ACM20121 Certificate II In

Animal Care Course (Veterinary Nursing Pathway)

Start your Pathway to a Career in Veterinary Nursing

Are you passionate about caring for animals and see your future self working in a veterinary hospital one day? ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care Intensive (Veterinary Nursing Pathway), previously ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies, is just for you!

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 in a veterinary hospital.*

This 10-week intensive course is geared towards aspiring veterinary nurses and ensures that you acquire essential skills and knowledge in simulated environments and is based at our AVT Veterinary Training Facility in Ascot, WA. The course format means you do not have to spend time finding your own work placement. Instead, you will learn your hands-on practical training alongside a small group of other students. Our highly experienced trainers will instruct and supervise you and you will also be required to complete home-based online learning throughout the week.

Course snapshot

  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Next intake: January 2024
  • Application status: Apply now
  • Practical Training: 1 day per week on-campus
  • Prerequisite: No prior qualifications are required
  • Best suited to: Students considering a career in Vet Nursing or commencing a career as an Animal Care Assistant
NRT - nationally recognised training - for animal studies, horse care and vet nursing
Vet Nursing Pathway Course in Perth
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Course outline

Our Veterinary Nurse Pathway course is delivered via blended learning incorporating on-campus practical training and online eLearning. You will participate in the following:-

  • On-campus Orientation Day at the commencement of the course
  • One day per week on-campus at our Ascot training facility from 8.00am – 3.00pm (day of the week confirmed at time of enrolment)
  • Home-based online study to complete your theory and submit assessments

We will endeavour to meet your preference for practical training / on-site training days but this can not be guaranteed. Attendance at ALL practical training days is compulsory.

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 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
  • 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.

You will be required to wear:

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

What will you learn?

During our Vet Nursing Pathway course, you’ll become familiar with the fundamental principles of working in the animal care industry. You’ll also gain confidence in approaching, handling, and caring for a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and rodents. In addition to the topics covered in the Certificate II in Animal Care course, you will be introduced to:-

  • Foundations of veterinary nursing reception duties
  • Understanding body language in animals and encouraging natural animal behaviours
  • Low stress handling and minimising stress in a veterinary clinic
  • Conducting animal hygiene routines e.g. clip, brush and wash
  • Assisting with healthcare assessments and administering basic first aid
  • Providing information on preventative treatments and nutrition to clients

Want to start your studies but still at high school?

If you're an upper high school aged student, our VETDSS course is designed for you!
Find out more here >>

All of the skills and knowledge you will learn can be applied in an entry level position such as an Animal Attendant in a veterinary hospital or can be used across a broad range of animal care organisations. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.

Course outcomes

On completion, students meet the pre-requisite for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, the nationally accredited couse for a fully qualified veterinary nurse. Our graduates also can choose to 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

Career Opportunities

Jobs for our graduates are available across a range of organisations including:-

  • Veterinary practices
  • Dog kennels, catteries and boarding facilities
  • Animal shelters, rehabilitation organisations and adoption and rehoming centres
  • Pet shops and animal related retail businesses
  • Groomers
  • Stables and agistments

Course content

All students must complete the following core units providing knowledge and skills across of range of animal species such as cats and dogs:

  • 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 Intensive (Vet Nursing Pathway) Students will also be required to study:

  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines
  • ACMVET201 Assist with veterinary nursing reception duties
  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid
  • ACMGEN102 Approach and handle a range of calm animals
  • ACMSPE317 Provide General Care of Domestic Cats

Why choose an intensive pathway course for your Animal Care course?

  • Professionally managed and delivered course, complete with tutorials and lectures to help you understand and apply theory with ease.
  • Qualified Trainers delivering supervised practical training and assessment with a structured study timetable 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 10 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.

*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 say about our Veterinary Nursing Pathway course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $3,648*

Payable via our monthly payment plan. Initial payment of $1,500 plus 3 x $716 monthly payments and includes:-

  • Learning guides (Downloadable)
  • Textbooks (Downloadable)
  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT lecturers
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Practical training insurance
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, name badge and workbook 

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

*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.

Apply now for our Vet Nursing Pathway Course

Course Dates
Application Status
January 2024 Intake
Course runs 23 Jan 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Applications Now Open
April 2024 Intake
Apr - Jul 24

This course has limited places with high demand. We reserve the right to close course intakes before the advertised close date. We recommend submitting your application below, as early as possible. 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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