NASDU Level 2 Award for a General Purpose Security/Tracking Dog




The nationally recognised Level 2 Award for a General Purpose/Tracking Dog Handler aims to provide the learner with the basic skills, knowledge and understanding required to ensure the provision of a professional level of service as a GP/Tracking Dog Team.

This qualification has been developed by NASDU to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS’s) for a Security Dog Handler and the training requirements contained within BS 8517-1:2016, (in that) it is an assessment of the learners (handlers) ability to read the indications given by a dog and to meet the required performance criteria.

For Whom Suitable

This programme meets the requirements of those learners who have experience as General Purpose Security Dog Handlers or Detection Dog Handlers and wish to become GP/Tracking Dog Handlers. It would also be suitable for members of HM Armed Forces, Police, Prison Service or Customs Officers who wish to take on a GP/Tracking Dog Handler role in the private security industry.

Awarding Body

The NASDU Level 2 Award for a Tracking Dog Handler is endorsed by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) who are a recognised and regulated awarding organisation with OFQUAL, SQA and the SIA.


Level 2 Award

Course Duration

Training would be delivered over a number of weeks and would be of sufficient duration to ensure competency, having a minimum of 120 guided learning hours (GLH’s).

GLH’s are recorded hours of direct training, structured learning and assessment given to an individual learner by their tutor and not the duration of a course.

Programme Structure

The programme is flexible with a mixture of theory and practical tuition and is made up of 5 Units (3 Core Units plus 2 Pathway Unit) all of which are compulsory (see content).

Prior Learning

All learners should hold an appropriate SIA licence (unless exempt).

The learner should be competent in the handling of a dog. The dog should possess the suitable drives required for its role and have had basic obedience training.

Learners who have proven Detection Dog Handling experience as a Police or Prison Officer or a Member of HM Armed Forces within the last 5 years may apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). A minimum of 15 GLH’s shall be required for final assessment and examination and to confirm understanding of the private security industry dog sector.

It is strongly recommended that learners and their dog are assessed prior to commencement of training by a NASDU Approved Instructor/Trainer for which additional GLH’s may be identified as well as RPL acknowledged.


Course assessment shall be carried out by an Approved NASDU Instructor/Trainer, the mode of assessment shall be by practical on-going assessment by question and answer sessions and by written examination(s).

Final assessment/examination regarding the safe systematic search and the positive indication of target scents shall be carried out by a suitably qualified (i.e. ACPO/DAC) external examiner who does not have an interest in the learner achieving.

Quality Assurance

Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) shall be carried out by NASDU, with external endorsement of the learning provision and External Quality Support (EQS) carried out by HABC.


The successful learner can proceed onto a variety of dog detection work including Drug Detection, Explosive Detection or Dog Training.


NASDU L2 Award shall be for the handler (lifetime achievement)
NASDU Certificate shall also be issued as a Team i.e. Handler & Dog (12 month expiry)


Unit 1 Roles and Responsibilities of a Security Dog Handler

  • Underpinning Knowledge
  • Selection

Unit 2 Control of a Security Dog

  • Basic Control
  • Emergency Stop & Recall
  • Speak on Command
  • Steadiness to Noise

Unit 3 Control of a General Purpose Security Dog

  • Patrol – Internal/External
  • Handler Protection – Weapon Attack/Arrest
  • Search – Property/Persons
  • Entry Control

Unit 4 Health, Well-being & Safety of a Security Dog

  • Health & Safety Assessment
  • Grooming
  • Transportation
  • Canine First Aid

Unit 5 Management of a GP/Tracking Dog

  • Prior Deployment
  • Tracking
  • Safe Systematic Track
Course Fees, Location & Dates

Please contact NASDU Head Office for a list of Approved Instructors/Trainers authorised to deliver this specific qualification.

Get in touch

Tel 01483 224 320 (Option 1)