Animal Industries Resource Centre

Personalised and Professional Education and Training (RTO Code 31424)

Build your career with ACM20121

Certificate II in Animal Care

Develop fundamental veterinary nursing knowledge and skills.

Outstanding Learning Support

Students are assigned dedicated trainers to help you work through your course. All trainers and assessors have up-to-date Veterinary Nurse qualifications and still work in practice.

Flexible Assessment and Study Options

Study at your own pace in a comprehensive online learning environment. Access all the resources, support, and material you need using our easy-to-use online learning portal.

Access to Funding Assistance

Where eligible, we can assist Queensland and Tasmanian students to apply for traineeship based funding to assist their studies.

Course Overview

Are you involved with caring for animals as:

  • Trainee Veterinary Nurse?
  • Dedicated Veterinary Receptionist?
  • Animal carer in wildlife park, pet shop, kennel, or cattery?

Develop foundational knowledge to support your role. Learn how to provide advice on care for animals and professional support for their owners.

This qualification serves to meet the entry requirement for Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

Delivery Information

ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care is a nationally recognised course that is conducted online as part-time distance education. The course assessments consist of detailed demonstration of knowledge through online quizzes, video demonstration of practical skills and discussion of knowledge, and completion of a Training Record Book during the course of your work.

The course duration is nine months but you may work at a faster pace and complete earlier if you prefer. You will be given a study timetable upon enrolment which outlines your units of study and due dates for assessments.

Upon completion of all required units, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and an Academic Transcript which documents your individual outcomes.

Course Duration

  • 9 months (excluding scheduled study breaks). NB:
    • This duration is based on student having 20 hours per week of paid employment in a veterinary clinic
    • For students with fewer than 20 hours per week paid employment (8 hours is minimum requirement) the course duration will be adjusted accordingly

Average weekly commitment to the course is 18 hours per week. NB:

  • The weekly commitment is made up of:
    • Practice/demonstrate tasks in the workplace: 12 hours (usually done in parallel with your normal work duties)
    • Private study, revision: 6 hours
  • This weekly commitment is based on student having 20 hours per week of paid employment in a veterinary clinic
  • For students with fewer than 20 hours per week paid employment (8 hours is minimum requirement) the weekly commitment will be adjusted accordingly

Course duration and weekly commitment shown above represents suggested times for a student who is a typical new entrant to the industry with little prior experience. These times may vary for you depending on credits, prior learning/experience or your individual work schedule.

Units of Study

A total of 7 core units and 5 elective units must be completed.

  • BSBCMM211 Apply Communication skills
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMWHS201 Participate in workplace health and safety processes
  • 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
5 to be selected based on workplace
NB: ONLY choose electives that are appropriate for your workplace. Some units require regular handing and care of specific species. Choose units where you care for these species most days of the week.
  • ACMVET202 Carry out daily practice routines (suitable for veterinary practices)
  • ACMINF201 Handle companion animals safely and follow infection control guidelines
  • ACMBEH302 Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid 
  • ACMSPE314 Provide general care of birds (must work regularly with birds)
  • ACMSPE316 Provide general care of domestic dogs (must work regularly with dogs)
  • ACMSPE317 Provide general care of domestic cats (must work regularly with cats)
  • ACMSPE322 Provide general care of rodents or rabbits (must work regularly with rabbits/rodents)

This course is available in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. If you are in a different country, please contact us to discuss availability.

Certificate II in Animal Studies is a nationally recognised course that provides a structured tutoring program intended for individuals who wish to gain foundation knowledge and training in all aspects of animal care.

The pre-requisites for this course include:

  • Be of at least 16 years of age
  • Completion of Year 10 of schooling or are a mature aged student
  • 20 hours per week of paid employment in a veterinary clinic is recommended. A minimum of 8 hours per week of paid employment in a veterinary clinic is required. Course duration and study schedule will be adjusted according to weekly working hours. 
  • Reliable access to the internet and your own email address
  • Ability to record video of yourself performing the necessary practical tasks and upload into the course for assessment. (You will need access to a smart phone, tablet, video camera or similar device to record vision and sound)

We accept enrolments to this course on a weekly basis. To find out more information, please contact us.


Please contact the Animal Industries Resource Centre to have your individual pricing evaluated.

Fees are payable by credit card, bank transfer, money order, bank cheque or personal cheque. Payment plans can be arranged to meet your personal needs. More info on Ezypay Payment plans.

Students in some states may be eligible for Australian Government Traineeships or Incentives. For further information see our section on traineeships.

Course Enquiry about Enrolment


This course requires access to an animal care workplace to learn and demonstrate certain skills. When completing the form below we will ask you to upload evidence of workplace employment. You may wish to use this template to get that evidence. A workplace website that features your name, work profile and experience may also be suitable.

It may be possible to do this course as a volunteer or on placement in a workplace. Please contact us to find out how we can get you into a course.

Once we can confirm you are in the required work situation, then you may receive an offer of enrolment.

Use the form below to to enquire about enrolling.