Animal Industries Resource Centre

Personalised and Professional Education and Training (RTO Code 31424)


Vet Nurse Course Delivery and Study Options

AIRC has been delivering quality distance education to the animal care industry for nearly 20 years.

This page will help answer two questions. Can I meet eligibility criteria for advanced courses without first completing earlier courses? What is the learning experience I can expect from AIRC courses, specifically with regard to course work?

The Two Pathways Of Study

The Recognition of Prior Learning Pathway

The RPL program allows candidates who have existing knowledge, skills and experience to contribute toward the attainment of a recognised qualification. In some instances it may be possible for an entire qualification to be granted on the basis of the RPL process.

For instance, let’s say you’re an applicant seeking to enrol in the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing course. Let’s also say you have not yet passed, or enrolled in, the Certificate II in Animal Studies, which is a formal prerequisite for enrolling in Cert IV. Now, in the case you consider your knowledge, skills, and experiences working at a vet practice to justify your eligibility to enrol in Cert IV, the RPL process can be undertaken to adjudicate this claim.

Where relevant, we can guide you through this process, which involves gathering a comprehensive portfolio showing evidence of your existing skills and knowledge. You may need to complete a qualification using a mix of Full Study for some units and RPL for the remainder.

RPL In More Depth

There are different circumstances in which the RPL pathway may apply. Perhaps you have an older qualification and would like to upgrade? Perhaps you have recently moved from another country and are wondering where your qualification fits in?

Those with experience are assessed on their workplace competence to gauge their level of expertise. They can often achieve the recognised qualifications in reduced study periods. Please note that recognition cannot be given to part of a unit of competency and applicants are not supplied with course notes.

Our training team is available to discuss your current situation and tailor a plan to help you achieve that qualification. RPL is based on your experience, and can help to reduce the time required to study and fast track your studies versus a newcomer to the industry.

Benefits of studying with AIRC

The Full Study Pathway

The most common route to study with AIRC is comparatively very straight forward. Students undertake the required Units of Competency from a national training package via distance education.

Where relevant, written assessments are based on what you actually do in your workplace. And contrary to several other distance education providers in the animal care industry, AIRC enables many practical assessments to take place at your workplace. The following sections outline what you can expect from our courses at the level of general overview.

Course Delivery

Working and studying is always challenging. So our focus is very much on integration: how can we make our courses and assessments fit as seamlessly as possible with you in your workplace.

We offer correspondence course delivery with an emphasis on flexibility and balance between the demands of your training and your workplace itself. Our technical course materials are a stand out, providing you with the option to receive course notes or eBook only.

The student website, iLearn Lounge is easy to navigate and full of all the resources that you can access from anywhere at any time. Trainers are available online to help with your questions. We provide you with everything you will need to “top the class”. Coupled with your mentor support and on the job training you are set up for a successful career.

Meaningful Practical Assessment

At AIRC we believe that where relevant, assessments should be practical and hands on. We offer several options for assessment of your practical skills, depending on the course in question and the assessment in particular. These involve trainer-conducted face-to-face and real-time video conference assessment, as well as the option for submission of recorded video.

Online Resource Library

Our courses offer searchable access to hundreds of video tutorials, journal articles, textbook chapters and downloadable resources.


Our number one priority at AIRC is to support our students to succeed in their studies and advance their careers in the animal care industry. Our Student Support Coordinators are available for students to chat to at any stage during their studies. The student website creates another avenue for student support with many resources, forums, example cases and demonstration videos so you never feel alone.

Our trainers are also available via email or phone whenever you need them. Live Chat is also available during office hours for any urgent questions. Step by step we will move you towards your academic goal, whether it’s an introductory course or advanced level diploma.

Student Support Coordinators

Located across Australia and internationally, our trainers have all experienced first-hand that studying and working is a very challenging balance. They are fully equipped to provide outstanding support and guidance for our students. The team maintains their skills in general vet practices, specialist environments and emergency centres. Each student will be assigned a Personal Training Consultant during their course.

Student Handbook

A copy of the Student Handbook can be downloaded via this page.