Today's featured CPBT-KA (Certified Professional Bird Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) is Nikki Partain. She is currently Lead Keeper of the Animal Programs and Interpretation Department for Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, Alabama. Nikki says "there is a special place in my heart for chickens. Chickens were my first training project as a zookeeper. I thought my manager was insane! Turns out, they taught me so much while I thought I was training them."
The process of becoming a CPBT-KA has helped Nikki to prepare to work with a wider variety of bird species than are currently in the collection. "I have also seen improvements to my training techniques not only with the birds in our care, but with the mammal species in our department. Becoming certified has also improved my ability as a Lead Keeper to counsel other keepers in my department on working with our birds."
Nikki's advice for people thinking about getting certified is "Study, study, study! Talk with other CBPT-KA about their experience and knowledge. The more information you can get your hands on and your mind around, the better. Even if information you learn isn’t on your test, it is information that will help you somewhere along the way. Finally, on test day, take a deep breath and trust yourself. You have experience and put in the time to learn even more; the test is just a way for you to show it :)"
If you would like to find out more about setting these types of standards within your facility or becoming certified contact the IATCB board by visiting the website!
The CPBT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. You can renew the credential by either re-taking the examination after 5 years OR you can accumulate 60 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by attending workshops, seminars, classes, or conferences.
All great ways you can continue your education.
You can learn more about staying certified on the "Staying Certified" page of the web site.
Did you know there are over 62 registered certified professional bird trainers list on the IATCB website from all around the world? You can contact any of the listed CPBT's from the website by going to the listing of certified trainers on our web site. Check out who is certified today!
Earn CEUs at these approved annual conferences.
The 25th annual IAATE Conference is hosted by Zoo Atlanta in 2017 and is sure to be memorable one. Dreaming of attending but lack the funds to go? Check out the Walter Crawford Memorial Scholarship which is offering up to $5000 to eligible applicants toward your conference expenses ! Check out the website for more information today!
The Annual Art and Science of Animal Training Conference
ORCA hosts the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference every spring. The conference, now going into its ninth year, brings together animal trainers and behavior analysts for lectures and conversations about the science of animal training and about “what’s new” in animal training.