ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care

National Code and name: ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care
Nationally Recognised TrainingYes
Fees: Eligible students can access Smart and Skilled funding
Government funding
Yes, Smart and Skilled funding available
Traineeships: Yes, in NSW this course is available as a traineeship
Mode of study: Virtual classroom via online Teams platform with a teacher and other students

Start your journey in wildlife and exhibit animal care. Do you have a passion for animals and a desire to make a difference? This certificate program in exhibited animal care provides the foundational knowledge and skills to launch a rewarding career caring for animals in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries. Develop practical skills, gain Industry knowledge, discover responsible animal welfare practices and explore the role of zoos and aquariums in conservation education. Prepare for entry-level careers that equip you with the qualifications needed to pursue exciting opportunities in the growing field of wildlife and exhibited animal care.

What is the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care qualification?

This qualification reflects the skills and knowledge required for individuals undertaking a range of animal care functions in a zoo, wildlife sanctuary, aquaria or other facility where animals are cared for or exhibited. It applies to individuals who undertake activities autonomously or in teams working under broad direction. Activities may include individual animal welfare to social group management in small to large scale facilities.

Are there any licensing requirements?

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this qualification at the time of publication.

What kind of careers and work could I do?

Job roles covered by this qualification may include:

Animal welfare facility
Assistant keeper
Wildlife parks and Zoos
• Pet shops
Conservation facilities
Mobile wildlife exhibitors
Wildlife Veterinary practice
Native wildlife carer
Exhibited animal keeper
Marine animal attendant
Animal carer
Native wildlife carer
Wildlife rehabilitator
Animal technical officer
Private, government or self-employment wildlife service roles

This virtual course will appeal to wildlife enthusiasts, wildlife hospital staff, wildlife clinic nurses, wildlife park and zookeepers, conservation facilities, wildlife breeding facilities, wildlife mobile exhibitors, and sanctuaries, as well as people looking for a career with animals or those looking for a career change. For career prospects and trends, visit Home | Labour Market Insights. Completing this qualification does not guarantee a job.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no entry requirements for this qualification.

However, to be prepared for this course we strongly recommend you meet the following:

A calm and patient demeanour
Reasonable level of fitness to handle animals and carry out manual lifting
• Completion of Certificate II in Animal Care
Have access to a wildlife or exhibited animal care workplace one day a week
The ability to provide your own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include covered non-slip shoes, full-length trousers, sleeved tops, hat and sunscreen
Year 12 level of Language, Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills (LLND) or higher
Have capable digital literacy skills, including using a range of Microsoft products, such as Word, researching online, navigating the internet, making recordings of your work placement and uploading these to Teams. Your teacher will provide support in using Microsoft products during your course
Possess strong English communication and presentation skills
Own or have access to a Windows 11 (which we highly recommend) or the latest Mac OS (Operating System) laptop for use in class, and reliable internet at home or work. We will provide you access to the free education version of Office 365 (such as Word and PowerPoint) so you do not need to buy a subscription.

What days do you run the course?

The ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care is run for one hour per week over 60 weeks, which is three semesters or 18 months. Class days and times vary with each intake. Classes can be on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 1:00 pm to 2.00pm, 2:30 pm to 3.30pm or 4:00 pm to 5.00pm. Check the NTM website or check with our NTM office staff for the next available class start day and time. Classes are delivered online via the Teams platform. This course is only offered in part-time day mode.

What about work placements?

Work placement isn’t just about applying textbook knowledge. It’s your chance to:

Master on-the-job skills: Handle real-world scenarios you can’t experience in a training environment.
Boost confidence: Gain practical experience and build the skills employers seek.
Use and refine what you learn: Apply your knowledge and get feedback in a supportive work environment.

Work placement is an essential step to a successful career. It strengthens your training and puts you on the fast track to success! Attending an exhibited animal facility workplace at least one day a week throughout this course is strongly recommended to gain practical experience while studying and to undertake some practical assessments. Exhibited animal facilities you approach for a work placement may include: wildlife parks, zoos, wildlife conservation facilities, animal control services, captive wildlife breeding facilities, mobile wildlife exhibitors, wildlife research facilities, aquariums, wildlife education facilities, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facilities, native wildlife rehabilitation and conservation facilities

If I have previous work or life experience, how do I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning?

At NTM, we recognise your previous study and work experience. You can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL) or a credit transfer. If you receive RPL, you may get your qualification faster. See our Learner Handbook for more information on RPL. You can apply for RPL at any time, both at the time of enrolment and during your first class. Your trainer will explain RPL and how to apply.

Dates for ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care

Schedule and Locations
Online | Term 3 2024 | Part-time Day | Thursday

Days available: Thursday
Mode: Online Teams training environment with a real teacher and other students
Campus: Virtual classroom. You do your course from home or at your workplace.
Pattern: One hour per week for 60 weeks
Training: 16 units of competency over 18 months
Times can vary: 1:00 pm to 2.00pm, 2:30 pm to 3.30pm or 4:00 pm to 5.00pm.
First Training Session: 25 July 2024
Holidays: No classes over school holidays, we follow the NSW public school holidays
Last Training Session: 4 December 2025
Availability: 10 spots available. ENROLMENTS ARE NOW OPEN! 
Duration: 18 months

How is the course delivered?

You do your course from home or at your workplace. This course is delivered online using the Teams platform. You will have an actual teacher and other students in a virtual classroom environment. You will have 18 months to complete the course.

Do I have to attend every class, and how much work is required for the course?

Yes. Because this online course is only for one hour a week, it is strongly recommended that you attend every class. However, as animal keepers, sometimes life or your work gets in the way of attending class. If you cannot make class you are required to notify your trainer and make sure your weekly chat session answers are completed and uploaded in Teams. Your trainer has the option to post on your behalf. Additionally, each one-hour online Teams session is recorded and made available for the students to watch later.

What are the units I am required to complete?

Courses consist of a combination of core and elective units. To achieve the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care, you’ll need to successfully complete 16 units of competency, including 12 core and 4 elective units. At NTM, the course structure is.

Core units of competency – all 12 must be undertaken

ACMBEH302 Provide enrichment for animals

ACMEXH301 Work within a zoological facility
ACMEXH303 Prepare and maintain animal habitats
ACMEXH304 Assist with capturing, restraining, and moving animals
ACMGEN301 Prepare and present information to the public
ACMGEN303 Assess the welfare status of an animal
ACMGEN304 Promote positive wellbeing in self and others in animal care workplaces
ACMGEN311 Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
ACMGEN312 Provide nutritional requirements for animals
ACMGEN315 Communicate effectively with clients and team members
ACMSUS401 Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices
ACMWHS301 Contribute to workplace health and safety processes

Elective units of competency – the following 4 are the electives at NTM

ACMEXH305 Monitor animal reproduction
ACMEXH308 Develop husbandry guideline
ACMSPE315 Provide general care of common native mammals
ACMSPE321 Provide general care of non-venomous reptiles

How much is the course?

This course is government subsidised and you may be eligible for Smart and Skilled funding if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, live or work in NSW, and are over 15 and no longer at school. Enrolment under Smart and Skilled means your course is subsidised by the NSW government. All course material is included in the price, including all course online resources via Teams.

$0 Exemption * (please see below)
$2,190 first qualification
$2,620 second or subsequent qualification
$240 concession **
$0 trainees registered in NSW #
$4,000 non-NSW residents/no Smart and Skilled funding
$7,730 fee for service (non-subsidised full price)

You will also need to arrange your own insurance cover for any volunteer work placement.

* If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, you may be eligible for an exemption meaning you do not have to pay anything for the course. If you have a disability, health condition, chronic medical condition, or mental health condition, you may also be entitled to an exemption upon providing evidence such as a doctor’s letter.
** You may be eligible for a concession if you are a recipient of Centrelink benefits, a copy of your entitlement letter will be required as evidence
#  To be eligible for a traineeship in NSW you must have an employer and be signed up with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

Payment plans are available at no cost, and we do not use Ezy Pay or other interest- and fee-bearing payment plans. See our Learner Handbook for more details on how payment plans work. To secure a place in the course, you must pay a $500 deposit. PLEASE NOTE WE CANNOT ACCEPT MORE THAN $1500 IN PREPAID FEES. If you wish to commence a payment plan, please indicate this selection on your application form when prompted. Students are encouraged to request a payment plan at the time of application. However, these can be entered into later, should circumstances change. Payment by direct deposit is preferred. We do not accept cash or cheques. Certificates and/or Statements of Attainment will not be issued before all fees have been fully paid. See our policies for payments, refunds and consumer protection.

Contact our office 1300 653 501 for more information or email: [email protected]

How interactive and practical is the course?

This course is practical, interactive, and engaging with other students from various animal workplaces across Australia. You will have sufficient time to complete all your assessments. Each online class uses the video function so the trainer can interact with the class and students can engage with one another.

All course material is included in the price, including electronic resources  and training and assessment resources. You will have a student Microsoft Account as an NTM student that will give you access to Teams and our Learning Management System for training and assessment. At NTM, this interactive course provides sufficient time to complete all your assessments. It includes interesting readings and practical assessment work to be completed at home or work. As part of the course, you will be required to record several videos of you completing animal related tasks. You will undertake written assessments, develop a Husbandry Manual Guideline on an animal that you work with, and deliver a ten-minute presentation on your Husbandry Manual Guideline species.

What are the pathways to further study?

The further study pathways available to learners who undertake this qualification include: 

ACM40222 Certificate IV in Animal Facility Management.
ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

NTM does not offer the above pathways; contact our Career Development Practitioner for free career advice.

 How long does the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care take?

The amount of training and volume of learning allocated for the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care qualification is based on each student’s prior experience. Students with a lot of relevant prior or current experience may be able to complete the qualification in a shorter time frame. Students should expect a duration between twelve and twenty-four months to meet the requirements of ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care, which is consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) volume of learning indicators for a Certificate III qualification.

The learning volume for a Certificate III qualification is typically twelve months to two years or between 1200-2400 hours. At NTM, you will attend 60 sessions of 1 hour per week of virtual online training over three semesters. In addition, you can expect to undertake around 19 hours per week of reading, completing assessments, lesson preparation, and one day of work placement. If you work in an animal care-related job, much of this additional work, including assessments, can be done in the workplace. Remember that every learner is different, so you may do fewer hours or need more time. For example, if your typing and reading speed is not as fast as other learners, you will spend more time on the course each week.

What learning platform does NTM use?

Our Learning Management System (LMS) is Microsoft Teams. As a student at NTM, you will have your own FREE Microsoft 365 account, giving you access to all popular products, including Teams, Word, and PowerPoint. For the duration of your course, we will provide you with an educational Microsoft account, giving FREE access to the Office 365 product family. As you will have your own account, this will save you from purchasing the Office 365 suite or a subscription. If you already have your own subscription to Office 365 or are planning on purchasing Office, remember you will get all the Office products for FREE when you enrol.

I would like to discuss the course before I enrol

Please call our learning consultants on 1300 653 501 to discuss the course. At NTM we are committed to enhancing your learning potential by providing a range of services. If you would like to speak to a qualified Career Development Practitioner before enrolling or to discuss Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) about your previous qualifications or workplace training experience, contact our office. To support your learning journey, we have a range of support services available including Career Development, Counselling, Disability and Adult Basic Education services. As a student of NTM, these support services are available at no extra cost.

Do I need a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

From 1 January 2015, anyone enrolling in a TAFE or Registered Training Organisation needs a Unique Student Identifier (USI). If you do not have a USI or have lost it, you can get it quickly and at no cost, at  A USI gives you access to an online account and will contain all your nationally recognised training and results from 1 January 2015 onwards.

How do I enrol?

Enrolling is easy by following the steps below.

1 Download the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care enrolment form here: NTM_Animals_Enrolment form 2024_v3.4
2 Email your completed enrolment form to [email protected]
3 If you have any questions or would like to speak to a consultant, please call: 1300 653 501
4 Once you submit your enrolment form, our Senior Animal Trainer will call you to discuss the course requirements.

We are a 100% Australian-owned and operated company. Our head office is in beautiful Kiama on the South Coast of NSW. When you call NTM, you will speak to a real local person, not an overseas call centre. All our trainers are located in Australia and have local qualifications, experience and training.