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Certificate III in Companion Animal Services


Certificate III in Companion Animal Services ACM30417

Course Overview

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.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

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

Further Study

After graduating, you might like to undertake further study in:

Course Dates & Times

Currently there are no upcoming sessions available for this course. To register your interest in this course, click the "Register Your Interest" button at the top of this page.

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession)
3. Subsidised Trainee
4. Subsidised Trainee (Concession)
5. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fees (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2022 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of 3 different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    1. an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    2. an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    3. ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs.
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions.
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) - contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, 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.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

This course is in transition. The course code, title, units, and content may change in the future. Further information will be provided upon enrolment, or during the course of your training.

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

Core Units
Work effectively in the companion animal industry
Complete animal care hygiene routines
Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
Contribute to workplace health and safety processes
Elective Units
Provide advice on companion animal selection and general care
Capture, handle and transport companion animals
Provide companion animal hydro-bathing services
Provide basic first aid for animals
Source information for animal care needs
Provide information on companion animals, products and services
Provide enrichment for animals
Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals
Provide basic care of domestic dogs
Provide basic care of domestic cats

Assessment methods may include:

  • Written assignments
  • Short answer questions
  • Case studies
  • Written reports
  • Examinations
  • 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.

Recommended Texts:

  • 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.

Skye Rhodes-Mitchell

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.

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.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

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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