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  • 16 May 2018 6:52 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)


    BIGA Members are asked to have their say in consultations with Government

    Thursday 17 May 2018 - The government is currently looking at widening regulations within pet care to include the pet grooming industry and has welcomed participation from the British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA), according to a statement from the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG).

    In October this year, or shortly thereafter, the Animal Activities Licensing Regulations – which, in part, impacts home boarders of pets - will come into effect. To be run by local authorities on a star-rated system, the licensing and regulation of pet groomers may take a similar shape and could be expected within the next five years.

    BIGA has been invited to join the CFSG as it advises the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on this process.

    BIGA directors Heidi Anderton and Pam Gee, along with Honorary Member Angela Caley, attended a ‘Big Tent’ meeting at DEFRA on May 1st.

    At the meeting, stakeholders across the pet industry were briefed on the new rules for pet boarders and were invited to engage their peers and colleagues in the industry about how a similar system could be implemented within the pet grooming industry.

    “This is very big news and I’m pleased that BIGA has been invited to advise government in the shaping and making of policy that could directly impact professional groomers across the UK,” said Heidi.

    According to the statement from the CFSG:

    “CFSG is pleased to have BIGA as a member so that we can move forward with ensuring good standards within the grooming sector and as you may know we are currently looking at drafting guidelines around this. The risk-based system is only for the activities included under the current Regulations but CFSG's aim will be to widen that and include a number of additional activities involving cats and dogs. BIGA's input will certainly be welcomed and we look forward to working with you."

    “We have set up an online forum on ,” adds Heidi, “and we are now actively engaging our membership to have a voice in this process. BIGA is here to make sure that groomers, who are in the front line of pet welfare, are consulted and listened to.”

    If you would like to discuss the proposed developments with other members of BIGA, please visit

  • 02 Mar 2018 10:59 AM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    ALL grooming businesses in the UK now have the ability to add OR claim their FREE listing on

    Visit us at Crufts, Hall 5 - Stand 91, to find out more!

    Crufts is getting BIGA and better lol!

  • 06 Oct 2017 11:48 AM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Article submitted by Joanne Angus, Captain of Groom Team England. Photography by Peter Hulance.

    The World Grooming Championships took place in Kortrijk, Belgium on 1st October 2017 with 20 countries taking part, ranging from all over Europe and from as far away as China and Australia.

    The atmosphere was electric; the room filled with vibrant colour from all the teams’ flags and uniforms and the noise of cheering supporters resembling that of a football game rather than a grooming competition!

    Groom Team England at World Grooming Championships 2017, Groomania, Kortrijk, Belgium. Pictured left to right: Peter Ensell, Amy Manser, Lesley Harpham, Denise Westbrook

    Groom Team England members - (pictured left to right) Peter Ensell, Amy Manser, Lesley Harpham and Denise Westbrook along with our fantastic photographer Peter Hulance - had left the UK on Thursday to make the journey by car with their dogs and support team.  Having visited the Groomania competition in Kortrijk as part of their team commitments previously, they were well prepared for their stay in the lovely Park Hotel.

    Peter Ensell of Groom Team England competing during World Grooming Championships in Kortrijk, Belgium, 1st October 2017


    Friday and Saturday were taken up with the Groomania competition with more competitors from England taking part than ever; English grooming had many successes in the ring. Julie Lalou Simpson achieved a 2nd place in both Champion Hand Strip and Clippers-only classes with beautiful Welsh Terriers; Sue Pratt gained 2nd Place in the Workshop class with her lovely Labradoodle and Becki Ensell received the Best Makeover award of the show with her Lakeland.

    The ultimate prize of Best in Show and the Richard Barker award were taken by Groom Team England’s very own Amy Manser who absolutely stole the show with her stunning American Cocker, Twist. This was the highest entry ever for a grooming show with almost 400 entries over the 2 days with groomers from all over the world competing for the title. The English support team were delighted to say the least!

    Amy Manser of Groom Team England at World Grooming Championships 2017, Kortrijk, Belgium, 1st October 2017

    Friday evening was spent at the gala dinner where all the teams could socialise in a relaxed atmosphere, with a buffet dinner and wine flowing freely and the most amazing live band, a great night was had by all.


    Sunday morning arrived with an early start and preparations for the presentation of each countries competitors at 8.00am. Joanne Angus as Team Captain headed the English team carrying the St. George’s Flag high and they took their place with the other 19 teams for official photos. The red and white Groom Team England uniforms, sponsored and made by Top to Tail clothing, really stood out amongst the crowd. With the dogs having coordinated handmade collars and leads, courtesy of Jo Silk - Smith, the team and dogs looked more than impressive.

    Lesley Harpham of Groom Team England, at World Grooming Championships 2017, Kortrijk, Belgium, 1st October 2017

    The parade of teams waving their country’s flags was an amazing spectacle filling the room with colour, and the enthusiasm of the cheering crowds was infectious motivating the teams all the more and encouraging them into fight mode and ready for battle. The competition was on!

    Lesley and Pete were up first with Bisto the Norwich Terrier and V the Kerry Blue. The floor was awash with a variety of Terriers and Pure Breed Scissor dogs and after an incredibly quick two and a half hours the first stage of the competition was finished. Lesley and Pete had done their bit for the team and could now only wait.

    The afternoon session began with Amy and Denise taking centre stage with Boris, the American Cocker and Gandalf, the Standard Poodle. There were Setters, Spaniels and Poodles of all 3 sizes to keep everyone engrossed with the sculpting and shaping taking place on the competition floor in front of them. Two hours 45 minutes later and it was all over. The competition was finished and the fate of the team was in the hands of the judges.

    Denise Westbrook of Groom Team England at World Grooming Championships 2017, Kortrijk, Belgium, 1st October 2017

    The judging took place and the judge’s scores were given to the jury to calculate the points awarded for each individual and the combined total for the team.

    All 20 teams lined up on the grooming tables so the audience could capture the photos of the expertly groomed dogs on show. The atmosphere was amazing with music playing, whistles and horns blowing and flags waving. The dogs were fantastic and coped brilliantly with all the noise.

    Finally the results were ready - would we be in the top 6?? We all held our breath as the teams were announced in no particular order and to our delight the English team were placed!

    The teams were announced in reverse order with France coming in 6th, Belgium in 5th and then England were announced in 4th place; we proudly took our place on the stage for the trophy and medal presentation and official photos.  Having previously gained 5th, 3rd, and 6th places in World Championships, this was undoubtedly the best result in the 10 years we have competed due to the amount of countries entered.

    After a long and emotional day we made our way back to the hotel to celebrate. We organised a dinner for us all in a local restaurant where we all raised our glasses together to a great weekend.

    The team spirit was fantastic all weekend with everyone looking out for each other and supporting each other’s ups and downs.

    Groom Team England took fourth place at the World Grooming Championships in Kortrijk, Belgium, 1 Oct 2017. Competing team members, left to right, in red jerseys front of image: Peter Ensell, Amy Manser, Lesley Harpham, Denise Westbrook. Team Captain Joanne Angus in white jersey, next to Lesley.

    THANK YOU and SPONSORS - plus results below

    Thanks must go to all the sponsors of Groom Team England: Red Cape Grooming Supplies, Aesculap, Maude and Eddies Grooming, Wet Pets Conversions, Animology, English Groomers Group, PATS and Look North Grooming & Training Centre for their financial support as without them the trip would not have been possible. Thanks must also go to Peter Hulance who took the amazing photos and also all the groomers and public who support Groom Team events throughout the year. Contributions from these events are vital and go towards the cost of the World Championships.

    The supporters who made the journey were phenomenal making the atmosphere a very patriotic one. Everyone dressed in red and white and with the England chants it made the whole event a memorable experience for all.

    Final Results

    1st     USA                             215 points                 

    2nd    Italy                             205

    3rd     Russia                         196

    4th     England                     192

    5th     Belgium                     175

    6th     France                        165

    7th     Netherlands            144

    8th     Brazil                           142

    9th     Australia                    131

    10th   Spain                          127

    11th   Germany                  123

    12th   Switzerland             117

    13th   Canada                      102

    14th   Greece                      94                          

    15th   Poland                       92

    16th   Ukraine                     91

    17th   China                          82

    18th   Sweden                    56

    19th   Portugal                    39

    20th   Mexico                      28

    Submitted by  Joanne Angus. Images by Peter Hulance

  • 02 Sep 2017 7:41 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Take a look here, page 60

    We're in Total Grooming Magazine because of the FREE resources that BIGA members are creating and sharing with each other!

    Doesn't that just give you the warm fuzzies?

    We are a community of like-minded professionals after all. No politics. No BS. Just plain good ol' fashioned respect for each other and our own personal journeys doing something we love and appreciate as a wonderful privilege. Go BIGA. Well Done You. 

    Here's the article: click here, page 60

  • 20 Aug 2017 3:31 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Tickets and Competitor Registration are now available for The BIGA Show 2017, Sunday Nov 19th

    Members and non-members are warmly welcome.

    This year, the lineup of events and activities includes the following:

    • Workshops, seminars and Guest Speakers
    • FREE Buffet Lunch included in the entry fee
    • Educational demos from ICMG, City & Guilds, OCN
    • The BIGA Dog Swap FUN competition AND Novice Doubles!
    • Tradestands and Christmas-Market theme shopping
    • NEW: The BIGA Question Time
    • Door-prizes and an interactive, fun 'Treasure' Hunt
    • Three chances to WIN an iPad throughout the day!
    It all takes place in The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, nr. Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ

    Sunday November 19th from 10am to 4pm

    To book your tickets, please go here: The BIGA Show 2017

    Exhibitors pls also go here: The BIGA Show 2017

    BIGA Hugs!

  • 02 Aug 2017 9:53 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Many of us were startled by the sudden closure of  Dog World and ProGroomer Magazine a few weeks ago. BIGA has had the privilege of talking to Natalie Lucas, ProGroomer Magazine's former Editor and, in case you didn't know, also a professional pet groomer.

    Here, in Natalie's own words, a brief history of her time at ProGroomer.

    NATALIE: I was very lucky to train to be a dog groomer at Absolutely Animals under Heidi and Christine Anderton and Colin Taylor. At the time, I had a full-time job editing Running Free magazine, so my entry into the grooming world was a slow and painful one. Heidi was always encouraging me to get out there and start up, but I was a nervous wreck. Eventually, in late 2012, I opened my own grooming studio - a tiny shed in my back garden and named it Dolly Dogs (after my feisty Jack Russell - Dolly).

    With hindsight, I should have worked in a grooming salon for a while to gain confidence. However, I started grooming one or two dogs a week on my own - and not many people returned.

    The following year, the running magazine closed down because of financial problems. I looked around for other editorial work and came across ProGroomer (PG) owned by Dog World.

    I sent in my CV and they called immediately, shocked to find an editor who was also a dog groomer. I wrote a couple of articles for them and by the October I was the Editor.

    Within a few issues I changed the style of the magazine and made it look a lot more modern. Being a groomer, and an editor, I felt I was in a unique position to provide interesting and much-needed content for the mag. I had found my calling working with dogs in two very different capacities. A year later my grooming skills improved as I became more confident and, thankfully, customers started coming back.

    I loved editing PG and was so lucky to meet loads of groomers of all levels at the seminars and competitions I attended with PG - alongside my colleague, and now good friend, Gary Doran, who was the sales manager. Thank you to everyone that took their time to come and say hello on the PG stand and tell us how much they loved the magazine.

    My favourite part of PG was interviewing a groomer and writing up In your Salon. Its fascinating finding out how people got into grooming and how much they love their job and are constantly pushing themselves to achieve more. I know the Grooming Guide was much loved by the readers but this was the hardest part of the mag. Trying to get a groomer free for the day with two particular breeds that were ready to be groomed - and the video man available - was quite a task. Id like to thank everyone that took part in the Grooming Guides. Im sure the videos and picture features have helped many a groomer in their work.

    Dog World mostly used a freelancer to design PG and Id like to remember John Clement, with whom I worked with in the first couple of years. John sadly passed away in 2015. Id also like to thank Caroline Robinson who did a fantastic job of designing PG, bringing her own style and flair to it. Also, thanks go out to writers that include Eileen Geeson, Cat Henstridge, Kristina Johansen, Tanya Stevens and, more recently, Ellie Stanf and anyone that contributed to the magazine.

    Id also like to thank fellow local groomer Sue Angliss. Sue has helped me in many ways to improve my grooming: from helping me groom large breeds but, more importantly, to the small things, like reminding me to keep my blades clean, get customers to re-book every time, charge my worth and repaint my salon regularly.

    My biggest Thank You goes out to Gary Doran who drove with me every year up and down the country to all the amazing competitions and seminars. He always made me laugh and he was so passionate about the magazine and the industry. I was surprised about how much he had learnt about grooming since the start of the magazine in 2010 and Im pleased to let you know he is now becoming a dog groomer and loves it.

    I had absolutely no idea that Dog World was in financial difficulty and it was going into administration. I apologise to anyone we sold a subscription to in the last year and they have not received the latest issue or future issues. It was such a shame for everyone to lose their jobs at Dog World and for a newspaper that has been going since the 1920s to be closed down.

    I have recently moved house and have a brand new and bigger salon next to my house. Due to back problems, I can only groom part-time. However, I continue to enjoy the challenge of dog grooming every day. After five years in the industry I can say I not only love my job but Im finally good at it! I will miss PG and will look for another part-time journalistic/editing role at some point in the future.

  • 03 Jul 2017 6:17 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Well situated in a convenient location near Haywards Heath, this established dog grooming salon presents a great opportunity to acquire a profitable, popular business with plenty of scope for growth. 

    Owner-operated for three years, it has a loyal customer base, a great local reputation and high levels of repeat business. Canine patrons enjoy friendly service, top-quality grooming services and clean, warm surroundings. 

    For more information, please visit the eBay listing:


  • 06 Jun 2017 8:30 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    ProGroomer ran this article on their website recently. Take a look. It explains the spirit of BIGA, our aim to celebrate ALL our achievements as pet grooming professionals, whatever our stripe.

    BIGA: The ‘Inclusive Club’ for Pet Grooming Professionals

    Three Firsts for the British Isles Grooming Association

    “When we set out to create BIGA,” explains Kristian Maris, acting-chair of the British Isles Grooming Association, “we were determined to embrace a modern ethos of inclusiveness for all pet grooming professionals.”


    “We’re all here because we have the passion, talent and skills to ensure the best care for pet cats and dogs. We want to share that knowledge with each other, but also with our customers.”


    For that reason, BIGA – which formed only a year ago - is proud to be the first association within the pet industry to create an interactive membership website,


    “It’s a knowledge-sharing hub for BIGA members,” explains Kristian. “Members can participate in forums, ask questions, answer questions, receive expert advice and recommendations, plus make friends with like-minded professionals by accessing the Directory of other members.”


    Each member gets their own profile page where they can tell others more about themselves, add images, be themselves, learn from others. All with a view to creating a community that supports high standards in professional pet care.


     “Because so many groomers are small one-person businesses, it can be a lonely and isolating profession. Through the membership website and our Facebook community group, you can be a part of something ‘biga’.”


    BIGA is also proud to be the first association to reach out to the public pet owner with a dedicated website featuring image boards of groomed pets, pet owner advice plus a directory of BIGA members that can be easily located by postcode.


    “Whether or not you’re a member of BIGA, the site is open to all,” explains Kristian. “The Pre-Grooming Consultation is critical. Well, now, you can simply consult the website with your customer and refer to the image boards. Together, you can decide on the best style for the dog that has come for grooming. You can manage the customer’s expectations based on the image boards in addition to your own assessment of the condition of the dog’s coat, health check and assessment of its fitness for grooming.”


    A third ‘first’ for BIGA is the creation of its Honorary Members List. The list – which is published on – recognises and acknowledges the generation of groomers and professionals who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the development of pet grooming as a respected profession and vocation.


    “There are many in this industry,” explains Kristian, “who have given so much. Their efforts have ensured the high standards and professionalism that help each of us to take pride in our vocation and businesses. Most importantly, it has helped to promote the health and welfare of all pets. That’s an honourable thing.”


    Fundamentally, regular grooming is beneficial to a pet’s health and well-being. BIGA is there to promote this message and serve the community of groomers and pet owners who recognise the importance of this non-negotiable principle.


    If you would like to be part of a modern, progressive, grassroots association created by like-minded professionals who share these values, find out more at

  • 05 May 2017 1:59 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Heard of Uber? AirBnB? Amazon?

    Of course you have. The advances in technology over recent years have dramatically altered our world.

    From taxis, to accommodation, to buying stuff.

    Those same forces have now radically changed the professional pet industry.

    Because, effective today, you can now join the British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA) for only £50 per year.

    Yes. You read that correctly. £50. This applies whether you are an individual or a pet grooming business.*

    Better yet - your business membership comes as a BIGA Bundle. This means you can have up to five of your staff sign up as members. Use all five, and that's just £10 each per year.

    This isn't a special deal. This is the new normal membership fee.**

    Is BIGA getting desperate?

    Nope. We are simply moving with the times in which we live.

    Technology today has enabled us to do more for less. We don't need premises. We don't need full-time salaried employees. We don't need to spend money on printing and posting.

    And because BIGA is not-for-profit (this is YOUR association), there is no point making more money than we have to. You still get the normal benefits of a dedicated trade association - but we're listening to our members to deliver the concrete features you care about plus increase pet owner awareness about the health and welfare benefits of regular grooming.

    Membership includes:
    * the credibility of belonging to a professional trade association
    * a window sticker for your premises and use of the logo on your website and literature
    * business listing on the public-facing website
    * access to the interactive membership website for support and communication between members
    * strong social media presence and forums dedicated to members
    * access to all business and education resource documents on
    * an annual BIGA conference with seminars, demos, fun competition, and goody bag
    * downloadable member certificate to print off and display in your salon
    * advice and information on all education routes. We recognise ALL your achievements!
    * tailor-made discounts from suppliers

    * plus regular industry updates and feel-good news

    Best of all, you get a voice.

    We keep getting BIGA and better.

    Join the hundreds of others who have already joined BIGA !

    xx The BIGA Team

    Colin Taylor, Pam Gee, Heidi Anderton, Fern Gresty, Sue Oliver, Kristian Maris and all our Volunteers and BIGA Ambassadors

    * does not apply to training centres or suppliers
    ** existing members who paid more than £50 will be credited a pro-rata extension of their membership

  • 22 Apr 2017 6:59 PM | BIGA Chair (Administrator)

    Wendy Payton wins a Treasure-Trove from generous suppliers at MasterGroom 2017

    BIGA congratulations to Wendy Payton, who is the first-ever recipient of ‘The BIGA Box’.

    “The prizes were unbelievably generous of all the stands and suppliers [at MasterGroom 2017], and I would like to say a massive huge Thank You for their contribution to the first BIGA Box! Aesculap also gave me a clipper with blades and combs,” said Wendy. “All in all, it was a day I will never forget.”

    The BIGA Box is a newly-created initiative to support its members with the opportunity of winning door-prizes at competitions and events, such as seminars and workshops, thereby encouraging participation.

    “We really want BIGA to be an interactive experience for all members. Come to the shows. Attend workshops and seminars. Meet other groomers. Be a part of a ‘biga’ community,” says Colin Taylor, one of BIGA’s founder-directors, and the creator of MasterGroom.

    “I urge other groomers to get involved in this wonderful association and its support of its members, for which I’m so proud to be a part of,” said Wendy.

    With a retail value in the hundreds of pounds, the BIGA Box was a treasure-trove of goodies for the professional groomer, provided by the following generous suppliers:

    Aesculap, Hownd Shampoo, Secret Weapon, The Pawfume Shop, Redcape, Kebukai, Purple Paws, Canine Design, Groomers, Colin Taylor Accessories and Precious Shampoos and Fragrances, Mutneys, Total Grooming Magazine and Dogs & Horses.



The British Isles Grooming Association (BIGA)

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

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

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