Certificate II in Animal Care ACM20121


Our nationally accredited ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care will provide an excellent foundation for your career in animal care. You will learn how to care for a variety of animals and turn your passion into an exciting career.

Course Breakdown


ACM20121 Certificate II in Animal Care

Course duration: Self paced - maximum of 18 months

Recommended hours per week: 15.5 h

Qualification level: Certificate II

Delivery method: Online with Work Placement

Awarded by: Open Colleges Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90796)


Industry Overview

Animal Attendants can gain employment in a number of industries. In fact, at present there are over 21,000 people currently working in these areas across the country. And the good news is that according to Government statistics, there will continue to be moderate growth in employment across the sector over the next few years.


Is this course for you?

If you want a career working with animals, but have no experience in the field of animal care, then this course is perfect for you.

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note - limitations do apply.

What you will learn

This course will take you through the fundamentals of animal care. During your study, you will learn how to:

  • Carry out animal care work using ethical and humane practices
  • Prepare, present and distribute food and water for animals
  • Participate in work health and safety processes
  • Communicate effectively in the workplace, identify , gather and convey information
  • Provide assistance when handling animals for assessment and health care treatments
  • Identify both dogs and cats, and their behavioural and physical needs
  • Provide daily care of animals
  • Provide essential / initial response first aid for animals
  • Measure current resource use effectively and carry out improvements
  • Undertake office reception and administration activities
  • Source, and provide information on animal care products and services

Learning Material

Your learning materials are accessed through our online platform OpenSpace. These learning materials include

  • Learning content
  • Media
  • Additional resources
  • Practice activities
  • Self-checks

Your trainer

Chantal McKinley
Chantal has worked in the Animal Care Industry since 1997 with experience and qualifications in Animal Studies, Grooming and Veterinary Nursing and continues to work in the industry.

Academic Information

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements.

Certificate II in Animal Care

Work in the animal care industry
  • Contribute to a productive work environment
  • Recognise and identify animals in the workplace
  • Identify physical, social and behavioural characteristics
  • Incorporate animal needs in conduct of work practices
Apply communication skills
  • Identify communication requirements
  • Communicate using verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Draft written communications
Participate in workplace health and safety processes
  • Plan and prepare to work safely  
  • Conduct work safely  
  • Participate in work health and safety activities  
  • Follow emergency response procedures 
Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • Prepare to work
  • Check animals
  • Clean animal housing
  • Complete hygiene practices for animals
  • Complete post-hygiene care of animals
Feed and water animals
  • Prepare for feeding
  • Feed and water animals
  • Complete the feeding and watering process
5/ modules
View All

Assessment Details

  • Multiple choice Quiz
  • Projects
  • Role plays
  • Video
  • Work Placement
  • Written assignments

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

We understand that you may already have many skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways and these are recognised through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Our Credit Transfer & Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available in the Key Student Information section of our website, provides more information about our RPL process. Alternatively, you can contact an Enrolment Consultant to discuss your RPL options.

Course Duration

The duration for the course is maximum 18 months. As a self-paced online course, the time it will take you to complete is flexible and dependent on ability and time available.


Work Placement

You will be required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of work placement in an approved host organisation. This should be completed in 2 blocks after successful completion of Modules 1-6 and Modules 8-13. You will not be able to achieve competencies until you have completed some of your work placement hours.

What are the benefits?

  • By undertaking a work placement you’ll get a chance to put the knowledge you’ve learned on your course into practice.
  • You’ll also develop practical, on-the-job skills and could make contacts that could help you find a job once you graduate.
  • Work placement is often the most rewarding part of a student’s course. Working face-to-face with clients and colleagues in your chosen field makes a huge difference to your career confidence.

How do I find a work placement?

You’ll need to find a work placement yourself and ensure it’s approved by Open Colleges. When looking for a suitable work placement host organisation, have a think about the following:

  • Are you already working or volunteering in the industry your course is related to? You could potentially do your work placement at your current place of work or have contacts that could recommend a suitable work place. Ask around!
  • If you’re entering a new industry, do some research and start thinking about organisations you could approach. We have plenty of resources available to help with approaching and finding a suitable work placement organisation.

Cost of work placement

All costs of work placement, including any placement fees charged by the host organisation (whether to the student or Open Colleges), cost of statutory checks and vaccinations, travel, accommodation, and uniforms are the responsibility of the student. These fees will vary and are dependent on your location within Australia.

  • Costs for statutory checks will range between $0 - $100 dependent on the type of check you select and your state.
  • Costs for vaccinations will very between practitioners, please refer to your GP for approximate costs.
  • Placement fees will vary, please discuss this with your intended host organisation for approximate costs.

Host organisation

You will be required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of work placement in an approved host organisation. This should be completed in 2 blocks after successful completion of Modules 1-6 and Modules 8-13. You will not be able to achieve competencies until you have completed some of your work placement hours.

Module 7: Worlplacment Block 1 60 hours - can be completed with any species of animal, wildlife, or captive. Must have access to 2 species of animals, feeding and watering animals, cleaning housing, assist with treatment (e.g., oral/topical parasite control, bathing and/or grooming equipment.  

Module 14: Worlplacment Block 2 - 60 hours - must complete hours with Felines and Canines and have access to reception duties. 

The specific requirements of the workplace are outlined in the Workplace Assessment Guide, which can be found in OpenSpace. Open Colleges will need to ascertain whether the workplace you have chosen is appropriate before you commence your work placement hours. In some cases, you may be required to complete your hours at more than one host organisation if they do not provide all of the required services.


Please note that your host organisation may require you to provide an up to date immunisation history prior to the commencement of your work placement. Open Colleges has no control over this requirement so if you are unable to provide this, you will need to discuss it with your intended Host Organisation.

It should also be noted that some immunisations, such as Hepatitis B and COVID-19, need multiple injections to be administered over a specific time period before you are deemed immune. It is important that you consult with your GP as soon as possible to avoid delays in starting your work placement.

Supervisor requirements

Your supervisor is required to have completed the Certificate II in Animal Studies (or higher) and have 3 years of relevant industry experience.


Open Colleges recommends that you consider the work placement options in your local area prior to enrolling in this course.


Study and pay, your way

Payment Options

Pay Upfront
Save 30%
$2,800.00 Save $1,200.00
was $4,000.00
Week to week
Pay as you go
Save 16%
Pay in 74 instalments over the length of your course.
$42.56 Weekly
Total course cost: $3,350.00
was $4,000.00
Full course breakdown

Studying online with Open Colleges

Flexibility - study at your own pace

When you study online with Open Colleges you’re in control.

You can choose to complete your course quickly, or keep to a steady pace. Learning is fully flexible so you can fit your everyday commitments around your studies.

Everything you need to study is online so you can study wherever you like – but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.

OpenSpace is our online learning platform. It’s where you’ll go to access your learning materials, contact your expert trainers and assessors and upload your assessments.

What is OpenSpace?

It’s important to us that we deliver a superior, online learning platform that meets our students’ needs. That’s why we have upgraded to our brand new, custom-designed learning platform, OpenSpace.

OpenSpace provides you with a user-friendly interface, that is mobile responsive. This means that you can complete your coursework using your laptop, iPad, or mobile device. All coursework is automatically saved, providing you with the flexibility you need to complete your studies anywhere, anytime.

How to get support?

Learning Support

The learning support team will be with you every step of the way, from enrolment to graduation. They’re here to help you get the most out of your online course. They can assist by providing non-academic support - like helping you craft an achievable study plan so that you can graduate in a realistic timeframe. If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated throughout your course, they’ll be there to help keep you on track.

Student support

The Student Support team is your one-stop service centre for all student administrative issues – including enrolment, change of contact details, OpenSpace support, assessment results and certification.

You can access the Student Support team by email or phone