Get comprehensive training in the care of companion animals with the Certificate III in Companion Animal Services.
The course provides comprehensive training in all aspects of companion animal care to ensure graduates are able to provide high levels of professional care to companion animals as well as being an effective member of the animal care team.
You'll learn to care for animals, including nutrition, first aid, and general care of dogs, cats, rodents, and rabbits. You'll gain skills in veterinary nursing, reception duties, and surgery preparation, and learn to comply with infection control policies and workplace health and safety requirements.
The course is open to animal attendants employed in a companion animal workplace for a minimum of 15 hours a week.
The qualification is also offered to school-based apprentices/trainees who are working 13 hours a week in a companion animal workplace.
Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions
We've had to make adjustments to how our courses are delivered due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This means that we're currently offering a combination of delivery modes including online and flexible learning and, where we can, on-campus classes with strict social distancing in place.
This course prepares you to work in the companion animal services industry. Roles you may be eligible for include:
- Animal Attendant (Veterinary Clinic/Animal Shelter)
- Pet Shop Worker
- Pet Exerciser
- Assistant Animal Groomer
After graduating, you might like to undertake further study in:
Course Dates & Times
Wangaratta - Tone Road
On Campus - Starts on 17/02/2021 - Wednesdays - 9am to 4pm/2021
Traineeship - Open from 15/02/2021 - 2021
On Campus - Starts on 14/07/2021 - Wednesdays - 9am to 4pm / 2021
Detailed Fee Information
The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Please note all fees and charges are correct at time of publication for 2021 and may change without notice.
Students will be invoiced for the components of the course that they are enrolled into for each year or semester.
Material fees cover costs associated with the following where applicable, and not limited to:
- Classroom activity consumables, handouts and booklets
- E-Learning resources and associated license access fees
Additionally some courses require students to purchase or supply text books, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session or during the pre-training review Interview.
All students are required to pay an annual Student Services Fee (SSF) of $70.00. The Student Services Fee contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF does not apply to short course participants.
Training package entry requirements
There are no training package entry requirements for this course.
GOTAFE preferred entry requirements
Before being accepted into the course applicants must:
- Undertake a Pre-training Review to document previous work experience and qualifications and assess suitability for the course.
- Complete a Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) test to ensure the required language, literacy and numeracy levels are met for the course.
- Register with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (Apprentices/Trainees only).
Applicants must also:
- Be 17 years of age or over (16 for SBAT).
- Be employed in an animal care workplace.
- Have the physical stamina to safely handle a variety of animals.
- Have a basic level of digital literacy to undertake the online component of the course.
- Have access to a computer with reliable internet.
It is recommended that all students enrolling in this course be immunised against tetanus
Course Study Units
Assessment methods may include:
- Written assignments
- Short answer questions
- Case studies
- Written reports
- Practical observations
- Oral assessments
Working in this industry may involve shift work and working weekends. It involves handling a variety of animals which requires a reasonable level of fitness and stamina on a daily basis.
- Hotston-Moore, P. & Hughes, A., BSAVA Manual of Practical Animal Care, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-4051-3795-9
- Dallas, S. E., & Jewell, S., Animal Biology and Care, ed 3, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014 ISBN : 978-1-118-27606-8
Students will need to provide their own stationery, including notebooks, pens, highlighters and sticky notes.
Attendance & Commitment
On-campus students: This course is delivered at the Wangaratta Regional Study Centre 1 day a week over 6 months. Students must also complete a minimum of 80 hours of work placement in a companion animal workplace approved by GOTAFE.
Workplace learners: This course is delivered over a 12 to 18 month period and students are enrolled part-time. Students are based in their workplace where they are able to consolidate the skills and knowledge they have learnt through their attendance at on-campus sessions. Some online training is also included in the delivery.
Trainees/School-based apprentices: This course is delivered over an 18 to 24 month period to school-based apprentices/trainees and adult trainees already employed in a companion animal workplace.
Students must commit to all course requirements, including study and assessments the student may need to complete outside their normal training sessions.
Where to From Here
If you need any further clarification of the information provided please contact one of our client service officers on 1300 468 233 who can assist you or submit an enquiry through our website now and one of the team will be in touch.
Educational Support Services
As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.
As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you will be welcome to access a variety of non-academic support services from the Student Welfare Unit. These services are designed to best support you to successfully complete your course.
Services include on campus supports and remote supports
- employment information
- activities etc.
Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.
Further information is provided at course induction.
Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:
- Aspirations/career goals
- Educational attainment and capability
- Literacy and numeracy skills
- Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer
Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.
Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.
You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:
- Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.
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