ACM20121 Certificate II In

Animal Care (Health & Welfare)

Perth's only Nationally Recognised Animal Health and Welfare Focused Course - Start from just $668.20*

Have you ever dreamed of working with animals? Are you looking for an introduction to the animal care and animal welfare industry or a job seeker looking to improve your opportunities? Are you a volunteer and want to offer more help and assistance to an animal welfare or rescue centre, animal adoption, cattery or kennel facility? 

AVT’s ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care (Health and Welfare) course, previously ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies, is a great place to get started if you’re looking to enter the animal care industry or meet the prerequisite for our Veterinary Nursing qualification. 

This 14-week course includes weekly training at the Cat Haven in Shenton Park and at the Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) kennel facility in Southern River. It is one of the quickest ways to gain a Nationally Recognised Animal Care Qualification and obtain valuable experience in a local animal shelter and kennel facilities.

Government Funded Subsidised Discount fees for Animal Care and Vet Nursing

Are you unemployed or working less than 20 hours per week?

You maybe eligible for a funded Jobs & Skills WA position. Read More >>

Course snapshot

  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Application Status: Register your interest
  • Next Intake: March 2024
  • Practical Training: 1 day per week at the Cat Haven or GAP (Thursday or Friday)
  • Class Time: 1 day on-campus in Ascot (Wednesday)
  • Fees:  Subsidised fees start from just $668.20*
  • Prerequisite: No prior qualifications are required
  • Best suited to: Students and Job Seekers who wish to start a career in the animal care industry or those who wish to go on to further studies such as Vet Nursing. This course meets the prerequisite for the national qualification
Animal Care and Welfare Course - Cat Haven Perth
Animal Health - GAP and Cat Haven course
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Course outline

Our Animal Health and Welfare course is delivered via blended learning incorporating online eLearning, on-campus and on-site training. Your assessments will be completed face-to-face as well as online. 

You will participate in the following: 

  • A full day induction at AVT’s Ascot campus at the commencement of the course.
  • 1 day per week at the Cat Haven located in Shenton Park, WA OR at Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) located in Southern River, WA. You will spend time at each facility during the course.
  • 1 day per week at AVT’s Ascot Campus to receive intensive small group practical training and undertake assessments.
  • Home-based online eLearning to complete and submit assessments.

We will endeavour to meet your preference for practical training / on-site training days, but this can not always be guaranteed. Attendance at all practical training days both on-campus and at Cat Haven and GAP is compulsory.

To commence the Animal Health and Welfare Course, students must:

  • be available to participate in ALL training days (2 days per week)
  • 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
  • have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer or laptop. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online in your own time, therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • must be at least 18 years of age
  • due to the required workload and level of study, have a minimum level of schooling up to and including year 10, with a good understanding of science and maths.

You will be undertaking activities with cats. If you are pregnant or thinking about falling pregnant throughout the course, we suggest speaking with your doctor or medical professional before enrolment. If you would like to discuss your individual situation with us further, please feel free to get in touch with our student support team. 

This course is highly competitive and has limited places. Therefore, successful students are selected based on prior work experience, education, individual attitude and aptitude. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by an AVT team member.

Credit transfers

Students with eligible credit transfers may apply, however due to the course delivery format, 100% attendance is required for orientation/induction and practical placement days and therefore full course fees will apply. Credit transfer fees do not apply for Jobs and Skills WA funded students. 

For our Animal Health and Welfare Course you will be required to wear:

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

“Presentation is key to success”

What will you learn?

During our Animal Health and Welfare course, you’ll become familiar with the fundamental principles of working in the animal care industry. In addition to the topics covered in the Certificate II in Animal Care course, you will be introduced to:

  • The principles of working and volunteering in the animal care industry.
  • Understanding body language in animals and encouraging natural animal behaviours.
  • Low stress handling and minimising stress in the rescue or animal care environment.
  • Enrichment in an animal care environment including mental stimulation, exercise and feed planning and socialisation.
  • Increasing an animal’s potential for rehoming.
  • Animal health and well-being including first aid for animals, animal care hygiene routines to minimise spread of disease and more.

All of the skills and knowledge you will learn in this animal care and animal welfare course can be applied in an animal adoption, shelter or rescue based organisation or across a broad range of animal care facilities in commercial organisations. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.

Course in animal welfare and care

Course outcomes

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

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this course work in a range of animal care organisations such as:

  • Welfare organisations and shelters
  • Adoption and rehoming services
  • Dog kennels, catteries and boarding facilities
  • Pet shops and retail businesses
  • Groomers
  • Dog daycare centres
  • Dog training services
  • At home services including self-employment in dog walking and pet sitting

Animal Care and Welfare 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

Certificate II (Animal Health & Welfare) Students will also be required to study:

  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines
  • ACMSPE317 Provide general care of domestic cats
  • 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 an intensive pathway for your Animal Care course?

  • Professionally managed and delivered course – with on-site supervision, complete with tutorials and lectures to help you understand and apply theory with ease.
  • Qualified Trainer and Assessors delivering supervised practical training and assessment with a structured study time table to ensure you stay on track and are learning from the best.
  • This intensive pathway will allow you to meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing – you can gain your qualification in 14 weeks and apply for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing to become a qualified veterinary nurse. ** 
  • No stress! This unique format course also means you do not have to worry about finding your own work placement normally required for this national qualification. Your essential practical training and classroom training will take place in a small group setting with other like-minded students.
  • This certificate increases your opportunities for employment in the animal care industry and gives recognition towards entry into further studies.

** 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 start from $668.20*

Our fee range depends on your eligibility for a Jobs & Skills WA based funded position and your concession status (see full details here). All fees are payable via our monthly payment plan. Our fees include:-

  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT Trainers 
  • Membership to a Private Facebook Group for your class
  • Access to the AVT interactive online eLearning Centre
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Practical training insurance
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, name badge and workbook and goodies. 

If you would like more information about our fees, the initial deposit and payment plan, including options, please contact our friendly Student Support Team OR Request a Call

* Funded places are subject to eligibility and availability. Student tuition fees are indicative only and are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Additional fees may apply such as student service and resource fees. If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued unless you are a Jobs & Skills WA funded student. Please see our policies page for full details.

Register for our next Animal Health and Welfare Course

Course Dates
Application Status
March 2024 Intake
Course commences March 2024

This course has limited places. We recommend submitting your application, as early as possible.  AVT reserves the right to cancel or make changes to the location and training days for this course (See cancellation policy). For full details of 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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