IRVAP Sub group

Institute of Canine Hydrotherapists (ICH)

The ICH represents qualified professionals promoting excellence in the evolving practice of therapeutic canine hydrotherapy. 


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what we do

Raising the Industry Standard

Hydrotherapy is currently a non-regulated industry and the ICH sets the standards for professionalism and clinical proficiency in therapeutic canine hydrotherapy. All our members are qualified professionals who annually pledge their commitment to the IRVAP Code of Practice.

The ICH board is directly accountable to the IRVAP Council and this unique checks and balances system is an IRVAP initiative to ensure best practice is consistently achieved by our members.

ICH board members include;

Leading training providers

Both ABC Awards selected hydrotherapy specialists

Educational experts

Qualified verifiers and moderators

L3 to L7 practising canine hydrotherapists


ICH Resources 


IRVAP members get access to Refresher courses at a discounted rate of £29 per course. Discount codes are available in the password-protected members area.
(£49 rate for non-members)

We foster a caring, friendly and interactive approach that is at the forefront of supporting professional services and career development in therapeutic canine hydrotherapy.

Our accreditation board works closely with the IRVAP Council to support the CPD needs of hydrotherapists. We have a mentor programme and a dynamic Resource Hub with free downloadable PDFs.

friendly faces

Meet the Board

Barbara Houlding, IRVAP/ICH Chair

Canine veterinary physiotherapist, advanced canine hydrotherapist, ABC Awards hydrotherapy specialist for their hydrotherapy suite of qualifications.

Sue Hawkins, Marketing/PR

Hawksmoor Principal, approved training provider and original author of the ABC Awards Level 3 certificate in hydrotherapy for small animals.

Susanne Pender, Co-ordinator

Level 7 canine veterinary physiotherapist and advanced hydrotherapist, chartered physiotherapist and past Chair of IRVAP.

Terry Chapman, Accreditation/CPD

Qualified teacher and ABC Awards External Verifier for canine hydrotherapy in the UK.

Leanne Mullane, MarketinG/PR

Internal Moderator, ABC Awards hydrotherapy specialist for their hydrotherapy suite of qualifications, RVN.

Co-opted members

Co-opted members assist and work closely with the IRVAP Council and ICH Board.

Ann Johnson, Accreditation

Approved training provider, qualified teacher.

Carly Nairn, CPD/ researcher

Hydrotherapist, L3 CertCanineHydro holder, RVN.

Jo Scott, Mentor programme

Approved training provider, behaviourist, feline specialist.

The ICH has a specific admissions policy as part of its accredited registration process. IRVAP is recognised by all the major insurance companies and we are in discussion over ICH recognition, as the new sub group of IRVAP.

Get Involved

Join our friendly community of professionals with a shared vision of delivering best practice and supporting each other along their animal therapy career journey.


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