The Kennel Club will inspect all its assured breeders in its capacity as a UK Accreditation Service accredited certification body to ensure the scheme is recognised as “the essential quality seal” for puppy breeding and buying.

The change will result in UKAS-accredited certification being given to all breeders who have passed an assessment since January 1 2014, and will be backdated for breeders who successfully passed an inspection in 2013.

Inspections will now be carried out for all new joiners, prior to their acceptance on the scheme, and every member will be inspected every three years or prior to each litter bred. The programme is “essential” to the club’s role as an accredited certification body, which was granted in April 2013.

Formerly, inspections were carried out on a risk assessed basis and normally only members who bred more than two litters in a year were inspected. Random inspections and checks in response to complaints will continue, said the club. It now has fifteen standards assessors, two of which are full time, and further recruitment will take place.

The Kennel Club chairman Steve Dean said the scheme is unique and those who are part of it are “leading a quiet revolution in the way puppies are bred and sold”.

“There is no other dog breeding scheme in the country whose members are inspected and there are no other breeders in the country who are certified by a UKAS accredited body,” he said. “This gives puppy buyers absolute assurance about the credentials of the breeders on the scheme and the strength of our inspection process.

“Before the scheme, it was difficult for puppy buyers to differentiate the good breeders from the rogue breeders, but the message is now clear. If you want to buy a puppy that has been given the best possible start in life, go to a Kennel Club assured breeder.”

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