAT members must explain that no treatment will be carried out without gaining prior veterinary approval, the evidence of which must be kept with all treatment records.


Members must never make a diagnosis unless qualified to do so, nor contradict any diagnostic opinion given by a veterinary surgeon.

3. Members will strictly uphold their professional conduct and not seek to attract another professional’s referral to be their own client/patient unless instructed by said client or veterinary referral.  In this instance the original professional must be informed.
4. Members must maintain an awareness of notifiable diseases and  current legislation procedures as stated by DEFRA, and inform DEFRA using the correct channels.
5. The nature and content of the treatment, time and frequency of visits and any costs involved must be fully explained to the client before treatment commences.
6. Members must conduct their practices with the utmost professionalism, paying attention to the health, safety and welfare of both their client and patient at all times.
7. Members must never undertake treatments beyond their professional training, and must be covered by relevant malpractice and public liability insurance, details of which must be updated on their profile on the ACAT website.
8. A risk assessment of the treatment area must be carried out on each visit. Any potential hazards must first be removed before treatment commences.

Hygienic practices must be observed before and after handling animals.


Members must make sure contra actions to the animal treatment are fully explained with appropriate aftercare advice, including referrals to other professionals.


Members will conduct a full consultation prior to commencing any treatment and maintain accurate records detailing each visit; treatment and aftercare advice given, in accordance with current Data Protection Legislation. This information will be kept in a secure place and remain confidential apart from consultation reports to the referring veterinary surgeon.  No other party will have any access to this information unless with the client’s prior consent or where required to do so by a Court of Law; by ACAT disciplinary committee; or if the duty presents to report abuse as laid out by current Animal Welfare Legislation.


Members who provide any voluntary treatments free of charge must be aware that they are still required to operate within the ACAT ’s Code of Ethics and Practice.


Members must make sure the client understands that a responsible person will be required to stay to assist the member with the patient throughout the treatment session and that a method of restraint will be provided by the client.

14. Members must pay due regard to Health and Safety at all times and never place themselves in a compromised position during a treatment. ACAT members cannot be held responsible for any accident or injury howsoever caused, to either animal or owner whilst undergoing animal massage treatment. ACAT does not take any responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained by its members whilst they are conducting animal treatments.

Members may advertise a practice or service, but must exercise care that nothing is said or implied that would discredit animal therapists or other healthcare professionals.


Members may add the letters ACAT after their name followed by the division/s to which they belong (Equine, Canine).


Members must exercise care when making public statements and should not present any information that purports to represent the views of the ACAT without obtaining prior written consent. The ACAT reserves the right to examine any material before giving such consent.

18. Members are obliged to undertake to continue their professional development (CPD) on a regular basis. This should include on-going training, keeping up to date with current legislation, research and development. Details of CPD must be updated on their profile on the ACAT website.

Members are required to notify the ACAT and their insurer immediately if they suspect or receive any complaints or criminal convictions against them in the pursuance of their practice.

20. The Disciplinary Committee for the Association of Complementary Animal Therapies will be convened to investigate complaints.

The Disciplinary Committee shall be aware that it has a duty to sit in a judicial capacity to decide cases in which it is alleged that a member has been guilty of unprofessional conduct.


The Disciplinary Committee will determine the competence or suitability of the member to continue to practice. The member’s name may be removed from the ACAT register if the Committee considers he/she unfit to remain in registration. They will not be allowed to use the initials ACAT and will be discharged from the ACAT website.