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Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing ACM40418

Course Overview

Ever dreamed of working with animals? The Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will equip students with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career as a Veterinary Nurse.

Students will gain comprehensive training in all aspects of veterinary nursing to help you maintain the health of animals, including imaging, surgery preparation, medical and surgical nursing routines, and clinical pathology.

This course is designed for students who are either:

  • wishing to become a Vet Nurse by learning on campus at Wangaratta (Vic); or
  • currently employed within the industry for at least 15 hours per week either as a trainee or general employee; or
  • university students who are currently enrolled as an integrated student in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology program with Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Undertaking the qualification either on-campus or as part of the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology program will enable students to practice new skills in the workplace, with 240 hours of work placement at a veterinary clinic included over the duration of the course.

Students looking to undertake this course must hold a Certificate II in Animal Studies OR hold a relevant Certificate III or higher level qualification in an animal science discipline OR can demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge in a relevant animal science discipline to any of the above qualifications.

For 2022 enrolments, this course is available as part of the Free TAFE scheme as well as the JobTrainer initiative, for eligible students.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2022 enrolments.

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 students to work as a Veterinary Nurse. Duties as a Vet Nurse may include:

  • Administering drugs, anesthetics, and injections to animals
  • Preparing animals for surgery
  • Maintaining, sterilising, and laying out surgical equipment
  • Taking X-rays
  • Giving advice to clients about caring for animals
  • Keeping records, writing and filing reports
  • Caring for, grooming, and exercising animal 'in-patients'.

Veterinary nurses work under the supervision of a Veterinarian.

Working in this industry may involve weekend work including after hours on call. It also requires a level of fitness that allows you to safely handle a range of animals and be on your feet for most of the day.

Further Study

After graduating, students might like to undertake further study in the ACM50219 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing.

Students can also use this course as a pathway to university, with four subject credits counting towards the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Charles Sturt University.

Course Dates & Times

Wangaratta - Tone Road

Traineeship - Open from 1st February / 2022

Workplace based - Open from 1st February / 2022

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

Training package entry requirements

Entry into this qualification is open to individuals who:

  • Hold a Certificate II in Animal Studies.
  • Hold a relevant Certificate III or higher level qualification in an animal science discipline.
  • Can demonstrate and provide evidence of equivalent skills and knowledge and experience in a relevant animal science Discipline.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

It is recommended students are immunised against tetanus and Q fever, and any allergies to animals are controlled.

Before being accepted into the course applicants must:

  • Complete a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online test to ensure the required literacy & numeracy levels for the course are met.
  • Undertake a Pre-training Review by interview to ensure the course suits their needs and aspirations, and that they are likely to complete the course successfully.
  • Have physical stamina to safely handle a variety of animals
  • Attend an induction which may be face to face, via Microsoft Teams or phone
  • Be 16 years old or over
  • successfully fulfill the entry requirements of the qualification which may include holding a Certificate II in Animal Studies, or a relevant Certificate III (change to II) or higher level qualification in an animal science discipline or can demonstrate and provide evidence of equivalent skills and knowledge and experience in a relevant animal science discipline.

Workplace-Based applicants: must have 15 hours of paid employment in an approved Vet Clinic

Trainees: please apply through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with your employer to organise your apprenticeship/traineeship contract prior to applying for this course.

VET TECH: Bachelor of Veterinary Technology students will have their suitability determined by CSU - a minimum ATAR of 70 is required.

Technology requirements:

  • Access to a computer with Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word & Teams, as well as reliable internet connection
  • Webcam for Microsoft Teams meetings
  • Headset
  • A second monitor is a great benefit when studying virtually but not a requirement

Core Units
Identify animal anatomy and physiology for animal care work
Communicate effectively with clients and team members
Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
Carry out daily practice routines
Coordinate veterinary reception duties
Apply imaging routines
Perform clinical pathology procedures
Perform practice office procedures
Coordinate and perform surgical nursing routines
Nurse animals
Carry out medical nursing routines
Provide nutritional advice and support for animals
Provide specific animal care advice
Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures
Prepare for anaesthesia and monitor animal anaesthesia and analgesia
Assist with the preparation of veterinary drugs and poisons
Contribute to workplace health and safety processes
Elective Units
Provide enrichment for animals
Provide basic animal first aid
Implant microchip in cats and dogs
Provide basic care of domestic dogs
Provide basic care of domestic cats
Assist with surgery preparation
Prepare, deliver and review animal care education programs
Coordinate practice promotional activities

Specific types of assessments (of which some include exams/tests) may include the following:

  • Written/online assessment tasks
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Practical tasks
  • Oral questioning
  • Practical observation

There will be an opportunity to resubmit an assessment task if it is determined ‘Not Satisfactory’.

  • For each assessment task, only one resubmission will be accepted.
  • With resubmission, the original must be attached also. Changes need to be clearly distinct from the original work.
  • Original work should not be destroyed.
  • There is a maximum of two weeks to resubmit assessment work and there are no extensions for resubmissions.

Skye Rhodes-Mitchell

It is important that students commit to all course requirements, including study and assessments the student may be required to complete outside their normal training sessions. Students are encouraged to attend all face-to-face sessions and participate in webinars, excursions or other organised activities.

Students must wear closed-in footwear for all practical tasks to comply with OH&S requirements.

Reading material required: Y- BSAVA 6th edition and Stethoscope.

Students are also required to complete approximately 15 hours per week of research, assessment and self-paced learning.


  • All students must have successfully completed ACM20117 Certificate II Animal Studies or a qualification above
  • Must attend 2 days per week for 2 years
  • Students are required to organize their own 240 work placement in a Vet Clinic
  • Students will be required to research and study outside of the 2 days attendance per week

Workplace Based

  • Must have 15 hours of paid employment in an approved Vet Clinic
  • Delivered over 2 years
  • Complete online study by logging into the online campus GOLEARN at least twice a week to complete self-paced learning activities
  • Will be required to have their supervisor sign off specific tasks within the workplace
  • Trainers will attend the workplace 4 times annually to conduct training and assessment - students must be available to meet their trainer at the agreed time and date


  • Delivered over 2 years
  • If trainee, apply first through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with your employer to organise your apprenticeship/traineeship contract prior to applying for this course.

Vet Tech

  • This course is delivered over an 18 month period to students already undertaking the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Charles Sturt University. Students are enrolled either on campus or distance as full-time or part-time.

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.

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Jobs and study options

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

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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

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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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