Animal Care

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, we offer the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care as a VETDSS course. Our VETDSS course at Landsdale Farm is specifically structured for years 10 – 12 high school students who wish to integrate a VET course with their final years of secondary school study.

You’ll 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. 

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care has been assessed as appropriate for inclusion on the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s VET delivered to Secondary Schools funded list 2024

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.

If you can’t attend our on-site course at Landsdale Farm, we also offer the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care as a VETDSS online course for high school students.

Course snapshot

One semester 

Application status: Apply now for Semester 1, 2025

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) including a class commencement day in December 
  • Hold C Grades in 10 English and Maths or equivalent 
  • 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 and headphones 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 

^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.

You will be required to wear:

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

Essential Requirements
Throughout this course, you will need to:

  • Collaborate in group settings using both verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Effectively communicate with your peers and Trainer and Assessor.
  • Follow written and verbal instructions accurately.
  • Engage in group activities and practical assessments alongside your peers.
  • Complete workplace documentation using industry-specific language.
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including steel toe-capped boots, gloves and sun protection.
  • Work within an animal care facility, handling and caring for various species. This environment by its nature will expose you to potential allergens.
  • Adhere to hygiene protocols to ensure animal health, which may involve contact with animal waste such as uneaten food, urine, faeces, soiled bedding and enrichment items.

Environmental Requirements
In this course, you will:

  • Attend classes with a maximum of 24 students.
  • Work outdoors, exposed to various weather conditions.
  • Encounter moderate levels of noise, including animal sounds, the general public and farm machinery.
  • Be physically capable of lifting equipment, and standing or walking for extended periods.

Assessment Types
You will be assessed on your skills and knowledge in various ways, including:

  • Written answers, online assessments and tests, multiple choice questions, presentations, verbal questioning and practical tasks visually assessed by Trainer and Assessors.

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 successful 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • ACMGEN103 Assist in the care of animals
  • 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 this course

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.

Fees & inclusions

Funded students: Eligible Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded students are exempt from course and resource fees*

Summary of eligibility for Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded place

The State Government has committed to increasing VETDSS to ensure that more WA school students have access to high quality VET in schools as an option that contributes to them attaining their Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). Please see the Jobs and Skills WA Fact Sheet for VET Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS) for eligibility and criteria information.

AVT can only consider applications for funded places for students who can attend the on-site course. Please ensure you meet the entry requirements before applying for a Jobs and Skills WA VETDSS funded place. 

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.

Course includes:

  • Dedicated student support
  • 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, name badge and workbook 

*Fees subject to change. Please visit our website or speak to our Student Support team for information on eligibility. Funded places are subject to eligibility and availability. Student tuition fees are indicative only and are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment.

Apply now

Course Dates Application Status
Sem 1 2025 Intake
Be notified about future intakes

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.


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 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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