PGC Basics

Establishing a credential program strengthens the reputation of a profession. While a credential program isn’t an endorsement of an individual, it tells anyone who is considering hiring a professional that this person has sought out a credential 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.

The PGC Exam is the nation’s first, third party proctored, 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 with a sweeping industry job task analysis, psychometric expert led exam development, and standard setting methodologies to complement and support other grooming certifications. Visit PTC, our testing partner for more information regarding the development process of a professional credentialing exam.

The WPA brought together a task force including groomers from all disciplines and experience levels, veterinarians and pet industry professionals, to develop the PGC Standards of Practice and Knowledge. WPA is the exam sponsor and PTC is the testing partner ensuring the program's integrity, managing the processes and administration of the exam.

Exam Basics
  • Consultation/Check-in Procedures Prior to Service - 15%
  • Bathing - 17%
  • Drying - 17%
  • Finish Grooming - 17%
  • Client Communications Post-Service - 16%
  • Facility/Personnel Issues - 16%
  • 120 multiple choice questions
  • Proctored, timed session (three hour limit)

There are two 50-question PGC practice exams available:

1. The Official PTC $75 two hour PGC Practice exam scores by testing area. Register at Professional Testing Corporation.

2. Once published, the WPA PGC Sample test will be free of charge* for WPA Members on the Paragon Grooming School site.

*One free test per Membership

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.

Spring Testing Period

  • Applications Accepted: January 1-31
  • Spring Testing Period: April 1-30

Fall Testing Period

  • Applications Accepted: August 1-31
  • Fall Testing Period: October 1-31

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 PTC website 

Coming in Spring of 2022, Live Remote Proctoring will be available for you to take the exam from the comfort of your own home!

WPA and PTC support and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). PTC will take steps reasonably necessary to make the PGC Exam accessible to persons with disabilities covered under the ADA. According to the ADA a person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that greatly limits major life activities (like seeing, hearing, learning, reading, concentrating, walking) or a major bodily function (like neurological, endocrine, or digestive system). The information you provide and any documentation regarding your disability and test accommodations will be kept private.

All approved test accommodations must keep the psychometric nature and security of the Exam. Accommodations that change the nature or security of the exam will not be granted.

Test accommodations may be made by submitting a completed and signed Request for Test Accommodations Form. The form may be found HERE or by calling PTC at (212) 356-0660.

This Form must be uploaded with the online application no later than 8 weeks before your testing period. Candidates who do not submit the form with their application are not guaranteed accommodations for that testing window. Those candidates may need to transfer to a new testing period following the transfer policies described on page 9 of the PGC Candidate Handbook.

Candidates who need accommodations must submit the official request form. Letters from doctors and other healthcare professionals will not be accepted without the Form. All requests must be made at the time of application. Accommodations cannot be added to an existing exam appointment.

PTC is the third party administering organization for the PGC exam. They will ensure that pass/fail decisions are based on sound psychometric theory.

Maintaining your Credential

Your credential is valid for three years from the date of your successful PGC Exam. You can then renew your credential one of two ways:

  • Earn 45 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) during that three year period
  • Re-take the PGC exam to recredential for only $100
You can apply for recredentialing up to 30 days past your deadline. A late fee of $100 (in addition to the $100 recredentialing 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.

One of the program requirements and objectives of the PGC is for professional groomers to stay current on new skills and knowledge objectives. CEU's must be earned during the current credential only and will not carry-over.