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NASDU Level 4 Certificate for a Detection Dog Handler

Tel: 0330 094 0104 Email:

NASDU Level 4 Certificate for a Detection Dog Handler

Pathway: Explosive Detection Dog

Explosives Detection Dog Training


The nationally recognised Level 4 Certificate for Explosive Detection Dog Handlers aims to provide the learner with the basic skills, knowledge and understanding required to ensure the provision of a professional level of service as an Explosive Detection Dog Team.

This qualification has been developed by NASDU to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS’s) for a Security Detection Dog Handler and the training requirements contained within BS 8517-2:2016, (in that) it is an assessment of the learners (handlers) ability to read the indications given by a dog and to meet the required performance criteria.

For whom suitable

This programme meets the requirements of those learners who have experience as General Purpose Security Dog Handlers and wish to become Explosive Detection Dog Handlers. It would also be suitable for members of HM Armed Forces, Police, Prison Service or Customs Officers who wish to take on a Detection Dog Handler role in the private security industry.

Due to health considerations this programme is not suitable for women who at the time of training are pregnant.

Awarding body

HABC - The NASDU Level 4 Certificate for an Explosive Detection Dog Handler is accredited by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) who are a recognised and regulated awarding organisation with OFQUAL, SQA and recognised by the SIA. This qualification is also endorsed by The Institute of Munitions Clearance & Search Engineers (IMCSE).

Level 4 – Certificate

Course duration

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’s). If Vehicle Only or Building Only option is undertaken, then duration can be reduced to a minimum of 100 GLH’s.). Recognition of formal prior learning is permissible and may be awarded by the Instructor/Trainer.

GLH’s are recorded hours of direct training, structured learning and assessment given to an individual learner by their Instructor/Trainer 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 5 Units (4 Core Units plus 1 Pathway Unit) all of which are compulsory (see Content).

Prior learning

All learners should hold an appropriate SIA licence (unless exempt).

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 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.

Dogs previously schooled in other disciplines must be identified to the Instructor/Trainer prior to commencement of training.

Learners who within the last 5 years have been formally certificated and have proven Detection Dog Handling experience either in the private security sector or in the public sector as a Police or Prison Officer or as a Member of HM Armed Forces, may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Explosive Detection Dogs must not have been previously schooled in any other scent discipline.


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 Practical Assessment (PA) regarding the observation of a safe systematic search and the positive indication of target scents together with a Professional Discussion (PD) WILL be carried out by a suitably qualified external assessor who does not have an interest in the learner achieving and who has not been involved with the learners training.


The successful learner can proceed onto a variety of dog detection work including Drug Detection or Dog Training.


  • HABC Certificate – accreditation of learning programme shall be for the handler (lifetime achievement)
  • NASDU Certificate – assessment of competency shall be as a Team i.e. Handler & Dog (12 month expiry)


Unit 1 Roles and Responsibilities of a Detection Dog Handler

  • Underpinning Knowledge • Selection

Unit 2 Control a Detection Dog under Operational Conditions

  • Basic Control
  • Emergency Stop & Recall

Unit 3 Operational Control of an Explosive Detection Dog

  • Prior Deployment
  • Scent Awareness
  • Locating – Building Search
  • Locating – Vehicle Search
  • Locating – Open Terrain Search
  • Indication – Building Search
  • Indication – Vehicle Search
  • Indication – Open Search
  • Safe Systematic Search

Unit 4 Health, Well-being & Safety of a Detection Dog

  • Health & Safety Assessment
  • Grooming & Inspection
  • Transportation
  • Canine First Aid

Unit 5 Management of a Detection Dog

  • Operational Management
  • Progression of Training

Continuation training:

It should be noted that the recommendation for CT training in BS 8517 Part 2 is monthly which should be assessed independently.

Course fees

The course is £3,965.00 Inclusive. A 20% deposit will secure a place on the course. The remainder is to be paid in full 7 days prior to course starting. Should the individual cancel, regardless of circumstance the 20% deposit is non-refundable.

Futher information

Further information can be obtained by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 0330 094 0104

NASDU Approved Instructor Trainer 

"Been on a training day there today. Hosted by Andy and Jason, excellent day tailored to my dogs requirements. I fully recommend attending a training day, very good value for money." - Dave Padfield

Contact Us

CASEC UK Limited, Clay Lane Farm House, Clay Lane, Booker, Marlow, Bucks Sl7 3DT
Tel: 0330 094 0104 Email:

Registered Office

CASEC UK Limited, Elizabeth House, 13-19 London Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1JL
Registered in England and Wales  - Company number 11550175


Our Services

  • Basic courses for handler and dog
  • Remedial training,
  • Monthly CT
  • Task specific training
  • Air cargo screening
  • Explosive Odour Tracking
  • Baggage screening andbulk EDD CT
  • Scent recognition.
  • Annual certification compliant with BS:8517-1 and 2
  • NASDU requirements are also available monthly