Certificate II in Animal Studies

Taught by experts in animal welfare, RSPCA Victoria’s Certificate II in Animal Studies (ACM20117) is offered in partnership with Box Hill Institute (RTO ID: 4687).

This qualification has given so many participants the life-changing opportunity of pursuing their dream of entering a career in the animal care industry, equipped with the head start of having practical experience at RSPCA Victoria.

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Course Outline

The RSPCA delivery of the Certificate II in Animal Studies course has a duration of 16 weeks and is delivered using a combination of online and face-to-face components.  Students will work with online learning tools including Box Hill Institute’s StudentWeb, Microsoft Teams and resources such as pre-recorded sessions, assigned reading, tutorials, discussion boards, and online activities. Students are also required to attend face-to-face classes and practical placements at RSPCA Burwood East or BHI Elgar/Lilydale campus.

Participants may be assessed on completion of written assignments, practical assessments, workplace simulations, online quizzes and participation in meetings and forums.

Practical activities will involve working hands on with a variety of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, goats, horses and cows.

This course comprises a total of twelve (12) units of competency. Students must successfully complete seven (7) core units and five (5) elective units.

Core units

  • ACMWHS201 Participate in Workplace Health and Safety Processes  
  • ACMGAS201 Work in the Animal Care Industry  
  • ACMGAS202 Participate in Workplace Communications  
  • ACMGAS203 Complete Animal Care Hygiene Routines
  • ACMGAS204 Feed and Water Animals  
  • ACMGAS205 Assist in Health Care of Animals 40.0 hours 
  • ACMGAS206 Provide Basic First Aid for Animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices


Elective units

  • ACMGAS208 Source Information for Animal Care Needs  
  • ACMGAS209 Provide Information on Companion Animals, Products and Services  
  • ACMSPE304 Provide Basic Care of Domestic Dogs
  • ACMSPE305 Provide Basic Care of Domestic Cats  


Teaching Sessions

Students must attend all teaching sessions held either online or face-to-face at RSPCA Burwood East.

Workplace Training and Assessment Sessions

Students must attend all allocated practical sessions and assessment sessions.

Activities will include walking dogs, cleaning animal enclosures, feeding, packing and unpacking goods and paddock work.

Important Information

This program is not a VETDSS Program

This program does not provide credits towards the ATAR score for VCE students

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Application process

This course has a significant practical component with a focus on employability skills. Applicants must possess the communication skills and physical ability to perform work sessions in the animal care industry.

Vocational education and training focusses on providing practical skills and technical knowledge for work. Practical experience and assessment is provided at the RSPCA Burwood East and is necessary in order to provide access to an appropriate animal care workplace, a qualified workplace supervisor, exposure to the relevant workload of an animal attendant. These conditions give students opportunities to practise and demonstrate the skills necessary to successfully complete this course.

Students must:

  • Be 17 years or older and not currently enrolled at school with guardian approval.
  • Have internet and access to a device to participate in online sessions, download resources and complete assessments.
  • Be available to attend ALL required teaching and assessment sessions.
  • Be available to participate in practical training and work placement at RSPCA Burwood East.

Important Information

All students under the age of 18 are required to supply written consent giving permission for BHI (Box Hill Institute) and RSPCA Victoria staff to communicate with a nominated adult on their behalf.

Eligibility to a government subsidised place depends on meeting certain criteria. For information regarding eligibility for a government subsidised place, please review the Box Hill Institute TAFE Fees and Charges. All students’ fees are determined by Box Hill Institute and are payable at time of enrolment.

Please note that currently enrolled high school students are not eligible for a government subsidised place.

NB: these costs are estimates only and are subject to change.

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Course Dates

Additional program Information

 PROGRAM 2, 2022 (RS2)

  Date to be confirmed.
*locations to be confirmed

  Dates to be confirmed.
  Dates to be confirmed.
FINAL DAY Date to be confirmed.

Please note: the below information is subject to government approval and will be confirmed as soon as practical.

In 2022, this course will be a blended delivery with:

  • Five teaching days on site at RSPCA Burwood East or BHI Elgar/Lilydale campus
  • Five teaching days online
  • A minimum of six practical & assessment sessions on site at RSPCA Burwood East
  • One assessment session on site at Box Hill Institute

Note: Delivery methods may change subject to any COVID-19 restrictions.

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Below are examples of roles in the animal care industry that a Certificate II in Animal Studies may lead to:

  • animal attendant
  • animal carer
  • animal bather/washer
  • pet shop worker
  • animal care customer service worker

Further Study through Box Hill Institute

Box Hill Institute has a number of courses to further your studies, experience and knowledge. More information can be found on their website.