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.

Working or volunteering with animals is incredibly rewarding, and this ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies is a great place to start if you want to enter the animal care industry.

This ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (General Animal Care) delivers you the skills and knowledge you need to look after companion animals – at home, in a shelter, in a pet shop, a boarding facility or other animal care workplaces.

If you know you want to work with animals, but are yet to decide on your exact career path, this course is the ideal first step to get you started. It’s also great for students who want to combine vocational training with their final years of high school.

This ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies is your stepping-stone to greater things – including the ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies, the ACM30417 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services and other animal care qualifications like vet nursing and a wide range of jobs within the animal care industry.

Please note: To receive the qualification, you will need to allow for a minimum of 20 days of work experience at an animal shelter, boarding facility, or pet shop to help give you the practical skills to complete this course.

This ACM20117 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 using our online ‘Learning Centre’ and printed learner’s guides, this course has the flexibility to fit around school, life, and work.
  • Your practical component is completed in an animal care workplace close to you, so no need to attend campus.

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What Will I Study in the

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies?

Working in Animal Care
certificate iii in animal studies

Discover what’s involved in working in the animal care industry from the ground up. We’ll cover the career pathways then branch out into basic animal identification and profiles, terminology, work schedules and prioritising tasks, and Animal Welfare legislation. You’ll also need to do some research on career pathways, general job overviews, and typical employment conditions (e.g. awards and hours worked).

Working Safely in Animal Care
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.

Animal Restraint & Handling

Basic Animal Handling is a whole subject devoted to the correct handling and restraint of the animals in our care. Although a large focus is on dogs and cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds are also covered. Providing safe and low stress animal handling is a vital skill for any animal care worker.

Animal Care Basics
certificate ii in animal studies

This subject covers the basic husbandry requirements of common companion animals and how to look after them when housed in an animal care workplace. You will learn about hygiene routines, feeding and watering, physical exams, basic observations and about a variety of common tasks that you will be expected to perform when you start your animal care career.

Basic First Aid for Animals
certificate ii in animal studies

This subject will introduce you to what to do in an emergency situation when you come across an ill or injured companion animal. You will learn about keeping yourself, others and the animal safe whilst administering basic first aid. We also cover initial first aid steps, how to safely transport to a vet clinic, and when you must contact a vet for further advice and treatment.


Many animal care facilities will require you communicate effectively with both clients and colleagues, Switching terminology is part of this, as is utilising solid communication strategies. Feeling confident in this area can make you more employable and come across great in interviews. Communication techniques also enhance customer service skills and the all-important dealing with complaining clients gracefully.

Infection Control in Animal Care
certificate iii in animal studies

This is a vital element in animal care facility – you’ll learn how to apply basic infection control principles to prevent the spread of diseases, how to set up and use an isolation facility, and how to handle potentially infectious animals.

Sustainable Work Practices
certificate ii in animal studies

This short subject aims to increase awareness sustainable work practices and is a government requirement. It takes a look at the resources you’re likely to use each day and how to minimise the impact on our environment. You’ll take a practical ‘audit’ of a workplace to see what resources are used and how to implement measures that reduce waste.

Work Placement
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 $313.18/month





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 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

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies

Entry Requirements

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.

The Enrolment Process

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.

Course Price

Get started on your dream career from only $3650!

Pay in Full and save $300!

Enrol now with a first instalment of $495. Then simply pay $313.18 per month for 10 months, totalling $3940.

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 30th Dec 2018. 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.

Government Funding

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.

Course Dates

Start anytime it suits you!

We start off new students on the first Monday of every month. Enrolments close approximately 2 weeks prior.

Units of Competency

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies

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

The core units you will cover within your subjects are:

  • ACMGAS201 Work in the animal care industry
  • ACMWHS201 Participate in occupational health & safety processes
  • ACMGAS203 Complete Animal care Hygiene Routines
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGAS202 Participate in workplace communications
  • ACMGAS205 Assist in the health care of animals
  • ACMGAS204 Feed & Water Animals
  • ACMGAS206 Provide basic first aid

Your electives are:

  • ACMGAS208 Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
  • ACMCAS304 Capture, handle and transport companion animals
  • ACMGAS308 Communicate effectively with client and team members

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 placements in two-week blocks 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. If you need more flexibility, you can break up your placements into smaller chunks – just as long as you complete a minimum 20 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 is a distance education course delivered through our Online Learning Centre with printed learner’s guides sent to you at no extra cost. Because you don’t need to attend any on-campus classes, online study gives you extra flexibility to fit the course around your schedule and lifestyle. Once the course starts, you’ll receive printed learner’s guides to take you step by step through your studies and prepare you for assessments. There’s also extra study resources available via our Online Learning Centre – you’ll submit assignments through this portal, too. Each subject contains various assessment tasks. You can expect: Written assignments, case studies, projects, quizzes and exams. Workplace-based assessments for practical skills are completed during your vocational placement.

This course should be completed within 12 months. If you’re currently still at school, you might want to discuss extending this to a longer period. We find most students need to dedicate at least 5 hours per week to study. This will give you enough time to finish the required reading and complete assessment tasks. If you’re a quick study, you can also complete the course faster if you wish. Additional fees apply if you want to extend your study time past 12 months.

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

About The University of Queensland, trading as UQ Skills, RTO ID: 1511

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.