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  #21  
Old 31.07.2014, 17:37
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

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I have just received a notice today from the authorities saying similar. I have contacted the company but I am insisting on a refund. This is completely false advertising on their part and this company should be avoided.
I've written a review pointing out the course is useless for certification. I doubt though it'll get out of moderation, but we'll see.
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  #22  
Old 31.07.2014, 17:59
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

Perhaps we need the info from the BLV highlighting the issue with unacceptable online courses to be made into a sticky?
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  #23  
Old 31.07.2014, 18:07
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

That may certainly help Meloncollie. If you can think of any way to persuade BLV to make one of the Swiss language pages into English for their website that would help too. That warning is only available in German, French and Italian.
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Old 01.08.2014, 10:03
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

Personally I see two sides to this. As my German is very limited, an online English course makes complete sense and we, as a community of English speaking dog lovers should be getting behind and supporting someone who has gone out of their way to make provision for us to obtain the necessary paperwork to dog owning.

That said, the course should be up to a recognized standard and also be recognized by the BLV.

It is absolutely non-sensical and defeats the whole object of educating dog owners, if they cannot understand the language. They will not get the information needed. Even for me, as someone who worked with dogs in the UK and has had dogs for most of my life, well even I learned a lot, things that are not poisonous in the UK for dogs, that are here was so beneficial and I would not have wanted to miss out on this. So I feel as a community we should get behind such courses.

That people are now being sent back their certificates and told to re-pay is unfair to them and as things stand, they should be offered alternatives, at no extra cost to themselves, to get the SKN certificate.

I am not in any way affiliated to the online hund course, I just feel we should help them get what they need so they can offer courses to English speakers and not want to shut them down completely.

Gal x
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Old 01.08.2014, 12:30
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

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Personally I see two sides to this. As my German is very limited, an online English course makes complete sense and we, as a community of English speaking dog lovers should be getting behind and supporting someone who has gone out of their way to make provision for us to obtain the necessary paperwork to dog owning.

That said, the course should be up to a recognized standard and also be recognized by the BLV.

It is absolutely non-sensical and defeats the whole object of educating dog owners, if they cannot understand the language. They will not get the information needed. Even for me, as someone who worked with dogs in the UK and has had dogs for most of my life, well even I learned a lot, things that are not poisonous in the UK for dogs, that are here was so beneficial and I would not have wanted to miss out on this. So I feel as a community we should get behind such courses.

That people are now being sent back their certificates and told to re-pay is unfair to them and as things stand, they should be offered alternatives, at no extra cost to themselves, to get the SKN certificate.

I am not in any way affiliated to the online hund course, I just feel we should help them get what they need so they can offer courses to English speakers and not want to shut them down completely.

Gal x
I would first question the folks behind the unrecognized online course - why have they not pursued recognition?


----

There is one online course that is recognized by the BLV. There are several SKN trainers who speak English running conventional courses. At least on the face of it there does not seem to be an issue of the method of delivery, or of the language of instruction.

All those who offer SKN courses must have completed a specific education themselves, taught by one of the recognized umbrella training organizations. This is set out in the TSchV. Training to be a trainer is a rigorous program, designed to ensure that the trainer actually knows what he/she is talking about. You can't just hang out a shingle and call yourself an SKN trainer, a trainer must be certified and and the course offered must be recognized by the canton.

I don't know what is required to obtain recognition for an online course, as opposed to a traditional course. But those who wish to offer such a course ought to.

The whole point to the SKN is to ensure a consistent level of training for all dog owners - and to do that the trainers themselves must be qualified, skilled - and singing from the same hymn sheet.

Bottom line: unless a training course is recognized by the canton, it is not valid. This is fundamental to the whole process. So why not pursue recognition?

---

It is sad that folks who do not speak German/French/Italian are not getting the official information, as the BLV website clearly highlights that there is only one recognized online course (to date). But at the same time, it's not surprising that people are getting caught, as this follows the same principle that most things do in Switzerland: The onus is on the buyer/user to find relevant information, 'selber schuld' if one does not get what one thought one was purchasing. I very much disagree with this Swiss approach - I think there should be a greater degree of consumer protection, in this and in so many other areas.

But until there is, the best we can do here on EF is to pass information along as we find it, to highlight concerns, to help one another wherever we can.

There are regular requests for SKN courses in English; perhaps a general SKN info thread is needed, discussing the online course issue as well as adding a list by canton of trainers willing to work in English.

And those of us who are involved in the training world as customers: Maybe it would be a good idea to get the word out to trainers we know or work with that there is a pretty large English speaking market going unfilled. A good business opportunity... provided what is offered meets official criteria.

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.08.2014 at 13:03.
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  #26  
Old 01.08.2014, 16:34
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

I agree Galatea, if the course was accredited then it would be worth mentioning for those who don't speak a Swiss language. But at the moment all they're doing is taking money under false pretences as dazza11 found out. They've now got to do the course again and hope that the online company will refund the money without having to pursue them through the courts. The fact that they also offer it in the Swiss languages too means that even those who opt for those versions are still being duped. They're relying on everyone, not just English speakers, not to know that only one online course is accredited with the BLV. The fact that the BLV has a warning out means they've been getting complaints about online courses being offered.

If this was the UK you could report them to the Office of Fair Trading (or whatever its new name is) and they could then investigate and close them down if necessary. Who can you report them to in Switzerland? The BLV? The canton authorities? The police, given that it's fraud/theft?

If they want to offer the course then get accredited by the BLV, pure and simple.

My review hasn't appeared, needless to say. What a surprise.

Meloncollie, an excellent idea. A sticky with info on the SKN, including list of trainers, whatever languages they will teach in, and warning/news about online courses would be easy to find when the info is needed.
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  #27  
Old 01.08.2014, 17:52
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

The thing is- we really need English speaking courses and courses which are online seem like a reasonable solution. I can see the benefit.

The question is, how can we press for this, writing to encourage the course, showing that this niche market is worth pursing to get accredited or petitioning the BLV to show this really is a gap in the market that needs plugging.

The confusing thing is the online course has a registered dog trainer who is licensed to give face-to-face SKN theory courses and they argue that there is no law preventing this being delivered online- so I suppose it is up to them to fight it through the legal route, if they see it is worth while for them (and us)

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  #28  
Old 01.08.2014, 18:39
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

Well, the BLV obviously think otherwise. I find it strange if she's a face to face trainer that she hasn't at least explored the possibility. Still, unless she's willing to get accredited I think only having more complaints like dazza11's where a refund is demanded may be the only way to persuade her. Considering she offers it in 4 languages I would think there's plenty of those coming in, given how readily the Swiss are to complain about some things.

The question is what does Wolf Zemp's course offer that hers doesn't? There must be something to make him stand out from anyone else offering online courses. I don't read German so it's no good me looking at his website.
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Old 01.08.2014, 19:22
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Re: Sachkundenachweis (SKN) Theory Course in Basel [Mandatory Dog Handling Course]

It would be nice if there were more English-language options for the SKN and other mandatory cantonal courses, but my support would go to those who are completely upfront as to what exactly they can - and cannot - offer.



ETA:

Slightly off topic, but:

This is a good example of why the 'You don't need the local language, everyone in Switzerland speaks English' myth needs to be busted. All too often this is trotted out to reassure folks contemplating a move to Switzerland, and I believe we are doing potential immigrants a terrible disservice repeating it here on EF.

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.08.2014 at 20:45.
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