Working or volunteering with animals is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, and the best place to start is with this entry-level course. ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (formerly ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies) will prepare you for a range of jobs such as an animal carer or animal attendant in a doggy daycare, kennel or cattery, stable, veterinary clinic, animal shelter or pet shop.
This nationally accredited, 1 year course will give you the foundation skills and knowledge to get started in the animal care industry. It is the perfect option for final year high school students wishing to undertake vocational studies or for someone who is considering further studies in animal care and veterinary nursing.
This course is delivered online and you will not be required to attend classes or lectures. You will:-
To gain the valuable practical skills required to successfully complete this course, you will be required to complete 100 hours of workplace based training (a Work Placement).
You are ultimately responsible for finding and securing your work placement position. This means you have the flexibility to select a workplace that suits your location, availability and interests. If you do not wish to find your own placement, you can choose from one of our Intensive Courses (WA based).
If you are already working in an animal care related business, or volunteering in an animal related organisation, it may be possible to use your place of employment for your workplace training. You will still need to submit your workplace details for review and approval.
Ideal work placement facilities include kennels, catteries, doggy day care centres, animal welfare shelters, pet shops (with access to animals), wildlife rehabilitation centres or zoos. Keep in mind, you will need to have access to at least two species of animals. For more information see our Work Placement FAQ’s below or visit Practical Work Placements in Animal Care
The Certificate II in Animal Care is an ideal starting point if you have very little or no prior knowledge or experience in the animal care industry. There are no prerequisites for entry into this course, making it a great pre-vocational course.
To complete the course you will:-
We are unable to offer this course to students currently living overseas or those on a student visa. For more information visit our frequently asked questions below:-
When you visit your Work Placement you will be required to wear:
You will be required to wear the AVT uniform unless specified by your approved workplace.
You will complete 12 units of study covering a broad range of topics relating to the principles of working in the animal care industry. You will be introduced to:-
All of the skills and knowledge you will learn can be applied across a broad range of animal care facilities. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.
Our graduates go on to a wide range of roles across the animal care industry.
All students must complete the following core units:
Online eLearning students will also be required to study:
Students must select one species-specific elective unit from this list below which will correspond with a species they are working with as part of their work placement.
*Please note: Completion of this qualification meets the prerequisite for ACM40418 Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing. However, it does not guarantee you a place on one of our own courses. Due to high demand, our AVT selection criteria also apply. Please read full details on our Veterinary Nursing Course Entry page.
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 RTOs including TAFE is often the units contained in the course and the quality of the 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 opportunity to learn about many different animals and most importantly allow you to apply what you learn from our online course material or in the classroom to the workplace.
To find out more about the units offered within each course visit the Course Content section on our qualifications pages.
Individuals employed by a business under an Apprenticeship or Traineeship arrangement can nominate any RTO (Registered Training Provider) with the relevant qualifications on scope to provide training for their chosen qualification, provided that RTO has the capacity to deliver the qualification under traineeship conditions.
Often the choice of RTO is a joint decision made between the Employer and the Trainee/Apprentice, to ensure the mode of delivery is suitable for both Trainee and Employer needs,
AVT currently only accepts new entrant traineeship nominations for ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies, where the trainee has an approved training contract registered with the Apprenticeship Office.
Further information about Apprenticeships and Traineeships can be found at www.apprenticeshipsupport.com.au/states/Western-Australia
We have a team of highly qualified trainers and assessors who have worked in various areas of the animal industry (take a look at our ‘Meet Our Team’ page). Our trainers and assessors 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 video call.
The units are assessed using various methods. Throughout your course you may be expected to submit assessments via the following methods:-
Please read our important information about our courses, lessons and COVID-19 here
Animal Care and Animal Studies
Certificate II in Animal Care and III in Animal Studies are Online Courses with the exception of the on-campus courses below:
For the online courses, you do not need to attend lessons. A majority of your study will take place at home, online. You will also need to attend an approved workplace to complete practical training. All assessments are completed and submitted online.
ACM20217 Certificate in Horse Care is an Online Course. You do not need to attend lessons and you can carry out all of your studies from home. You will also attend practical training at a horse care facility where you will complete assessments and skills worksheets. All assessments are then completed and submitted online.
Our ACM40418 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 campus each week throughout the term. If you are applying for the online mode, you do not need to attend classes.
Animal Behaviour and Training
ACM40321 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training is offered via blended learning. Your theory and interactive lessons are studied from home via online eLearning and Zoom classes, plus you will attend group training workshops at a training facility in Perth WA.
All online eLearning students from Animal Studies, Animal Behaviour and Training, Horse Care 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 campus in Perth, Western Australia. For more information visit our Workshops Page
We currently offer two modes of study for our Animal Care courses. You can choose from a self-paced, online eLearning option which includes workplace training at an approved location of your choice. Our online eLearning options allow you to apply at any time throughout the year. To enrol simply visit our qualifications pages below, to enrol in the online course.
We also offer workplace-based courses for each of our Animal Studies courses. You can choose from our Certificate 3 course based at the RSPCA in Malaga WA, or our Certificate 2 courses either at the Cat Haven and Greyhounds as Pets, our campus in Ascot, or at Conservation Park. Each course has intakes throughout the year. We recommend visiting our timetable and key dates for the most up to date course start and end dates. To find out more about our workplace-based courses go simply visit the qualifications pages listed below.
The table below details the duration and maximum allowable time you can take to complete our courses. Our online courses are self-paced, meaning you can obtain your qualification much sooner if you wish to as long as all assessments and training have been successfully completed.
Extensions are available on a case by case review. For more information about extensions please visit our Student Policies page.
|ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care||1 Year|
|ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies+||1 Year|
|ACM20217 Certificate II in Horse Care||1 Year|
|ACM30121 Certificate III in Animal Care Services||2 Years|
|ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies+||1 Year|
|ACM40321 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour & Training||1 Year|
|ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing Online||2 Years|
|ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing On-campus Full-time||1 Year|
|ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing On-campus Part-time||1.5 Years|
|Equine Veterinary Nursing Certificate||1 Year|
+ The ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies and ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies have been updated by the regulating bodies to meet the Standards for Training Packages. As such, ACM20117 has been superseded by ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care, and ACM30117 has been superseded by ACM30121 Certificate III in Animal Care Services. All students currently studying ACM20117 or ACM30117 will be expected to complete the qualification by their original course end date or 12th April 2023 (whichever is sooner). No extensions will be granted.
The minimum age requirements for Certificate II in Animal Care are based on academic school year. For the Certificate II in Animal Care, this is Year 10 High School or equivalent. Some exceptions may be possible. Please note the minimum age for our Intensive Courses is 18 years of age due to the policies of our work placement facilities.
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.
Many of our Animal Studies and Animal Care 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 submit a Practical Work Placement Approval Kit. Once received, our Student Liaison Officer will assess the organisation to ensure it meets the workplace criteria for your course.
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 ‘Workplace Approval Form’ for each placement to ensure the suitability of the placement for your studies.
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 –
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.
For the Certificate II in Animal Care, you are only required to work with two different species as part of your work placement or workplace practical training. One must be a companion animal and one must correspond with the elective ‘Species-specific’ unit you have chosen as part of your course.
Prior to starting your workplace practical placement, you student must submit a signed ‘Workplace 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.
The Animal Care and Management Package, (ACM10), outlines the qualifications and contents of the individual nationally recognised qualifications. Over the past years, this package has been updated to reflect the needs of the animal care industry and as a result, the course code and name have evolved over this period.
In November 2017, Certificate II in Animal Studies was upgraded from ACM20110 to ACM20117. The content and requirements for this particular certificate did not change and the newer certificate was deemed equivalent to ACM20110.
In April 2021, ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies was superseded by ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care with changes to core and elective units. For more detailed information about this upgrade and course availability see the detailed post Certificate II and Certificate III in Animal Studies Qualifications to be replaced with updated training packages ACM20121 and ACM30121
Yes, our qualifications in Vet Nursing, Horse Care and Animal Studies/Care are nationally recognised and accredited.
Our company, Applied Vocational Training (AVT), is fully registered by the Australian Government training registration authority ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority). Our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Number is 5273. The qualifications we offer are nationally recognised Certificates.
We are also 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 may be considering.
None of the courses currently offered by Applied Vocational Training are eligible for Government HECS-HELP or VET Student Loans (formerly VET FEE-HELP).
HECS-HELP is a scheme that assists eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amount with either a loan or a discount for certain up-front payments. HECS‑HELP loans are available at all public universities and at a handful of private higher education providers.
VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan scheme to assist eligible students studying diploma level and above qualifications to pay their tuition fees. VET Student Loans replaces VET FEE-HELP from 1 January 2017. There are no Government loans available for Certificate IV and lower levels of study including those offered at AVT.
To find out if you may be eligible for alternative support such as Youth Allowance, we recommend contacting Centrelink .
Concession fees are available to eligible students only through our courses which have been granted government funding. Currently, this applies to the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing for students that are residing within Western Australia and our Certificate II in Animal Care Intensive (Animal Health and Welfare). For more information on the eligibility criteria please see the fees section of the course page.
We offer flexible monthly payment plans with instalments for all students. We do not require upfront full payment for any of our courses. Total course fees and payment plan structure vary with each course and individual circumstances. Visit the relevant qualifications page for more information or contact us for further details.
In some cases, registered training organisations (RTOs) may enrol non-resident students who are temporarily visiting or reside in Australia on certain visas, other than study visas. However, some visas include restrictions on training. Most visas and sub-class visas clearly outline what your study rights are in Australia. It is the responsibility of the individual to check their study and work rights according to their individual visa.
Further information is also available from the Department of Home Affairs.
Students wishing to be considered for funded places in the ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing should visit this page for more detailed information about eligibility.
In some cases, a registered training organisation (RTO) may enrol students who are temporarily visiting or reside in Australia on certain visas, other than study visas. However, some visas include restrictions on training. Most visas and sub-class visas clearly outline what your study rights are in Australia. It is the responsibility of the individual to check their study and work rights according to their individual visa* . Further information is also available from the Department of Home Affairs.
*Any course undertaken by a student visa holder must be registered on CRICOS and training must be provided by a CRICOS registered provider (The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students). Applied Vocational Training is not a registered CRICOS provider and as such we are unable to accept applications from individuals wishing to study on a student visa.
Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS
This answer specifically addresses students who wish to study in Australia on a Student Visa.
Unfortunately, we are unable to assist individuals with studying as an international student as we do not hold the required CRICOS registration “The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
The following link outlines the main steps to be taken to be able to study in Australia homeaffairs.gov.au. This will require applying for a student visa under the Vocational Education and Training Sector. However, you will need to have been accepted into a full-time study course by a CRICOS approved provider and then apply for the student visa. These normally take approximately 46 days to process.
You may find CRICOS registered training institutions in Australia who can offer qualifications to international students. Some TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions hold CRICOS registration and offer courses in Animal Studies and Veterinary Nursing.
Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS
This answer specifically addresses international students who wish to study in Australia on a Student Visa.
Unfortunately, we are unable to assist individuals with studying as an international student in Australia as we do not have the necessary registration with our government to enrol students in Australia on a Student Visa. The required registration for this is CRICOS ‘The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students’.
To find out more about studying in Australia we recommend visiting the Australian Government website: homeaffairs.gov.au. This will require applying for a student visa under the Vocational Education and Training Sector. However, you will need to have been accepted into a full-time study course by a CRICOS approved provider and then apply for the student visa. These normally take approximately 46 days to process.
You may find CRICOS registered training institutions in Australia who can offer qualifications to international students. Some TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions hold CRICOS registration and offer courses in Animal Studies and Veterinary Nursing
Tags: international, overseas, visa, CRICOS
All qualifications offered by Applied Vocational Training require students to learn and demonstrate knowledge and practical application of a significant amount of Australian local and state legislation, regulations and standards.
In other countries, legislation, regulations and standards are often different, making it difficult for us to assess and recognise competence in all areas.
As such, Applied Vocational Training no longer accepts applications from students living overseas*
* Individuals who currently live overseas but are intending to return and or/live in Australia may be considered for enrolment. If such enrolment were to occur it would not be possible for any certification to be awarded until the student could be assessed as competent in Australia, regardless of the amount of course work completed overseas.
Yes. If you have completed and passed the exact same unit as delivered by AVT, you will receive a credit transfer for the unit. You must be deemed competent and be awarded a PASS in the unit.
At the time of application, you will be required to provide us with a Statement of Attainment from a recognised and approved training provider. We will verify your previous studies with the training provider.
For information about fees and charges that apply to credit transfers, please see our student policy page.
Credit transfer fees do not apply for students who have completed a previous qualification with AVT.
To receive a credit for a unit of competency that you have previously been awarded, you must be able to supply a verifiable Testamur (certificate) or Statement of Attainment obtained from the issuing provider.
A Testamur or Statement of Attainment must either contain the wording ‘The qualification is recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework’ or the AQF logo authorised by the AQF Council.
A Record of Results or Statement of Academic Record by itself is not sufficient when applying for a credit transfer of a nationally recognised unit of competency.
If you do not have a copy of your Testamur or Statement of Attainment you are responsible for requesting a copy from the issuing provider, we are unable to do this on your behalf.
For more information about RPL see our frequently asked questions here.
Students with eligible credit transfers may apply, however, due to the course delivery format, 100% attendance is required for induction and practical training/on-site days and therefore full course fees will apply.
Yes. You can use units of competency received from a prior qualification even if the unit is different from an elective unit required by AVT. You can claim a credit transfer (CT) for these units as long as:-
If this is the case, then you may use previous units of study to fulfil the elective component of the qualification.
You will be required to provide us with a Statement of Attainment from a recognised and approved training provider at the time of application. We will verify your previous studies with the training provider.
For information about fees and charges that apply to credit transfers, please see our student policy page.
Please note, we are unable to offer RPL or Train and Assess any other elective unit of competency other than the ones provided in the courses offered on our website.
For a full list of our qualifications visit our Qualifications Overview page
In meeting the required rules of evidence and principals of assessment, AVT is unable to provide recognition of prior learning (RPL) to candidates who can not demonstrate recent and current skills and knowledge.
Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they meet the competency requirements of the current training package including application of current industry techniques using the latest technology, equipment and supplies in accordance with the current standards and regulations.
If you wish to gain certification as a veterinary nurse or animal carer without having current experience, you will need to enrol in and complete the full course.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available to enrolled students of AVT qualifications. Learn more here.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available to enrolled students of AVT qualifications. The prior learning may be in the form of previous studies or completed qualifications (including superseded qualifications), on the job experience or volunteer work.
To find out more detailed information about RPL visit our RPL page.
AVT has been training Animal Care and Vet Nursing students for over 20 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!
A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 89.5% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95.5% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT
Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They are approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.