ACM20121 Certificate II In

Animal Care (VETDSS High School)

Open your Eyes to the Amazing World of Working with Animals

Are you crazy about animals? Can you see a future where you will care for animals and play an active role in their welfare? 

If you’re an upper high school aged student, our ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (VETDSS) course is designed for you! Our Perth based course is specifically structured for years 10 – 12 high school students (or those eligible for NOA: Notice of Arrangement or are homeschooled) who wish to integrate a VET course (VETis course) with their final years of secondary school study.

You will attend Landsdale Farm in Darch, WA one day a week and work hands-on with companion and farm animals as well as participate in classroom and practical sessions conducted by experienced AVT trainers who hold working with children checks. Your course is designed so you do not have to find an additional work placement position. 

This certificate will allow you to meet the prerequisite for the national qualification in veterinary nursing or start your career as an animal carer or attendant.

Course snapshot

  • Duration: One Semester (View timetable)
  • Next Intake: Starts February 2024 
  • Application status: Apply now
  • Practical Training: 1 day per week at Landsdale Farm in Darch, WA
  • Prerequisite: No prior qualifications are required
  • Best suited to: Years 10 – 12 high school aged students who are passionate about a career working with animals  

Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded places available

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care is included on the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s VET delivered to Secondary Schools funded list.

The VET Fees and Charges Policy applies to Department funded VET delivered to secondary students. This means enrolled school students are exempt from course and resource fees if they are undertaking a Department funded VET course. Read eligibility and criteria information.

Find out more about a school-based traineeship in Animal Care.

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Course outline

This is an on-site course. Where you will:

  • Attend Landsdale Farm in Darch, WA 1 day per week from 8:00am – 3:00pm for classes and practical training, and
  • Complete online eLearning from home and during classes

If you are not Perth-based or are unable to attend Landsdale Farm for weekly classes and practical training, we highly recommend our online course option: ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (Online)

Students must:

  • Be available to participate in ALL training days (1 day per week)
  • Be physically capable of restraining animals, handling animal feed e.g. large bags of food of up to 10kg and standing for extended periods of time
  • Bring a laptop on-site each week to complete online assessments
  • Have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer or laptop at home or school to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media in your own time 
  • Be proficient in speaking and writing in English

Please note that Year 12 students are only eligible to apply for the semester one intake of this course. 

Credit transfers
Students with eligible credit transfers may apply; however, due to the course delivery format, 100% attendance is required for on-site training days and therefore full course fees will apply.

You will be required to wear:

  • An AVT top, hat and name badge (supplied by AVT)
  • Steel-capped shoes (supplied by student)
  • Neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

What will you learn?

On successful completion of this course you will have the knowledge to approach, handle and care for a range of companion and farm animals.

In addition to the topics covered in the Certificate II in Animal Care VET schools course, you will be introduced to:

  • Working in the world of animal care 
  • Understanding body language in animals and how to encourage natural animal behaviour
  • Safety around animals including how to keep you and animals safe from each other
  • Communication skills including how to build effective relationships with supervisors, peers, customers and clients in an animal care workplace 
  • Sustainability in the animal care industry
  • Providing animal care information including how to help pet owners source information about the care and welfare of their pets e.g.  providing preventative health treatments in a pet shop environment
  • Practicing and learning about low stress animal handling and minimising stress to animals in an enclosed or captive environment 
  • Observing animal behaviour for health and wellness
  • Enrichment in an animal care environment including making enrichment activities for different species
  • Basic animal health care including first aid for animals
VETDSS in Animal Care for High School Students

Want to start your studies but not located in Perth?

Our online option provides the flexibility to complete this course from anywhere in Australia.
Study Online Here >>

Course outcomes

AVT animal care graduates are succesful in starting their careers in a variety of roles. 

Job Outcomes

High School Students who complete ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care start out in roles such as:

  • Kennel hands or cattery attendant
  • Animal care attendant
  • Welfare shelter attendant
  • Junior farm hand / attendant
  • Station hand
  • Retail assistants (pet and feed shops)
  • Dog washers and grooming assistants
  • Professional dog and pet sitters
  • Stable hands
  • Veterinary assistants

Career Opportunities

Some of the organisations actively recruiting Animal Care graduates include:

  • Dog, cat and pet boarding facilities
  • Shelters for animals including rehoming organisations
  • Retail businesses such as pet shops
  • Wildlife care and rehabilitation centres
  • Animal welfare organisations
  • Farming and agricultural organisations
  • Dog training organisations
  • Horse agistment and stables
  • Veterinary clinics

Course content

You 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 health care of animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGEN201 Work in the animal care industry

You must also complete the following compulsory elective units:

  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines
  • ACMSPE322 Provide general care of rodents or rabbits
  • ACMGEN205 Source and provide information for animal care needs
  • ACMGEN102 Approach and handle a range of calm animals
  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid

Why choose AVT for your VET Animal Care course?

  • No stress for you or your VET Coordinator – You do not have to worry about finding a work placement normally required for this course. Your training and face-to-face practical assessments will be conducted on-site.
  • You will work hands-on with a range of companion and farm animals at Landsdale Farm.
  • Our qualified Trainers deliver supervised practical training and assessments with a structured study timetable to ensure you stay on track. All Trainers hold valid working with children checks to ensure your safety.
  • Regularly updated course material that is easy to follow and will help you understand and apply theory with ease.
  • An AVT animal care certificate is well recognised by industry and will give you job ready skills to increase your opportunities for employment in the animal care industry and provides recognition towards entry into further studies.

Completion of this qualification meets the prerequisite for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing however, it does not guarantee you a place. 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 people are saying about our Animal Care Courses

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $3,648

Payable via our monthly payment plan with an initial payment of $348 plus 5 x $660 monthly payments. Fees include:-

  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT Trainers
  • Practical training insurance
  • Training in our on- campus animal shelter
  • Access to the AVT interactive online elearning centre
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, name badge and workbook 

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.

Course fees: Limited Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded places available

Non-funded students: $3,648. Course fees are payable via our monthly payment plan with an initial payment of $348 plus 5 x $660 monthly payments.

Fees include:

  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT Trainers
  • Practical training insurance
  • Training on-site at Landsdale Farm
  • Access to the AVT interactive online elearning centre
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, hat, name badge and workbook 

Summary of eligibility for VETDSS

All Western Australian residents entitled to undertake publicly funded training, as set out in the Department’s ‘VET Fees and Charges Policy’, are eligible subject to the requirements under the Department’s VET Delivered to Secondary Students Funding Policy.

To be eligible for a Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded place you must:

  • Be attending compulsory education and not hold a Notice of Arrangement (NOA)
  • Have not completed one or more funded qualifications for Year 11s or two or more for Year 12s (please see table below)
VETDSS Commencement
Commencement in Year 11Not completed more than one qualification or skill set
Commencement in Year 12Not completed more than two qualifications, or a completed qualification and completed skill set

Funded places are subject to eligibility and availability. Student tuition fees are indicative only and are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Please see our policies page for full details.

Please note:

  • ‘Qualification’ means qualification or accredited course.
  • Eligibility of Year 10 students for VETDSS in Years 11 and 12 is subject to any completed school-based apprenticeship or traineeship undertaken in Year 10. Please contact us if you’re in Year 10 and interested in finding out more.
  • Does not show additional school-based apprenticeship and traineeship eligibility.
  • Information above is effective 1 January 2023 and is subject to change.

Apply for our VETDSS Animal Care course

Course Dates
Application Status
February 2024 Intake
Course runs 8th Feb 24 - 27th Jun 24
July 2024 Intake
Commences in July 2024

This course has limited places with high demand. We reserve the right to close course intakes before the advertised close date. If applications are open, we recommend applying as early as possible. For more details on the application process please visit this link.


The application process for our Animal Care on-campus / on-site courses are as follows:

  • Step 1 – Apply using our online form found on the course page. If an application period is not open you can register your details and we will contact you when applications are open.
  • Step 2 – Your application will be reviewed by one of our AVT Student Liaison Officers. If you are a VETDSS high school student we will speak with your parent/guardian and VET Coordinator.
  • Step 3 – Successful applicants will be emailed an offer including payment plan details.
  • Step 4 – You will be required to activate your payment plan prior to course commencement

For an overview of all important dates and deadlines including details of the next intake for all AVT courses, visit our timetables and key dates page.

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 25 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Outstanding Track Record

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 93% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT.

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're approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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