BIGA members now have access to our own BIGA Professional Advisors. 

The advisors are here in the forum to help our members first hand to improve business and business practices or you can contact them privately either by email or using the messaging function. 

The Vet - Dr Sophie Bell BVMS MRCVS

I am Dr Sophie Bell, vet, and dog groomer.  I believe in an open-minded attitude and follow a holistic approach to our animal’s health taking nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental factors into consideration to improve our pet’s health and well-being.  Although I use conventional medicines in my role, I love to explore natural remedies and work alongside a variety of great professionals from veterinary physiotherapists, hydro therapists, veterinary herbalists and of course dog groomers as well as other amazing practitioners.  We all play an important role in pet health and client education.  

Working together means we can use one another’s expertise to create a better life for our animals.   Using my veterinary experience, I have created several educational courses and webinars which I host through my company Animal Love Pet-First Aid.  My online canine health and first-aid course has been rated highly and well received, and I am excited to say that an advanced course is on its way!  I also cover other animals as well as dogs.

Dog groomers are an extra pair or eyes and often spot things that the owner does not, I am proud to be working with BIGA to support groomers, to provide them with a wealth of extra knowledge and to add to their amazing skill set.

To Ask The Vet, please click herejoin

The Insurance Expert -  Robbie Spear

I’m Robbie Spear, Director at Dog Grooming Insurance.

We’re a new insurer in the grooming industry, however, as a team, we have way in excess of 100 years combined experience and expertise in the insurance sector. Most of us are dog owners (myself included) and are passionate about our pets and ensuring that when they leave our care to be groomed, groomers have access to an insurance policy that is really designed with them in mind.

With that, a little less than two years ago, we engaged with not only some of the leading names in the grooming world, but also new and experienced grooming business owners, and started to consult with them around what they felt to be really important to groomers when it comes to insurance. It quickly became apparent that there was a real gap in the market for a bespoke policy that not only gives groomers the specific covers that they want, but one that responds positively when they need it most; namely at the time of a claim.

So, in October 23, we launched Dog Grooming Insurance and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Our policy is broad in it’s coverage, but simple in it’s accessibility and terminology. It has features and benefits not available under most other policies and also provides the flexibility of interest free direct debit payments. We are very proud to support and work with BIGA and are delighted to offer members a 10% discount on insurance quotes/policies obtained via our easy-to-use click & buy website.

For more information on our market-leading cover, and to get a discounted quotation for your grooming business, please click on

To Ask The Insurance Expert, please click herejoin

  The Behaviourist - Andrew Hale Bsc 


Hi. My name is Andrew Hale and I am a Certified Animal Behaviourist and trustee at the Association of INTODogs. I am also the behavioural consultant for Pet Remedy. With a background in human psychology I am passionate about exploring the emotional experience that lies beneath our behaviour, and our dogs! I run an online education and support business called Dog Centred Care, where I host short course for carers and professionals and 1-2-1 online consultations.

I have always tried to champion the important role of the grooming professional. Being on the front line, the groomer may well see the dog more than any other care professional. As behaviour plays such a big part of the salon experience, I love helping my colleagues in the grooming profession to understand more about the dogs emotional experience that drive those behaviours. Most dogs cope well, but for those that do not we have to try and understand what emotional need they are trying to convey. For those dogs that do struggle in the salon, many have presentations  that are more than just not liking the grooming experience – such as separation, handling or trust issues etc.

I am really looking forward to working with BIGA to help support my amazing colleagues in the grooming industry to learn more about the dog’s emotional experience, as well resigning the stresses that come with working with challenging behaviours.

To Ask The Behaviourist, please click herejoin

The Business Advisor - Bill Betts

Hi I am Bill I am not a groomer myself.  I have had a different experience in business. I have worked behind the scenes at our family pet grooming business for many years, and I have learnt the hard way how to make a successful business out of grooming other people’s pets.  With 16 years of experience I can now help you with many aspects of your business journey. 

To Ask The Business Advisor, please click herejoin

The Accountant - Vicky Clark Bsc

My name is Vicky Clark and I am the owner and face behind The Pet Accountant. I work with people all over the UK (isn’t the cloud amazing?). My six years of experience as an accountant and ten years in finance mean that I know my way around a tax return. In recent years I have gravitated towards clients that are pet professionals, because quite frankly, if I wasn’t an accountant I’d probably be working with animals too. I work with a lot of Groomers and have helped them go from their back garden to having a number of salons and growing their profit massively.

I have noticed over the years that the grooming industry has and is growing at a massive rate and this comes with its issues. The reason I have joined BIGA is because I believe and share there ethos of wanting to promote and create a safe and regulated industry for this profession. I want to play my part in this and help the members of BIGA get off on the right foot and grow a professional business.

To Ask The Accountant, please click herejoin

The Groomer - Debby Knight LCGI

My name is Debby Knight and I started my grooming career 50 years ago and I have groomed on and off since then.

I have worked in both the USA and UK, grooming, teaching and examining, along with running my own successful grooming and training salon. I have a teaching qualification along with City and Guilds Qualifications to Level 4 LCGI plus a BA ( English). I have learnt through trial and error, making many mistakes along the way, but have had the privilege of having a career I have loved.

My door is always open to both new and experienced groomers and if i can help in any way, I am happy to listen.
I am looking forward to working with BIGA to forward the professionalism of groomers.

To Ask The Groomer, please click herejoin

The HR Consultant - Megan Saint

Hi, I’m Megan. I run a HR Consultancy that supports small businesses by enhancing and protecting their HR practices. 

We offer a range of services to save our clients time, money and resources whilst reducing risk. Our services include but are not limited to support with performance management, discipline, grievance, contracts, employee handbooks and redundancy. We also offer recruitment solutions – including advising on business needs in relation to recruiting an apprentice, contractor or employee.

I am passionate about supporting businesses with their HR but I also have a passion for educating employers on best HR practice to ensure fair and legal treatment of all workers and employees.

I have experience in working with several dog grooming businesses and from my experience, believe that the industry could benefit from increased awareness of employment law and HR practices.

To Ask The HR Consultant, please click herejoin

The Insurance Broker - Adrian Strangwick

The insurance broker – PET PROFESSIONALS AT WORK

Hi, my name is Adrian Strangwick (just ignore the ‘g’ for easier pronunciation!).  My colleagues and I all have at least 25 years’ experience in business insurance, with 10 years + dealing with pet grooming insurances.

Whilst we do not own dogs, we all have a strong understanding of the requirements for groomers, following many discussions with them.  Plus, I have attended many grooming events through the years, including grooming demonstrations and seminars. 

If you have any queries, concerns or wish to discuss your current insurances (either grooming related or other)  then please do not hesitate to contact, and we will be only too happy to assist.

Insurance Expert - Mark Briggs DipCII


The Insurance Expert - Mark Briggs, DipCII

Hello – I’m Mark and I arrived at Cliverton in 2019. I’ve been in the insurance profession since 1978, nearly as long as Cliverton who have been trading since 1973.

Cliverton are the most established and trusted insurance broker brand in the animal trades business sector. We’re part of the Lycetts Group who themselves are celebrating their 60th birthday in 2021. Our office in Fakenham, North Norfolk has 18 staff and specialises in providing insurance protection for animal trades businesses and currently has over 16,000 customers.

Dog Grooming is a significant sector for us and we currently insure nearly 3,000 grooming businesses in the UK. We do this direct and via our website. Our policy has been developed over many years and offers tailored protection for the risks your business is exposed to.

So why Cliverton? We’re the most established insurance broker in this sector, have a market leading policy backed up by an “A” rated insurer, we were independently judged by Insurance Age magazine to win Schemes Broker of the Year in 2018, we have very high customer satisfaction scores with 100% satisfaction on New Business in 2020 from well over 300 respondents. Lastly, but by no means least, we’re a team of friendly individuals who love animals and helping the people who look after them.

The British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA)

A Not-for-Profit Trade Association and Community Support Network

 Registered at St. George‚Äôs House, 14 George Street, Huntingdon, Cambs. PE29 3GH. Reg. No. 10085801

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