Certification Process, Rules, Requirements & Pricing


Certifying Requirements:

Admission requirements for dog handlers

  • A Criminal back ground check.
  • Consent to the publication of your name and email address on the website of the BBF.

Admission requirements for dogs

  • The dog must be at least 15 months old on the day of the certification.
  • The identity of the dog must be proven without doubt.
  • A valid vaccination record (the legal requirements of each individual country are to be followed) and a veterinary certificate of heath are to be presented.
  • The dog must show neutral reactions towards reasonable environmental influences.
  • A BBDD may be led by two dog handlers. Both handlers must be separately certified with the dog.

Dual scent trained dogs will not be certified under BBF Standards *.

(* with the exception of rescue dogs)

Bed Bug Detection Dog Team

  • A team will consist of a handler and a canine.
  • If at any time the handler and canine separate, they are no longer BBF Certified.

The BBF does not certify dogs or handlers, only teams.

Basic Training

We recommend that the following topics be covered in the training so that the team can pass certification:

  • Drive and search condition
  • First aid for the canine
  • Odour identification
  • General bed bug information
  • Indicating a target
  • Search patterns
  • Basic knowledge of the canine

Certification Process:

  • The Examination will consist of two parts; practical and written.
  • A BBF appointed evaluator will be present throughout the certification. A dog trainer may be present and consult, although not in a decisive function.
  • Any strong compulsion or excessive hardness in or around the certification area will lead to the immediate disqualification of the team. The bed bug foundation and the animal protection agency for the country where the certification is being held, will be notified for any further actions.
  • All alerts must be done in a passive technique.

Acceptable Structure Types

  • Residential dwellings
  • Hotels and Hostels
  • Warehouse, office building, and multi-room interiors
  • Bus or Airplane


  • Set at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the start of the certification.
  • Hidden in a place of concealment which is not visible to the dog or handler.


  • Will designate the area of the structure to be used for the examination.
  • Will designate the area in which the team is to begin their search.
  • Will accompany the team into the structure and must be able to observe the test.

Dog Handler

  • During the certification process, the team will be judged on how well they work together and if the handler has his/her dog under control.
  • The evaluator will also check the dog for neutral reactions towards reasonable environmental influences and that the dog shows any aggressive behavior. If there are any problems in these areas the certification will automatically be rated as a failure.
  • The test may be done on or off lead. Equipment normally used (collars, harness, etc.) may be used.
  • The handler will accompany the dog throughout the test, and may encourage his/her dog with commands and gestures as needed.


 The certification consists of a written and practical test. To proceed to the practical test at least 12 of the 15 questions in the written test must be answered correctly. If some answers to the written test are ambiguous, the evaluator may find it necessary to conduct a short oral test in order to confirm whether the applicant has sufficient understanding.

The practical test will contain 5 hides, 1 of these hides will be a distracter.

Distracters are:

  • Training tube with dead bed bugs (dead at least two (2) weeks).
  • Empty training tube or training aids.

To pass, the team must find 3 live hides and not more than 1 false alarm. A hit on the distracter, constitutes an automatic failure.

The evaluator will decide how many bed bugs will be used for the certification.

  • Minimum amount to be used is 5 live adult bed bugs per hide.
  • Maximum amount to be used is 15 live adult bed bugs per hide.

Pseudo scents are not permitted in any certification.

The alert must be obvious to the evaluator.

One (1) distracters will be put out at each certification. The evaluator will decide which distracter will be used.

The decision to run the dog on lead or off, also fine or coarse search, is the responsibility of the handler.

When in doubt, the examiner may request a further hide for the team.

Upon successful completion of the certification, a certificate will be issued to the team. The handler will be asked to submit a passport-style photograph of themselves and the dog (preferably in a digital format) to the BBF. These will be included on the team’s ID card, which will be posted to them.

A BBF certification is valid for one year from the date of issue and may be extended to 15 Months in justified cases, which must be submitted to the BBF in writing.


The Certification is only open to members of the BBF. The cost of certification is 100.00 Euro. These costs include the certification, the ID card, inclusion on the BBF website.

If a handler wants to certify with more than one dog, the cost for each additional dog is 80.00 Euro

In addition to the certification cost, the team will be required to cover the travel expenses and lodging for the evaluator. If traveling by vehicle the evaluator will be reimbursed at the current government rate per mile/kilometer.

All fees must be paid prior to certification.

These expenses can be reduced or avoided completely by:

  1. Certifying at BBF Certification events
  2. Traveling to the evaluator’s facility
  3. Sharing the cost between multiple teams requiring certification at the same time/place.

Failure to certify:

  • If a team fails the certification it can retake the certification in four weeks.
  • If the team fails again it must wait three (3) months before retaking the certification.
  • The cost for retaking the certification is 80,00 Euro, plus travel and lodging expenses for the evaluator.

Place of certification:

The Bed Bug Foundation will aim to have at least four (4) to six (6) certifications a year throughout Europe. These will be published on the BBF website.

At BBF certification sites there will be no traveling fees due for the evaluators.

Anyone can request to host a certification. At these certifications assessor travel fees will be due.

Contact Larry Hansen at: [email protected] for all the details on how you can host a certification and any other questions you may have.