ACM20121 Certificate II In

Animal Care (Online)

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Your dream career awaits! Start your Animal Care Course Online and Kick-start your Career in the Animal Care Industry

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 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. 

Course snapshot

Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT
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Course outline

This course is delivered online and you will not be required to attend classes or lectures. You will:-

  • be provided with a login to our Online Learning Platform where you will find all of the course materials including interactive learning material, videos, and assessments. 
  • receive the personal support of our qualified Trainers & Assessors either via email, online chat or phone.  Our education team is made up of experienced and working veterinary nurses, veterinarians and animal scientists who have hands-on experience in a range of veterinary hospitals and animal related organisations and businesses, and 
  • have help and assistance from our student support team to help you stay on track

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:-

  • have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer, laptop or electronic device. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online, therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • be physically capable of restraining animals, handling animal feed e.g. large bags of food of up to 10 kg and standing for extended periods of time.
  • need to be at least Year 10 high school age
  • to find a suitable workplace for your practical training where your supervisor can also read and write English.

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:

  • an AVT shirt and name badge (supplied by AVT),
  • suitable enclosed shoes (supplied by student),
  • neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

You will be required to wear the AVT uniform unless specified by your approved workplace. 

What will you learn?

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.

Course outcomes

Our graduates go on to a wide range of roles across the animal care industry. 

Job Outcomes

Students who have completed the Certificate II in Animal Care go on to careers as a:

  • Animal care attendant
  • Welfare shelter attendant
  • Kennel hand
  • Cattery attendant
  • Pet shop attendant
  • Assistant dog groomer
  • Stable hand
  • Vet assistant

Skills Outcomes

Some of the skills you will be able to apply once qualified include:

  • Follow and implement animal feeding plans
  • Carry out animal care hygiene routines
  • Assist with assessing the health of animals
  • Administer basic animal first aid techniques
  • Safely and correctly handle and restrain animals
  • Identify and interpret animal behaviour
    Accurately complete animal care records

Course content

All students must complete the following core units:

  • ACMWHS201 Participate in workplace health & safety processes
  • ACMGEN202 Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • BSBCMM211 Apply communication skills
  • ACMGEN203 Feed & water animals
  • ACMGEN204 Assist in healthcare of animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGEN201 Work in the animal care industry

Online eLearning students will also be required to study:

  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid
  • ACMGEN205 Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMGEN102 Approach and handle a range of calm animals
  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines

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. 

  • ACMSPE316 Provide general care of domestic dogs
  • ACMSPE317 Provide general care of domestic cats
  • ACMSPE314 Provide general care of birds
  • ACMSPE322 Provide general care of rodents or rabbits

Why choose our Online eLearning option for your Animal Care Course?

*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.

Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students are saying about this course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $2,845*

Payable via our monthly payment plan. Initial payment of $260 plus 11 x $235 monthly payments and includes:-

*Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued. Please see our policies page for full details. Concession rates are not available for this course
 ** Workplace Practical Insurance Cover only applies to students undertaking practical training whilst in Australia

Apply now

Course Status
Application Status
ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care 2021

Ready to enrol? It’s easy, just complete our online application form.  Once we have received and reviewed your submission you will receive an email outlining the next steps to get started. 


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.

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

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!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Prerequisite for Vet Nursing

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care is a prerequisite for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Completing our Animal Care course is the best pathway to becoming a Qualified Vet Nurse.

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Safe and Supported Learning

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.

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