What is workplace practical training?

Training organisations use many different terms to refer to workplace practical training. We also use the term work placement but it can also be referred to as workplace learning, work experience, work ready training and even an internship. In most situations workplace practical training is unpaid and will provide you with the opportunity to put the essential theory you have learned into practice in a relevant and real organisation.

In our industry, work placements provide students with the critical skills they need to handle animals, care for animals, speak confidently to clients and customers as well as develop the communication and confidence to work within teams where applicable.

The thought of starting a work placement may initially feel a little daunting, however the following information will give you an overview of the importance of work placements and what to expect . Once you start you will wonder what you were worried about!

Why workplace practical training is critical to your success

Workplace Training provides practical skills for Vet Nurses and Animal CarersBuilding up a network within the animal industry, as well as gaining relevant industry experience is going to greatly increase your job prospects at the completion of your studies, here's how.

Acquiring practical skills – Experienced supervisors in the workplace will help to guide you through obtaining the necessary hands-on skills needed for success in the animal industry. You won’t just be observing, you will be actively performing the daily tasks that will be part of your chosen occupation when you graduate. As well as specific skills you will also have the opportunity to gain important workforce skills such as teamwork and communication.

Building professional relationships- You will be working with a variety of team members who will be able to share their valuable knowledge with you. In the future, they may become your employers and colleagues!

Where can I do my placement?

Veterinary Nursing Students

Your work placement will be completed within a Veterinary Clinic where you will have the opportunity to become an important member of the clinic team. As well as dogs and cats many clinics treat a variety of species such as wildlife, small mammals, reptiles, production animals and horses.

Animal Studies Students

Students studying this field have a variety of interests, this is reflected in the workplace that may be chosen for your placement. Students have completed practical training in boarding kennels and catteries, wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres, doggy daycare centres, animal welfare centres and even zoos!

How do I find a placement?

Animal carer work placementIf you are a Perth metro based student studying Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing , we will find your work placement for you. We have a network of over 100 well respected clinics providing a supportive learning environment.  On the other hand, if you are a country or interstate based student you will need to find a vet clinic to support your practical training. AVT provide expert guidance on how to approach veterinary practices to successfully secure a work placement.

All of your hours can be completed in the same Veterinary Practice, allowing you to build up a good relationship with the clinic. There is an option to complete your hours at more than one Veterinary Practice if needed.

For general entry Animal Science students we allow you to find your work placement in a facility that will be most suited to your chosen interest in the animal industry. We can provide guidance as to how to select and approach a workplace to secure your practical training. All work placements must be approved by AVT.

We also offer Animal Studies courses at designated workplaces, meaning you do not have to organise your placement. These courses are supervised by AVT supervisors and are based at well recognised organisations in Perth. Find out about our range of qualification options here.

How is my work placement monitored and assessed?

Working in a vet practice and learning vet nursing

Practical Skills Workbook

You will be provided with a Practical Skills Workbook (logbook) for your practical training. Practical Skills Worksheets and Workplace Assignments will help to guide the structure of your work placement by providing you and your supervisor with guidelines on the skills you need to practise and gain competency in. Activities you need to complete throughout the workbook will also further develop your knowledge. You will need to complete all of the Practical Skills Worksheets and Workplace Assignments as well as your minimum hours to pass your practical training.


We maintain contact with your Supervisor so they can provide us with feedback on your performance in the workplace. We also welcome any feedback you may have on your placement.

Merging theory and skills

Work placement will be a very enjoyable and memorable part of your training with AVT. It will help to equip you with the necessary skills for success in the Animal Industry. Having hands-on training will also increase your employability after study.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Practical Training

If you have been thinking about changing your career or embarking on a new career working with animals, now is a good time to get started.  You can enrol and commence in all of the online options for our qualifications without having a confirmed work placement.  Whilst social distancing restrictions are in place, you will be able to focus your attention on completing the theoretical component of this course. For more information including Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and our courses visit the link below.

Read COVID-19 FAQs

About AVT (Applied Vocational Training)

We have been training animal care, horse care and veterinary nursing students for over 20 years in Australia. Students who undertake AVT courses range from high school aged students just starting their pre-vocational journey right through to mature-aged students seeking an alternative career path. Graduates are highly respected and sought after by industry professionals, businesses and organisations. If you want the background knowledge and skills to help you secure your career in the animal care industry, check out our nationally recognised qualifications here or sharpen your skills in one of our workshops.


Why choose AVT for your next course?

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report for Applied Vocational Training graduates found:-

  • 89.5% were employed or enrolled in further study after training.
  • 93.6% were satisfied with the overall quality of their training.
  • 95.5% would recommend the training and 93.0% would recommend their training provider.
  • 89.4% achieved their main reason for doing the training.


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