Establishing a credentialing program strengthens the reputation of a profession. While a credentialing program isn’t an endorsement of an individual, it tells anyone who is considering hiring a professional that this person has sought out a credentialing program and has passed the credential’s requirements. From evaluating Standards of Care and Knowledge to measuring skill competencies, the PGC mark will recognize pet groomers who demonstrate standardized best practice knowledge in every facet of their career.

No. The credentialing process is a standardized program specifically designed for fair treatment of all candidates. The only way to ensure the integrity of this standardized process is to require that all candidates are assessed equally.

No. The PGC Exam is the nation’s first standardized exam which measures groomers for core competency, safety, best practices, and knowledge as it relates to the working pet groomer. The PGC was developed to be a valid and legally defensible professional credentialing exam- compete with a sweeping industry job task analysis, psychometric expert led exam development, and standard setting methodologies to ensure appropriate passing scores.
Visit our testing partner here for more information regarding the development process of a professional credentialing exam.

WPA worked within the Grooming Industry bringing together a collective task force to develop a body of knowledge that will assist all pet owners in experiencing professional, complete and safe grooming services when provided by a PGC Groomer. Groomers from all disciplines and experience levels- both corporate and private, from cat to dog, mobile to salon to housecall- worked together to develop the Standards of Practice and Knowledge which determine the content of the examination. In addition, veterinarians and pet industry professionals were also offered a voice in the development of the program to ensure that it met the needs of the pet, pet owner, and working pet professional at every turn. WPA is the exam sponsor and PTC is the testing partner who works closely with the PGC Task Force in development and successful administration of the exam.

The knowledge assessed will test the foundational skills and knowledge a professional pet groomer must have. The exam questions have been validated to ensure they accurately represent the professional groomer’s body of knowledge, are free from bias, and conform to established psychometric standards.

The exam questions were created by a pet grooming industry task force which represents all facets of the pet grooming experience. The questions are multiple choice- the most frequently used format in examinations that validate a candidate’s competence to perform the work of a profession.


The development of a valid and legally defensible credentialing exam begins with a properly documented, accurate delineation of the competencies and body of knowledge essential to competent practice. The job task analysis conducted for the PGC exam provides this foundation.

The exam is divided into domains (areas). Each domain for this knowledge assessed credential represents universally accepted tasks which every professional pet groomer must complete within the practice of pet grooming. Knowledge areas assessed are the Health and Well-being of the Pet, Technical Skills, Safety, and Business Practices of the Professional Pet Groomer.

For complete test content outlines, download the PGC Candidate Handbook.

Yes. We have created several 50-question practice exams for the PGC Exam. The official practice exam will give you a score by testing area. This is a chance to take a computerized exam; experience sample content; and learn more about the question format, style, and level of difficulty. You have 2 hours to complete the 50 questions and there is a fee for the practice exam for non-members. Members of WPA may take a sample test free of charge. Once published, you may register to take the practice exam by visiting Professional Testing Corporation (
Note: The successful completion of the practice exam is not required to sit for the PGC exam, nor does it guarantee a passing score on the exam.

The PGC Exam is offered twice a year. The PGC Knowledge and Skill assessed exam is offered at computerized testing locations nation wide as well as internationally. For more information, please see the PGC Candidate Handbooks. There will be 2 exam opportunities in 2021- July and October.
Under certain conditions, we can arrange testing at other facilities and the setup of new test sites. We also allow exceptions/modifications for anyone with demonstrated need. For details, please see the PGC Candidate Handbook.
PTC is the administering organization for the PGC exam. They will ensure that pass/fail decisions are based on sound psychometric theory. After examinations are administered, PTC provides extensive psychometric analyses, scoring, and reporting services. Item analysis, reliability studies, and summary statistics based on the performance as a whole are produced to ensure quality. Data are carefully reviewed and compared with exam objectives as well as historic data from previously administered exams.

No. One of the program requirements and objectives of the PGC is for professional groomers to stay current on new skills and knowledge objectives.

You can renew your credential one of two methods- you can earn Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) or re-take the exam. Your credential will be valid for 3 years from the date of your exam.
You can apply for recertification up to 30 days past your deadline. A late fee of $100 (in addition to the $100 recertification fee) applies. Any later than that, though, and you have to reapply for credentialing through the same process as when you originally became a PGC.

Groomer FAQ's

You can find all examination information, including a complete content outline and sample questions, in the PGC Handbook, but here’s a brief overview:

Format: Multiple-choice exam.

Length: approximately 100 questions.

When: At an appointment you schedule during a 2-week testing period during the exam windows.

Where: Computer-based testing facilities throughout the U.S.

Who: The exam is administered by an independent professional testing company.

What will I be tested on?

Each domain below will be weighted and scored based on science-based exam principles and are legally defensible as well as constructed to ensure that the candidate has a comprehensive knowledge of the areas being examined. Exams are constructed by selecting items/questions from the secure bank, sampling the content specified in the content outline and balancing the number of items in each area to provide the weighting specified in the role delineation study. Factors such as the frequency with which the items have been used, item performance statistics, and number of new items are considered. Each examination is reviewed and undergoes further editing, revision, and evaluation before being finalized and prepared for administration.

  • Consultation/Check-in Procedures Prior to Service - 15%
  • Bathing - 17%
  • Drying - 17%
  • Finish Grooming - 17%
  • Client Communications Post-Service - 16%
  • Facility/Personnel Issues - 16%

For details on each examination domain, download the PGC Candidate Handbook.

Practice Test

Are you out of practice on taking multiple-choice exams? Then we have a solution for you! We offer two online practice tests for anyone considering sitting for the PGC Credentialing exam.

Each 50-question practice test will give you a taste of the PGC exam. It’s a chance to take a computerized exam; experience the content; and learn more about the exam question format, style, and level of difficulty. You have 2 hours to complete the 50 questions and will be scored by testing area. 

There is an official PGC Practice Exam available for purchase as well as a WPA Sample Test.  The WPA Sample Test is free for WPA Grooming Members. Consider taking one when you apply for the certification exam and the other close to your exam date. Be sure to note in your files which form you have purchased so you do not purchase the same version twice.

The instant score report after practice test submission shows test performance in each of the content areas. The score report does not provide correct answers or indicate which questions were answered correctly and incorrectly. Once the practice test is scored, you cannot return to the test to review the questions.