Animal Industries Resource Centre

Personalised and Professional Education and Training (RTO Code 31424)


Student Information and Resources

Useful resources for students, employers, mentors and clients

Student Orientation

Once you have commenced your course and your folders and study guides have arrived, watch the orientation video to understand how the course works. You will need your allocated username and password to log in to the Student Lounge and access the video.

Shortly after you receive your course materials our Student Support Team will be in touch to help with your induction. However if after viewing the video, you have any urgent questions, please feel free to contact a Student Support Coordinator on +61732616005 or email We are also available via the Student Support Chat at

Career and Learning Support​

Job Preparation

The Animal Industries Resource Centre assists students by providing students with interview, resume and job searching techniques. The Animal Industries Resource Centre staff has extensive overseas contacts and can support you with information in this area.

Disability and Learning Support

The Animal Industries Resource Centre has a policy to support students with physical or learning difficulties.  All trainees are provided with a Learning, Literacy and Numeracy assessment prior to enrolment. This will enable the Animal Industries Resource Centre to provide assistance and guidance to support students with learning difficulties.

Students are advised to contact the Animal Industries Resource Centre and we will co-ordinate specific support or alternatively the student may wish to contact the relevant organisation themselves from the following list. The AIRC use these assessments to ensure the needs learners is being met.  

Australia: AgriFood Skills Australia

Queensland: Vocational Education and Training Disability Support Service (VDSS)

South Australia: The Specific Learning Difficulties Association of South Australia (SPELD)

New South Wales: Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council

Tasmania: Australian Literacy Educator’s Association

Victoria:  Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council

Western Australia: Read Write Now

Career Advice

We are committed to assisting students with a variety of matters relating to their veterinary nursing career such as education planning, career choice decisions and further study options. Our Student Support Coordinators are always available to help with any career advice. 

Facilities and Resources​

Our Northgate centre is a 20 minutes drive from the city centre and 5 minutes from the Brisbane Airport. Facilities include:

  • Access to Veterinarians and Veterinary Nurses
  • Access to training rooms 
  • Simulated practical environment 

As a member of the Provet Group of Companies, we also offer state-of-the-art nationwide facilities to ensure your experience with us is both rewarding and dynamic.

Job Placement

The Animal Industries Resource Centre team has extensive contacts within the industry and can support you with further information in this area.

Disability and Learning Support

The Animal Industries Resource Centre has a policy to support students with physical or learning difficulties.  All trainees are provided with a Learning, Literacy and Numeracy assessment prior to enrolment.  This will enable the Animal Industries Resource Centre to provide assistance and guidance to support students with learning difficulties.

Students are advised to contact the Animal Industries Resource Centre and we will co-ordinate specific support or alternatively the student may wish to contact the relevant organisation themselves. The AIRC uses these assessments to ensure the needs of learners are being met.  

Access and Equity Policy

AIRC will ensure that all members of the community will be treated equitably through the fair allocation of resources and the right to equality of opportunity without discrimination. AIRC is committed to support those people who may be disadvantaged, with special support where necessary to enhance their opportunities for success in its training programs.

Recommended Textbooks​

These textbooks and others can be purchased through your local Provet branch or your preferred veterinary wholesaler.

Certificate of Veterinary Nursing

Whilst not compulsory, the AIRC highly recommends that Veterinary Nursing students purchase ONE of the following textbooks:

  • BSAVA Manual of Veterinary Nursing 5th edition by Cooper, Mullinmeaux & Turner (ISBN 978-1-905319-26-8) OR
  • The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing by Victoria Aspinall (ISBN 978-0-750688-47-5)

It is also recommended that students have access to a Veterinary Dictionary to assist with terminology definition. AIRC recommends:

  • Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary 3rd edition by Blood & Studdert (ISBN 9780702027888).

Companion Animal Studies

While there is no compulsory textbook for Certificate III in Companion Animal Services due to its broad scope of subjects, the following books may be of assistance:

  • ‘Animal Biology and Care’  by Sue Dallas; Blackwell Science Publishing, 2000
  • Grooming Manual for the Dog and Cat’ by Sue Dallas; Blackwell Science Publishing, 2006

In addition to the above listed books, students undertaking the Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services may find the following texts to be helpful:

  • ‘Basic Training for Trainers’  by Gary Kroehnert; McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000
  • ‘The Business Communication Handbook’ by Judith Dwyer; Prentice-Hall

Diploma of Veterinary Nursing

The following books are recommended for diploma courses:

  • The Consulting Veterinary Nurse’ by Nicola Ackerman
  • Veterinary Technician’s Manual for Small animal Emergency and Critical Care’ by Christopher L Norkus
  • ‘BSAVA Manual of Advanced Veterinary Nursing’
  • ‘BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline emergency and Critical Care’ 2nd Edition

Useful links to other websites

Mentoring Explained​

Mentoring involves going above and beyond. It is a relationship in which a person with greater experience, expertise, and wisdom; offers counsel, teaching and guidance. It is being sincerely interested in helping another person to develop both personally and professionally.

The concept of mentoring is a vital one to the AIRC as it enhances the “theoretical” knowledge gained in study and assists the student to apply it in the workplace. It also gives the student experience and knowledge that can’t be taught in traditional study modes – the practical, personal and industry-specific experience that the mentor holds. In the context of the AIRC, mentoring means the pairing of a more skilled worker with a less skilled worker, to follow learning goals.

A relationship built on mentoring can be rewarding not only for the mentor but also for the student. Mentors can use their own positive experiences and learning values to help their students expand their knowledge and skills.

There is no gold star reward at the end but you do get the personal satisfaction of being involved in someone else’s growth and development. Some mentors just want to give something back to their profession, have a positive influence and in some instances just want to help out.

Mentors need to believe in the value of their work without worrying about returned favours. If you are ready, the personal satisfaction will be worth the time and effort.

For a successful and productive mentoring relationship, it is important for both the mentor and mentee to have a common view of their roles and to understand how to get the best out of the mentoring experience.

It is often the case that you may not have all the knowledge and experience required to support your student. A good mentor knows when to seek information from other sources and when to put the student in contact with another person who may also provide help.

The best mentors are often those that have had positive mentoring experiences themselves but this should not stop anyone with the desire to be a mentor from doing so.

Are you…

  • Approachable, reliable and have patience to help the student develop?
  • Able to be empathetic to a student’s needs and be open minded about their own circumstances?
  • Able to provide honest feedback in a positive way?

Can you give the thumbs up?

  • Are you ready willing and able to mentor others?
  • Are you emotionally and psychologically prepared to invest time and effort in empowering another person?
  • Are you ready to make such a commitment?
  • Do you have the time, the skills and the freedom to devote yourself to another person?

What are mentor responsibilities?

  • Manage the relationship
  • Encourage the student
  • Nurture the student
  • Teach the student
  • Offer mutual respect
  • Respond to the student’s needs


  • Provide the student with opportunities to learn skills and acquire knowledge
  • Provide access to the range of work required to develop the skills and knowledge
  • Plan & facilitate training sessions according to units being undertaken
  • Supervise training and training sessions
  • Allocate senior staff to assist with training if required
  • Observe the student’s progress and confirm they are developing the required skills and knowledge
  • Liaise regularly with the AIRC
  • Read and proof all case studies prior to submission
  • Complete Skills Record Log for units being studied only if the mentor is satisfied the student is confident and competent in tasks for the unit
  • Advise student on practical and technical aspects as requested

Tips for being a good mentor

  • Empower your student and show you trust them
  • Always create a good learning environment
  • Listen effectively. Give your student the opportunity to explore ideas and thoughts with you
  • Encourage the student with positive feedback. Give feedback that will help the student to further develop their skills  and knowledge
  • Promote the benefits of the feedback
  • Encourage the student to give the mentor feedback
  • Show genuine interest in the student and get to know them personally
  • Hold “What If” sessions to guide the student in problem solving discussions
  • Ask the student if you have covered a particular task clearly, or would they like more information
  • Encourage the student to be independent and confident
  • Be aware of the timeframe the student is working within
  • Provide appropriate information
  • Work on a project with the student and display the skills to get the job done
  • Be sincere and believable in your mentoring.  Students are looking for guidance and need to feel comfortable with you. You may not have all the answers so use to your wisdom to develop the students thinking
  • Be a positive role model in your actions, communication with others, handling of situations. Students learn by watching and observing –  give them something positive to watch
  • Converse with your student. Use open ended questions to communicate better and aid in drawing information from your student
  • Share your experiences, knowledge, skills and insights, both good and bad.  We all make mistakes and others can learn from them
  • Recognise the students achievements. Remind the students have far they have come and what they have learnt. Share these achievements with the entire practice
  • Be aware of any noticeable changes in the student – attitude, manner or work pattern 
  • Do not assume that your student feels satisfied with the relationship just because you are

Other Important Points

Develop a good mentor student relationship by:

  • Having clear roles
  • Mutually agreed to expectations and outcomes
  • Excellent communication
  • Trust and sincerity
  • Defined plan to meet the objectives

If all is not going to plan…

Agreeing to be a mentor should be a rewarding experience but unfortunately in some cases it just doesn’t work out. This may be due to lack of experience on the mentors part, lack of communication, poor time management or resources or poor attitude of the student. Whatever the reason, it is important to recognise any problems as early as possible and address them quickly. Speak to your student in a calm and positive way and try to identify what the problem is. Once the problem is identified, establish a plan to move forward. In some instances it may be better to change the mentoring arrangements. The student may find more success with another mentor or the mentor may find a more rewarding experience with another student. Regardless of the reasons if the mentoring relationship must end ensure it is done with politeness and in a positive way. 

As a mentor avoid:

  • Criticising the student
  • Arguing with them
  • Using the senior / junior situation
  • Discouraging student’s feedback
  • Restricting the student’s growth potential to your limitations
  • Walking away from a question without offering the answer. Instead try, “I don’t know, but how about we look up that answer.”
  • Assuming that your student feels satisfied with the relationship just because you are
  • Intimidating or over-influencing the student with your personality

Remember the mentor provides coaching, non-judgmental feedback, encouragement and teaching of new skills.  

The mentor must be wise enough to remain loyal through all phases of the student’s growth. Mistakes may happen and poor judgement may be used, and emotional responses must be supported while gently pointing out more positive methods. 

The capacity to have an honest discussion without consequences can be enriching. The mentor relationship has a quality that can expand in times of frustration, change, or self-doubt. Mentors and role models are both positive methods that influence, occasionally by their absence, the development of leadership skill in novice nurses.

Mentoring is a management, practical and interpersonal tool to be used in professional career development.  Mentoring, whether formal or informal, must be considered a professional responsibility.

Student Responsibilities

  • Follow suggested timetable
  • Submit work as per timetable
  • Provide the mentor with the opportunity to review case studies before submission dates
  • Ask questions and seek information
  • Be proactive with seeking knowledge
  • Liaise regularly with the AIRC
  • Follow instructions