Like to Learn How to Care for Companion Animals?

certificate ii in animal studies

Nationally Recognised Training

This qualification is delivered by ACAC on behalf of the University of Queensland, trading as UQ Skills, RTO ID: 1511.
UQ Skills is the Principal RTO and this course is on the UQ Skills scope of registration, as documented through a written third party agreement. For more information refer to the FAQ.

Starting a career or volunteer work in the animal care industry can be incredibly fulfilling, and the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care offers the perfect entry point. This qualification equips you with the essential skills and knowledge required to care for companion animals across various settings, including homes, shelters, pet shops, and boarding facilities.

If you are passionate about working with animals but have not yet pinpointed a specific career path, this course provides an excellent foundation. It is also an ideal choice for high school students looking to integrate vocational training into their final years of education.

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care not only prepares you for direct entry into the workforce but also serves as a stepping stone to further studies and qualifications, such as the ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Studies, veterinary nursing, and a variety of other animal care roles.

Practical Experience Requirement: To achieve this qualification, you must complete a minimum of 10 days of work experience at an animal shelter, boarding facility, or pet shop. This hands-on experience is crucial in providing you with the practical skills necessary to succeed in the course and your future career in animal care.

This ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Studies is offered by UQ Skills (RTO 1511) with the expert training, assessment, recruitment and support services provided by ACAC.

certificate ii in animal studies
  • Delivered through our intuitive online ‘Learning Centre’ along with printed learner’s guides, this course is designed to seamlessly integrate into your school, life, and work schedule.
  • The flexibility of this course allows you to study wherever you are, no need to attend campus.
  • The practical component can be completed at an animal care workplace near you, ensuring that you gain hands-on experience in a real-world setting that’s conveniently accessible.

What Will I Study in the

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care?

Working with Animals
certificate iii in animal studies

Explore the fundamentals of working in the animal care industry. This subject provides an overview of various animal care careers and what they entail, including the necessary skills and typical work schedules. Delve into the basics of identifying different species and breeds, and learn the essential terminology and equipment used in daily operations. Gain practical skills in animal restraint and handling, with specific techniques for managing dogs and cats effectively and safely. This subject lays the groundwork for a successful career in animal care, combining theoretical knowledge with essential practical skills.

certificate ii in animal studies

Health and safety are vital aspects of working in any animal care workplace. We’ll introduce you to Work Health and Safety legislation and how it applies to employees, and teach you the basics of risk management and controls. We’ll also show you how to deal with sharps, allergies, noise, dangerous chemicals and drugs, emergencies, biological hazards and zoonoses. Then we’ll finish off with a closer look at animal hazards and manual handling when it comes to animal care workplaces and how you can minimise injury.

Delve into the dynamics of effective communication and teamwork within the animal care industry. This subject emphasizes the importance of clear and effective workplace communication, covering verbal interactions, interpersonal skills, and written communications essential for maintaining professional relationships and workflow. Explore the role of workplace policies in shaping a productive environment and learn how to contribute positively to team efforts. This comprehensive overview prepares you for collaborative work in various animal care settings, ensuring you can operate efficiently and harmoniously within a team.

certificate iv in pet styling

Master the art of sourcing and managing information critical to animal care. This subject teaches you how to identify and obtain relevant data, including detailed medication information essential for ensuring proper care. Learn the skills needed to effectively communicate vital information to clients, ensuring they have the knowledge to support their pets’ health. You will also gain proficiency in maintaining accurate workplace records and navigating microchip registries, which are crucial for the management and identification of animals. This subject equips you with the knowledge and tools to handle information responsibly and efficiently in any animal care setting.

certificate ii in animal studies

This subject is designed to enhance your understanding of sustainability in the animal care industry. Learn to identify current resource usage and assess the environmental impacts of various practices. You’ll explore how to comply with environmental regulations and discover strategies to improve resource efficiency in your workplace. This course is essential for anyone looking to implement more sustainable and responsible practices in animal care settings, ensuring that operations not only meet regulatory standards but also contribute positively to environmental conservation.

certificate ii in animal studies

Gain crucial skills in animal first aid to effectively respond in emergency situations. This subject teaches you to recognize the signs of an emergency, identify potential hazards, and perform basic first aid procedures to stabilize animals in distress. Learn the best practices for safely transporting animals to a veterinary clinic, ensuring they receive professional care as quickly as possible. This course is vital for anyone working with animals, providing the knowledge and techniques needed to act swiftly and responsibly in critical moments.

certificate ii in animal studies

Explore the essentials of effective animal husbandry in this comprehensive subject. Start with an introduction to the basic principles of caring for animals, including how to be prepared for the various needs of different species. Learn about the importance of appropriate housing and how to assist with the day-to-day care of animals. Emphasize the critical roles of workplace and animal hygiene, covering everything from maintaining clean environments to grooming practices. Additionally, understand the requirements for providing proper nutrition and hydration. This subject is designed to equip you with foundational knowledge and practical skills for maintaining the health and well-being of animals in any care setting.

certificate iii in animal studies

This subject delves into the vital role of enrichment in promoting healthy behaviour and overall well-being in animals. Begin with an introduction to both behavioural and environmental enrichment, understanding how these elements influence animal behaviour positively. Explore common maladaptive behaviours and identify their causes. Learn the key elements of effective enrichment strategies that can mitigate these behaviours. Finally, apply your knowledge by designing an enrichment program tailored to specific animal needs, enhancing their physical and psychological health. This course is essential for anyone looking to improve the quality of life for animals in their care.

certificate ii in animal studies

To ensure you really understand what you are learning, and master the necessary practical skills, you will undertake 20 days (8 hrs each) of work placement in an approved workplace. These 20 days are split into two lots of two-week placements, covering various skills necessary for the subject related to them. We are very flexible however and can change the structure of the placement to suit you and the workplace, whether you do a day a week, or blocks of weeks. Whatever you need to complete the requirements. Prior to starting your placement, you must successfully complete the WHS and Basics of Animal Handling subjects.

Get Started on Your Dream Career!

certificate ii in animal studies

start your studies with some savings!

Don’t miss out on this deal!

Pay in full and receive $300 off!




interest free payment plan

Enrol now with a first instalment of $495

Then simply pay
10 x $478.50/month or
20 x $239.25/fortnight.

That’s about $120/week!





Don’t live in Australia? That’s no barrier to studying with us. We’re more than happy to have you as a student, and we don’t charge huge international student fees either. Before enrolling with us, we’d like you to be fully informed. Please read the Overseas Student Information by clicking the button below.

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Additional Information on the

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

Have a year 10 pass? Then you can enrol!

To be eligible to enrol in this course, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Have successfully completed Year 10, or equivalent (or have been in the workforce for several years)
  • Have the ability to undertake 20 days work experience placements at an animal care facility near you
  • Ability to use and access the internet and a computer – this is an online course!

We accept school based students doing Year 11 and 12 onto this course! We recommend spreading it out over two years, but you can complete it in one.

Enrolling could not be easier!

  1. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.
  2. Enter in all your details and press submit.
  3. Wait for our Educators to review your application – takes about a business day – then check your email for your enrolment pack. (You might need to check your spam folder).
  4. Fill out the forms in the enrolment package, and post or email it back into us.

Once we have confirmed your payment and enrolment (within a few days), you will receive an email containing your online access details. You can get started straight away! Your printed learner’s guides will be couriered out after you complete your student induction.

Get started on your dream career from only $4980!

Pay in Full and save $300!

Enrol now with a first instalment of $495. Then simply pay $478.50 per month for 10 months (or $239.25/fortnight), totalling $5280.

You will be given 12 months access to our Learning Centre to complete your course. To avoid any course extension fees you do need to complete the course in this time frame.

Important notes on Payment Plans:

  1. Instalments are only available to Australian residents. Overseas based students must pay in full.
  2. If you fly through the course and finish early, you must pay for your course in full before a certificate is issued.
  3. If you decide the course is not for you and want to withdraw, you must still pay for the course cost in full. If you have issues with the course, we urge you to talk to us before withdrawing – we have many solutions!
  4. Your instalment payments will start 30 days after your enrolment is activated and then will be every month until paid in full. Payments are by direct debit from a credit card or Australia bank account only.
  5. It’s important to contact us if you are struggling with your payments – if you fall behind by 14 days or more without making alternative arrangements, you may be withdrawn from the course.

Prices current from 11th May 2024. All prices include resource fees, tuition costs, and administration fees. Additional fees may apply if you do not pass an assignment after two attempts, you need to re-enrol in a subject for any reason, or you need longer than 12 months to complete the course.

What government funding is available?

Unfortunately at this time there is no government funding available for this course. We do encourage you to contact your local job seeker service or apprenticeship centre for further suggestions. School based students may have access to funding and should discuss this with their school.

You can, however, enrol with one of our instalment plans and spread the cost out.

Start anytime it suits you!

We start off new students on the first Monday of every month except December. Enrolments close on the 15th of the month prior.

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

For this qualification to be awarded, you must complete 12 units of competency. Seven of these are core units, and the remaining five are electives. Your electives are set within our course structure and cannot be changed.

The core units you will cover within your subjects are:

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

Your electives are:

  • ACMGEN205 Source and provide information for animal care needs
  • ACMBEH302 Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines
  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid
  • BSBXTW301 Work in a team

Completing the vocational placements (work experience) is an integral feature of our courses, designed to build up your practical skills and make you work ready. You’ll be required to find you own placements, but we’ll also assist where we can, and help you with vital tools such as writing cover letters and resumes.

Plan to do your 10 days of placement at animal shelters, boarding facilities, pet shops or other animal-related workplaces. Some students may require additional days of work experience to complete the skills component of the course. We can arrange for this at no extra charge.

For flexibility, you can break up your placements into smaller chunks – just as long as you complete a minimum 10 full time days over the duration of the course (e.g. 1 day per week or 4 x 1-week blocks). During your placement, you’re fully covered by the RTO’s insurance.

This distance education course is delivered through our Online Learning Centre, complemented by printed learner’s guides sent directly to you at no additional cost. The online format provides the flexibility to study around your own schedule and lifestyle without the need for on-campus attendance.

Upon course commencement, you will receive printed learner’s guides that provide a structured, step-by-step approach to your studies and prepare you for assessments. Additionally, our Online Learning Centre offers a wealth of extra study resources. You will also use this portal to submit your assignments.

The assessment for each subject involves a variety of tasks designed to evaluate your understanding and application of the material. These may include written assignments, case studies, projects, and practical assessments, which can be completed through video recordings or live via Zoom. Practical skills are assessed in the workplace during your work placement.

This course is designed to be completed within 12 months. If you are still in school, you may consider requesting an extension to accommodate your schedule. Typically, students should plan to dedicate at least 5 hours per week to their studies. This ensures sufficient time for completing required readings and assessment tasks. However, if you are able to progress more quickly, you have the option to finish the course sooner.

Please note, additional fees will be incurred if you wish to extend your study period beyond the initial 12 months.

Ready to learn more? After you’ve completed this course you can move on to:

  • ACM30122 Certificate III in Animal Care Studies
  • ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

Veterinary Nurse Solutions, trading as the Australian College of Animal Care (‘ACAC’), has a third party arrangement with UQ Skills which is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). UQ Skills is a business within the University of Queensland under the Faculty Science. In this arrangement, UQ Skills is the ‘Principal RTO’.

For more information about our third party partner UQ Skills, go to: or

At all times, the Principal RTO is responsible for the quality of the training and assessment you will receive in compliance with Standards for RTOs 2015, and for the issuance of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) certification documentation. These Standards set out the requirements that an organisation must meet in order to be an RTO and ensure the integrity and quality of nationally recognised training provided by registered training organisations.

What does this mean for students?

Who are students enrolled with?

Students are enrolled with UQ Skills as the principal RTO.

Who do students do training and assessment with?

All training is conducted by ACAC on behalf of UQ Skills, the principal RTO. All learning and assessment materials are developed by ACAC and approved by UQ Skills.

Who do the trainers and assessors work for?

All trainers and assessors are employed by ACAC, but are approved by UQ Skills.

What if a student needs to make a complaint?

In the first instance you can provide feedback and make a complaint directly to us, ACAC at [email protected]. You are also able to make a complaint or provide feedback directly to the Principal RTO, UQ Skills directly, at: [email protected].

Who issues qualifications and statements of attainment?

On successful completion of all course requirements students are provided with the appropriate qualifications and statements of attainment issued by the Principal RTO, The University of Queensland, trading as UQ Skills, RTO ID: 1511.

What if a student needs to have a qualifications or statement of attainment reissued?

Students can contact either ACAC and we can assist you to organise this. You are also able to directly contact UQ Skills to obtain a new copy of a certificate.