Find out about Primary Authority

*** December 2016 update***

PIF's Inspection Plan has been updated to include licensed boarding establishments i.e. kennels, catteries and home boarders. If you require a licence to operate your pet boarding business and are a PIF member, then read on to find out how Primary Authority helps you....


Support is available to help Pet Industry Federation (PIF) members gain their pet shop or animal boarding establishment licence, in as straightforward a manner as possible. PIF has a Primary Authority coordinated partnership with City of London Corporation, to support PIF retail, kennel, cattery and home boarding members across England and Wales. The Primary Authority scheme is designed to standardise licensing and ensure that businesses are not subjected to licensing officers imposing arbitrary conditions and wielding inappropriate control over their affairs.

The Primary Authority Scheme was developed by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (now Regulatory Delivery), part of the Department for Innovation, Business & Skills, to help cut red tape. Members of the Pet Industry Federation can opt in to participate in the scheme at no further cost to themselves or their business.

Certain types of pet businesses must hold a licence in order to operate and PIF members regularly turn to their association for help with licensing. Through Primary Authority, which standardises the criteria that pet businesses must adhere to in order to obtain their licence, we believe that our members will get just such help. The Federation and the City of London Corporation have jointly agreed to use the Model Licence Condition for Pet Vending 2013; the 2016 Dog Boarding conditions and the 2015 Cat Boarding guidelines, all published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, as well as an updated version of home boarding guidelines, as the basis for its Inspection Plan.

What is involved?

Pet retailer, kennel, cattery and home boarder members will be sent an email with details and a link to apply to join the scheme. Once you submit the online form and it has all been verified, it is then submitted to Regulatory Delivery for approval. The whole process can take as little as just a few days.

Once you have opted in, your local council still inspects your shop and gives you the licence. The difference is that the local authority has to follow the Inspection Plan we’ve agreed with the City of London Corporation, so the criteria used in your licence inspection will be standardised. It will also help to ensure high standards amongst our 'opted-in' member retailers as they will all be inspected according our agreed conditions. If any local authorities don't stick to the conditions, tell us and we’ll ask the City of London Corporation to give us ‘assured advice’ which you can then take to your local authority to follow. Unless there’s a very good explanation for the additional conditions, they should be dropped. By signing up, you can show your customers that you’re following high standards for animal welfare and you’ve volunteered to do this by entering this scheme.

How does the scheme work?

This scheme is open to PIF members who are licensed under the following legislation:

Pet Animal Acts 1951
Boarding Establishments Act 1963

 The Primary Authority scheme is open to any current pet retail member of the Pet Industry Federation and does not incur any additional fees for the licence. Further details will be available here shortly. Please contact the PIF customer service team on 01234 273933 for details of how to become a PIF member.


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