ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

National Code and name: ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care
Nationally Recognised TrainingYes
Fees: Eligible students can access Smart and Skilled funding
Government fundingYes, Smart and Skilled funding is available.
Traineeships: Yes, in NSW, this course is available as a traineeship.
Mode of study: Virtual training via online Teams platform with a teacher and other students

Kickstart your Animal Care Career with National Training Masters (NTM) entry-level industry qualification. Fuel your passion and launch your career in the animal care industry. This program equips you with the essential foundation skills to start your career as an animal care attendant in boarding kennels, pet shops, grooming salons, and animal welfare organisations.

What is the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care qualification?

This qualification describes the skills and knowledge for entry level and support roles in the animal care and management industry, where workers provide care for animals in workplaces such as animal shelters, boarding/day care facilities, sanctuaries, and veterinary clinics. The work activities are routine, performed under supervision and within clearly defined guidelines.

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?

This is a general entry qualification for into the animal care industry. This qualification provides opportunities to work in animal shelters, kennels, catteries, wildlife sanctuaries, veterinary clinics, pet shops and animal care facilities. This virtual course will appeal to animal enthusiasts, animal hospital staff, clinic nurses, kennel hands, cattery staff, wildlife park keepers, pet shop staff, animal house staff, pet groomers and even someone looking for a career with animals or those looking for a career change. Other careers include employment pathways in animal shelters, kennels, catteries, sanctuaries, veterinary clinics, pet shops or the foundation skills to start your own animal care business.

Visit Labour Market Insights for more information on types of careers, job prospects, pathways, skills and knowledge, and work environments. Completing this qualification does not guarantee a job.

What are the entry requirements for ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care?

This is an entry-level course in the Animal Care industry. There are no prerequisite requirements to do this course.

We strongly recommend you meet the following requirements:

1. Have access to an Animal Care workplace one day a week.
2. Year 10 level of Language, Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills (LLND) or higher.
3. 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.
4. Possess strong English communication and presentation skills.
5. Own or have access to a Windows 11 (which we highly recommend) or the latest Mac OS (Operating System) laptop for use in class. 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) and reliable internet at home or work.

What days do you run the course?

The Certificate II in Animal Care is run for one hour per week over 36 weeks, which is two semesters. Classes normally run on a Wednesday or Thursday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Classes are delivered online via the Teams platform. This course is only offered in part-time day mode.

What about work placements?

It is strongly recommended when doing this course that you attend an Animal Care workplace one day a week to gain practical experience whilst studying.

Why is the course so popular?

The Australian animal Care industry is divided into nine key areas. The Certificate II in Animal Care is a pathway course that will further your studies and create career opportunities within these areas:

1 Veterinary services
2 Non-veterinary health and welfare services
3 Wildlife care and rehabilitation services
4 Animal control services
5 Captive wildlife operations
6 Animal technology services
7 Assistance and therapy animal services
8 Pet and companion
9 Animal breeding service

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.

2024 dates for ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

Schedule and Locations

Online | Term 3 2024 | Part-time Day | | Wednesday

Day: Wednesday
Mode: Online Teams training environment with a real teacher and other students
Campus: Virtual Campus. You do your course from home or at your workplace.
Pattern: One hour per week for 12 months
Training: 12 units of competency over 12 months
Time: 1pm to 2pm
First Training Session: 24 July 2024
Holidays: No classes over school holidays, we follow the NSW public school holidays
Last Training Session: June 2025
Availability: ENROLMENTS ARE NOW OPEN! There are 12 spots available. Once this class fills, you will go on a standby list. 
Duration: 12 months

Where can I study, and what locations are available?

We have two state-of-the-art training facilities located in NSW and our virtual campus. Our headquarters are situated on the beautiful South Coast of NSW, and the Western Sydney Training Centre is in the heart of Western Sydney:

Virtual campus – online class with a real teacher and other students using Teams.
Illawarra – Kiama campus: Level 1, 47 Manning Street, Kiama NSW 2533 – this campus is located in Regional NSW
Western Sydney – Minchinbury campus; The M Centre, Suite 51, 40 Sterling Road Minchinbury NSW 2770, this campus is located in the Greater Sydney area.

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 12 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?

The Certificate II in Animal Care course consists of a combination of core and elective units. To achieve the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care, you will need to successfully complete 12 units of competency, including 7 core and 5 elective units. At NTM, the course structure is:

Core units of competency – all 7 must be undertaken

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
ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
ACMWHS201 Participate in workplace health and safety processes
BSBCMM211 Apply communication skills

Elective units of competency – the following 5

ACMBEH302 Provide enrichment for animals
ACMGEN301 Prepare and present information to the public
ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid
ACMSPE320 Provide general care of mammals
ACMSPE321 Provide general care of non-venomous reptiles

How much is the course?

Smart and Skilled

This course is government subsidised and you may be eligible, if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Permanent Resident, live or work in NSW, are over 15 and no longer at school, you may be eligible under Smart and Skilled, meaning the course is subsidised by the NSW Government.

How much is the course?

The ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care qualification is available under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled funding. Prices depend on whether it is your first or subsequent qualification or if you are eligible for an exemption or a traineeship. In 2024 the fees are:

$0 Fee Exemption *
$1,120 first qualification
$1,340  second qualification
$160 concession **
$0 for trainees registered in NSW #
$3,000 non-NSW resident/no Smart and Skilled funding
$4,010 Fee for service (non-subsidised full price)

* 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 producing evidence such as a doctor’s letter.
# To be eligible for a traineeship in NSW you must have an employer and be signed up with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
** You may be eligible for a concession if you are a recipient of Centrelink, a copy of your entitlement letter will be required as proof of evidence.

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 fully paying all fees. 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?

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. To assist you in becoming an animal attendant, you will be required to record several videos of you completing animal-related tasks.  You will undertake written assessments, develop an Animal Care Guide, and deliver a ten-minute presentation on your Animal Care guide breed or species.

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.

What are the pathways to further study?

Graduates have several pathway options after successfully completing the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care. NTM does not offer all of the following pathways; contact our Career Development Practitioner for free career advice.

1 Entry into ACM30121 Certificate III in Animal Care Services 
2. Entry into ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care
3. Entry  ACM40418  Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

How long does the ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care take?

The amount of training and volume of learning allocated for the ACM20121 Certificate II in 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 six and twelve months to meet the requirements of ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care, which is consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) volume of learning indicators for a Certificate II qualification.

The learning volume for a Certificate II qualification is typically six months to one year or between 600-1200 hours. At NTM, you will attend 36 sessions of 1 hour per week of virtual online training over two semesters. In addition, you can expect to undertake around 22 hours per week of reading, completing assessments and lesson preparation. 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. Contact our office 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.

We want to support you through the entire learning journey, from enrolment to completion. Whatever your needs or circumstances, we have the people, resources, counselling and facilities to support you in focusing and completing your course. Our Learner Handbook outlines these services, at no extra cost to you:

  • Career Development and Counselling service
  • Language, Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills (LLND) support
  • Aboriginal Education Support
  • Online library of learning resources

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 one 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; follow these two steps:

1. Download and complete the  enrolment form here: NTM Enrolment form 2024

2. Please email your enrolment form to [email protected] – If you have any questions or would like to speak to a consultant, please call: 1300 653 501

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 teachers are located in Australia and have local qualifications, experience, and training.