East Northamptonshire Council Officer is the First Inspector in England to Receive Leading Qualification

Licensing Compliance Officer at East Northamptonshire Council, Emma Matthews, has been awarded the animal establishment inspector training certificate by the Pet Industry Federation (PIF).

Emma Matthews

Emma Matthews

Building on the knowledge and training Emma obtained after successfully passing her initial exam with 93% she completed a five day course at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre in March 2019 this year and the supporting assessments, Emma received the accreditation in September the same year.


The new Licensing of Activities Involving Animals regulations (AAL), which came into force on 1 October 2018, requires those carrying out inspections to be appropriately trained.


Emma joined the enforcement team in April 2018 and became the first officer to obtain this qualification. Until October 2021, officers with more than 12 months experience of inspecting animal premises can continue effectively with Grandfather Rights.


On passing her course, Emma commented: “I have loved every minute of this training – the five days at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre gave me a wealth of knowledge, and I have learnt so much through my own personal development, and considered things in my animal licensing work that I hadn’t considered before.


“The more licensing officers who achieve the certificate can only be positive as it directly benefits the standardisation of the regulations across the country, thereby instilling more confidence in licensed businesses.”


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North added: “Following the changes in legislation in October 2018, it is important that East Northamptonshire Council ensures we continue to upskill our officers so that they hold the relevant qualifications.


“Emma worked really hard to achieve this qualification and we are all proud of her for being the first inspector in the country to be awarded the certificate.”


Further details about the Professional Programme in Inspecting Licensable Activities Involving Animals course and qualification, including course dates and registration, can be found in the Education section of the Pet Industry Federation website:; by calling 01234 273933, or emailing



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