NASDU Level 3 Certificate for a General Purpose Security Dog




The nationally recognized Level 3 Certificate for a General Purpose Security Dog Handler aims to provide the additional skills, knowledge and understanding required to ensure the provision of a higher level of professional service as a Security Dog Handler.

This qualification has been developed by NASDU to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Security Dog Handling and the training requirements contained within BS 8517-1:2016.

For whom suitable

Experienced General Purpose Security Dog Handlers who wish to advance their existing skills and to meet the requirements of the BS 8517-1: 2009 which recommends Security Dog Handlers undertake continuation training. It would also be suitable for members of HM Armed Forces, Police or Prison Service who wish to take on a General Purpose Security Dog Handler role.

Awarding Body

HABC – The NASDU Level 3 Certificate for a General Purpose Security 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 3 – Certificate

Course Duration

An approved NASDU Instructor/Trainer shall assess learners existing ability and advise on the number of hours required to achieve the qualification, which shall be a minimum of 150 guided learning hours (minimum of 50 GLH’s at Level 2 plus 100 GLH’s at Level 3).

Training would be delivered over a number of weeks and would be of sufficient duration to ensure competency, having a minimum of 150 guided learning hours (GLH).

GLH’s are recorded hours of direct training, structured learning and assessment given to an individual 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 10 Units all of which are compulsory (3 Core Units plus additional units – see content).

Prior Learning

All learners shall have achieved the Level 2 Award for a General Purpose Security Dog Handler having completed a minimum of 60 guided learning hours.

The learner should be competent in the handling of a dog; it is strongly recommended that learners (and their dogs) are assessed prior to commencement of training by a NASDU Approved Instructor/Trainer for which any additional GLH’s may be identified.

The dog should be of an acceptable breed and above 12 months old, possess the suitable drives required for its role and have had basic obedience training.


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 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 Security Dog Training. The qualification can also provide underpinning knowledge to assist learners to progress to higher qualifications


• Endorsement certificate from HABC shall be for the Handler (lifetime achievement)
• NASDU certificate shall also be as a Team i.e. Handler & Dog (12 month expiry)


For Units 1-4 please see Level 2 Fact Sheet for a General Purpose Security Dog Handler

Unit 5 Advanced Control

  • Distance Control
  • Send Away
  • Send Away and Re-direction
  • Emergency Stop and Recall
  • Steadiness to Noise

Unit 6 Protection Work

  • Chase and Detain
  • Public Order/Crowd Control
  • Conflict Management

Unit 7 Tracking & Search

  • External Tracking
  • Building Search

Unit 8 Agility

  • 3’ Obstacle
  • 6’ Scale or A Frame
  • 7’ Long Jump
  • Retrieve

Unit 9 Welfare

  • Canine First Aid
  • Kennel Management

Unit 10 Management

  • Operational
  • Progression Training
Course Fees, Location & Dates

Please contact NASDU Head Office for list of Approved NASDU Trainers


Applying for Individual Membership during training attracts a discount.

Get in touch

Tel 01483 224 320 (Option 1)