Our nationally recognised ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies is a pre-vocational qualification aimed as an entry point in the animal care and management industry.  On completion you can choose to start your career in the animal care industry or move on to a higher level qualification.

Easy to understand theory

The Certificate II in Animal Studies combines simple, easy to understand theory with a practical placement in the animal care industry.  The course is comprised of relevant topics covering the main fundamental principles of working in the animal care industry.   The theory component is delivered via our interactive online learning portal, making learning both flexible and fun.

Putting theory into practice - your Animal Studies Workplace Practical Training

To gain the valuable practical skills required to successfully complete this course, you will be required to spend 150 hours in an approved animal care organisation of your choice. We often refer to this as your Work Placement.  Your work placement will enable you to put into practice the theory components of the course, develop essential hands-on skills that are necessary for a career in the animal industry as well as complete the compulsory workplace assignments that are an important part of the assessment towards your qualification.  Suitable facilities might include kennels, catteries, doggy day care centres, animal welfare shelters, pet shops (with animals), wildlife rehabilitation centres or zoos. For more information about Practical Workplace Training visit the Study Modes tab on this page OR scroll to the end of this page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about work placement OR visit this information page about Practical Work Placements in Animal Studies

The AVT Difference

Here's just a handful of reasons why students choose AVT:-
  • Our team members know our students by name not by number! They are friendly and approachable and are available throughout the course to provide expert advice and coaching. They will also monitor and guide your progression
  • We are a dedicated animal care college. No plumbing or hairdressing courses here!
  • We are proud of the high graduation and employment rate of our students
  • We are trusted and respected by industry - employers request our graduates
  • Our course material is written by Veterinarians and Animal Scientists who are employed directly by AVT
  • Our insurance arrangements ensure our students are protected throughout their training programs - both on-campus and in work placements (Australia based students only)
  • We are an independent animal care and veterinary nursing registered training organisation. We do not have third party arrangements with other training providers to acquire content or distribute qualifications. We take pride in developing and delivering our own course material.
At AVT, we combine a high standard of theoretical knowledge with intensive practical training. This allows you to gain the competence and confidence required for an exciting and rewarding career in a variety of animal care careers.

Visit our Facebook page and read our student reviews! 

Are you choosing a registered training organisation?

AVT Nationally Recognised Animal Studies CourseAVT is fully registered by the Australian Government training registration authority ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and the qualification offered is the nationally recognised Certificate II in Animal Studies. We are supported and endorsed by the Australian Veterinary Association. Our registration authority can be viewed on the training.gov.au website, which is the Australian Government’s website for details of registered courses and training providers –  View our details here. We strongly recommend you search the training.gov.au website for any training organisation you maybe considering.

The new training package ACM was released on the 29th November 2017. ACM20110 has been superseded by ACM20117. For more information go to this link


Looking for more information visit: Study Modes | Course Content | Fees and Payment Plan | Entry Requirements | Career & Outcomes |

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Enrolment is easy! Simply select one of the Enrol options below and complete our online enrolment form.
Once submitted, we will contact you with an enrolment pack containing course and payment information.

General Public Enrolments

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ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies - 2018 - General Public

 

VET in Schools Enrolments

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ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies - 2018 - VET in Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies?  Choose a tab below and select a question to read the relevant answer. If you are unable to find an answer, feel free to contact us via our contact us page.


We do not hold a formal Open Day, however we often attend careers expos and events organised by schools. Throughout the year we conduct information sessions which are offered by invitation. If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please contact us
All Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing students receive a hard copy text book at the commencement of the course. If you are studying via our online course you will be given access to the units and additional study materials digitally via our Online Learning System. For students studying on-campus, hard copies of the study materials are also supplied and included in the overall course cost. Please note: all course material for Animal Studies courses are provided digitally.  
The units are assessed using various methods. These include multiple choice quizzes, tests, written assignments and practical assignments such as video and photographic evidence.
We have a team of highly qualified lecturers who have worked in various areas of the animal industry (take a look at our ‘Meet Our Team’ page). Our lecturers are always on hand to answer any questions or provide further support, explanations or clarification of any of the course material. They will mentor and coach you through the course material when required.  You can contact our lecturers via phone, email or Skype.
Yes, our qualifications in Vet Nursing and Animal Studies are nationally recognised and accredited.  Our company is fully registered by the Australian Government training registration authority ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and the qualification offered is the nationally recognised Certificate. We are supported and endorsed by the Australian Veterinary Association. Our registration authority can be viewed on the training.gov.au website, which is the Australian Government’s website for details of registered courses and training providers –  View our details here.We strongly recommend you search the training.gov.au website for any training organisation you maybe considering.
AVT offers high quality study material written, reviewed and delivered by Veterinarians, Animal Scientists and Veterinary Nurses with formal training qualifications. Our in-house training team have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours creating course resources for our units of competency across all courses.

The difference between registered training providers course content across all RTO's including TAFE is often the units contained in the course and the quality of material. There are many units that can be included in a course and training providers nominate a selection of units they will offer to students.

Our courses are broad based and give an excellent introduction to working with animals across all species. They provide a fantastic is opportunity to learn about many different animals and most importantly allow you to apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace.

To find out more about the units offered within each course visit the Course Content tab on our qualifications pages below.
Certificate II and III in Animal Studies are Online Courses with the exception of the RSPCA based course. For the online courses, you do not need to attend lessons and you can carry out all of your studies from home. All the course material is available online, this can also be downloaded if you wish to print the study materials. You will also attend a practical work place where you will complete assessments and skills worksheets. All assessments are then completed and submitted online. Our Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing course is offered in either an online eLearning mode or on-campus mode.  If you are applying for the on-campus mode, you will be expected to attend classes at our Bentley Campus each week throughout the term.  If you are applying for the online mode, you do not need to attend classes. All online eLearning students from both Animal Studies and Veterinary Nursing qualifications are invited to attend workshops throughout the year. These helpful training sessions provide practical experience and give you face to face access to our lecturers and tutors. Workshops are held at our Bentley campus in Perth, Western Australia. For more information visit our Workshops Page  
Our Animal Studies courses are self-paced and offered via online eLearning. This means you can apply at any time throughout the year. To enrol simply go to the bottom of the page and complete our online enrolment form or click here. Please note: this does not apply to the RSPCA based course which has set start and end dates. Learn more here
Our Animal Studies courses are available online, so you can study from anywhere around Australia or overseas.  As long as you have access to a reliable internet connection via a PC or electronic device, you are proficient in speaking and writing in English and can secure a workplace for your practical training where your supervisor can also read English then you can complete our qualifications from any location.
We have students enrolled in our VET in Schools program around Australia, so it is likely your VET Co-ordinator may consider introducing our animal care program at your school. If your school does not offer our courses as part of their VET in Schools program we advise that you speak with your careers adviser or VET co-ordinator.  We encourage you to direct them to this website and contact us via our website. We can send them our VET in Schools information pack and answer any of their questions in relation to your interest in studying Animal Care.
The minimum age requirements for Certificate II in Animal Studies  are based on academic school year.  For the Certificate II in Animal Studies, this is Year 10 High School or equivalent. The minimum age requirements for Certificate III in Animal Studies are based on academic school year.  For the Certificate III in Animal Studies, this is Year 11 High School or equivalent. Some exceptions may be possible. Please note the minimum age for the RSPCA based course is 18 years of age due to RSPCA policy.
Prior to commencing your studies and formal enrolment, it is important to consider if you wish to study your qualification as either a full-time or part-time study load. This is an individual choice and will be depend on how much time you are able to commit to your studies each week. Students who choose a full-time study load may be eligible* for financial assistance like Austudy, Youth Allowance, or similar if they are able to meet 75% or more of the full-time study load. If you are claiming Austudy or Youth Allowance from the department of Human Services, we will be requested by the department to verify your chosen mode of study meets the allowable time-frame for the qualification. The table below details the hours per week on average you must be able to commit to study to be considered for full-time or part-time mode of study.
Qualification Mode of study Hours/wk Duration
ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies Full-time 20 6 Months
Part-time 10 1 year
ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies Full-time 20 1 year
Part-time 10 2 years
ACM40112 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing Full-time 20 1 year
Part-time 10 2 years
* For further information and eligibility requirements for Austudy or Youth Allowance, please visit the Department of Human Services website https://www.humanservices.gov.au/
None of our courses require up front payment, we offer flexible monthly payment plans with instalments for all students. Total course fees and payment plan structure vary with each course and individual circumstances. For more information, contact us.
Concession fees are available to eligible students only through our courses which have been granted government funding. Currently this only applies to the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing for students that are residing within Western Australia. For more information on the eligibility criteria please see the Fees tab on this page.
You may be able to get financial or government assistance such as Austudy, if you study the course on a full-time basis. The full-time study duration is as follows: Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing - 12 months, Certificate III Animal Studies - 12 months, Certificate II Animal Studies - 6 months. You will need to approach Centrelink for further advice on government assistance.
HECS‑HELP (formerly HECS) is a loan scheme for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places to pay their student contribution amounts. Unfortunately HECS-HELP loans are only available to students of approved Universities. Whilst, VET FEE-HELP is available for Diploma level students and above, there are no Government loans available for Certificate IV level study. To find out if you may be eligible for alternative support such as Youth Allowance, we recommend contacting Centrelink.   For more information about our fees visit the Fees and Entry tab on this page
We do not hold a formal Open Day, however we often attend careers expos and events organised by schools. Throughout the year we conduct information sessions which are offered by invitation. If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please contact us
Our Animal Studies courses are self-paced and offered via online eLearning. This means you can apply at any time throughout the year. To enrol simply go to the bottom of the page and complete our online enrolment form or click here. Please note: this does not apply to the RSPCA based course which has set start and end dates. Learn more here
Our Animal Studies courses are available online, so you can study from anywhere around Australia or overseas.  As long as you have access to a reliable internet connection via a PC or electronic device, you are proficient in speaking and writing in English and can secure a workplace for your practical training where your supervisor can also read English then you can complete our qualifications from any location.
We have students enrolled in our VET in Schools program around Australia, so it is likely your VET Co-ordinator may consider introducing our animal care program at your school. If your school does not offer our courses as part of their VET in Schools program we advise that you speak with your careers adviser or VET co-ordinator.  We encourage you to direct them to this website and contact us via our website. We can send them our VET in Schools information pack and answer any of their questions in relation to your interest in studying Animal Care.
The minimum age requirements for Certificate II in Animal Studies  are based on academic school year.  For the Certificate II in Animal Studies, this is Year 10 High School or equivalent. The minimum age requirements for Certificate III in Animal Studies are based on academic school year.  For the Certificate III in Animal Studies, this is Year 11 High School or equivalent. Some exceptions may be possible. Please note the minimum age for the RSPCA based course is 18 years of age due to RSPCA policy.
Yes, our qualifications in Vet Nursing and Animal Studies are nationally recognised and accredited.  Our company is fully registered by the Australian Government training registration authority ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and the qualification offered is the nationally recognised Certificate. We are supported and endorsed by the Australian Veterinary Association. Our registration authority can be viewed on the training.gov.au website, which is the Australian Government’s website for details of registered courses and training providers –  View our details here.We strongly recommend you search the training.gov.au website for any training organisation you maybe considering.
We follow the national training package for Veterinary Nursing. The latest version of the training package can be viewed here.  training.gov.au is the Australian Government Website for registered training courses and providers.
AVT offers high quality study material written, reviewed and delivered by Veterinarians, Animal Scientists and Veterinary Nurses with formal training qualifications. Our in-house training team have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours creating course resources for our units of competency across all courses.

The difference between registered training providers course content across all RTO's including TAFE is often the units contained in the course and the quality of material. There are many units that can be included in a course and training providers nominate a selection of units they will offer to students.

Our courses are broad based and give an excellent introduction to working with animals across all species. They provide a fantastic is opportunity to learn about many different animals and most importantly allow you to apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace.

To find out more about the units offered within each course visit the Course Content tab on our qualifications pages below.
The code for Certificate II in Animal Studies changed to ACM20117 in November 2017. The content and requirements for this particular certificate have not changed however and the new certificate is deemed equivalent to ACM20110. The reason for the code change is that all units in the Animal Care Package (ACM10) have been reviewed and codes updated for 2017. Some qualifications have changed significantly, others have not. Students who are currently enrolled in ACM20110 Certificate II in Animal Studies or ACM30110 Certificate III in Animal Studies and complete their course prior to November 30th 2018 will be issued the existing qualification code. Students that are still continuing with their studies past 30th November will be transitioned over to the new versions of any remaining units and will receive ACM20117 Certificate II in Animals Studies or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies when they complete their qualification. For more information visit our article on the Changes to National Qualifications 

All of our courses are vocational, which means that they are specifically designed to provide students with the skills, experience and knowledge to enter the animal care workplace. Working in an animal care facility, where you are responsible for a number of different animals and sometimes a range of different species on a daily basis is very different to caring for your own pets at home.

Therefore to successfully complete your qualification you will need to secure a formal workplace practical training placement in a pet related business or organisation.

Below are just a few examples of the types of skills and knowledge that must be covered in all of our courses, which cannot be learned from caring for your own animals –

  • Being able to understand and interpret the behaviour of animals that you are not familiar with.  This is an essential skill in order to ensure that the animal is approached and handled in the most appropriate and safest way so as to minimise stress to the animal and reduce the risk of injury to the handler.
  • The ability to accurately assess the health of an animal that you are not familiar with.  As we know our own animals so well, we can often pick up on the early signs that something is wrong.  However, being able to do this with animals that you do not know particularly well and may be in an unfamiliar environment such as boarding facility, rescue shelter or vet clinic requires a completely different set of skills and knowledge.
  • Understanding of hygiene and infection control practices.  In a facility where numerous animals are housed, it is vital to have a good understanding of the correct hygiene practices to ensure that all animals are kept healthy and to minimise the risk of the spread of disease and cross-contamination.
  • Health and safety practices – working with animals can present a very unique set of risks and therefore it is vital that students are aware of not only the possible risks but also how to ensure they can minimise these risks at all times.
Yes, you can complete your practical training at more than one establishment if you have the opportunity to do so.  Whilst it is not compulsory, training at two different workplaces can be very beneficial and provide you with valuable experiences.  However, in saying this we would recommend that you limit your practical training to no more than 2 different organisations. Also keep in mind, when choosing these workplaces, your practical placement must correspond with the species specific unit that you choose as your elective unit. Finally, we will still need a signed ‘Practical Work Placement Approval form’ for each placement to ensure the suitability of the placement for your studies.
Many of our Animal Studies students, unless employed at a suitable workplace, complete their required hours in a voluntary position whether that be as a volunteer in an animal or wildlife shelter or an animal related business. Prior to commencing your work placement, you will need to complete the practical workplace approval form to our Student Liaison Officer to ensure the voluntary organisation is suitable for the course requirements and is likely to be approved for your workplace training.
For the Certificate II in Animal Studies, you are only required to work with 1 animal species as part of your work placement or workplace practical training. This species must correspond with the elective ‘Species-specific’ unit you have chosen as part of your course.
You will receive a Practical Skills Workbook containing a logbook and all the practical assessments you are required to complete during your placement. Practical assessments include ‘Workplace Assignments’ which include activities such as case studies, photographs, written descriptions of workplace procedures and video evidence of practical tasks. These assessments are designed to see how well you are able to apply the information covered in the theory component of each unit. Each unit also includes ‘Practical Skills Worksheets’ outlining various tasks that you are expected to complete during your placement, with each task signed off by a supervisor once it has been successfully completed. All practical assessments must be submitted to us via our online learning platform for assessment by one of our tutors. A student attendance record is also included in the Workbook and this must be signed by your supervisor to confirm that you have completed the required number of hours during a placement. During your placement, we will also contact your supervisor to obtain feedback on your performance. This feedback will then be relayed to you.
Prior to starting your workplace practical placement, you student must submit a signed ‘Practical Work Placement approval form’. This form must be signed by the person who will be supervising you during your placement and returned to us BEFORE your placement starts. The purpose of this form is to highlight the animals, facilities and equipment available to you and the types of work you will be exposed to during your work placement. You must wait to receive confirmation from us that your work placement has been approved before beginning your practical placement. If your work placement is not approved by AVT, and it is unsuitable for the purposes of this course, then any hours already completed there will not contribute to the completion of this qualification or any of the units of competency.

Student Testimonials

The study modules for the Certificate III were structured in a way that made them extremely interesting and easy to understand. Throughout the courses, I gained an insight into the day-to-day running of animal care facilities and was able to build-up my practical experience through my work placement at a native animal rehabilitation facility.

Hayley Wilson – Certificate III in animal studies graduate

Starting out?

Unsure of which course is best for you? Choosing a new career or just starting out is an exciting and sometimes daunting experience. Read our article about choosing the best course to suit your situation.

About AVT

We are a registered training organisation based in Perth, Western Australia run by veterinarians, animal scientists and veterinary nurses who combine outstanding industry knowledge with extensive experience in teaching.

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