ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (HSC)

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (HSC)

The Certificate II in Animal Studies course is a Stage 6 Board Endorsed/ VET course offered to Year 11 or 12 students as a one year course (Terms 1 -3). It is an introductory level course for those who are interested in the animal care industry and/or pursuing a career as an animal attendant/keeper. 

Course details

This course will give you an entry point into the animal care industry. This course enables you to develop the skills and knowledge required for the care and maintenance of animals including handling, feeding, grooming, health and hygiene practices.

  • This course includes a combination of in-class study and 5 x practical on site days at Taronga Zoo Sydney across one animal division
  • This course does not run during NSW public school holidays
  • The Certificate II in Animal Studies course provides 4 units of credit for Preliminary (Year 11) or HSC (Year 12) students. Please be aware that this course does not count towards your ATAR

Course entry requirements

  • Must be in Stage 6 at school
  • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons & practical days
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen
  • Students must be able to make their own way to and from Taronga Zoo Sydney. Public transport is available to the zoo by trains, ferries or buses
  • Students must have written permission from their school principal/careers advisor to participate in the course
  • Students must have written permission from a parent/guardian to participate in the course
  • Students are required to wear the provided Taronga Training Institute Uniform and enclosed footwear at all times when attending Taronga
  • Students should bring a laptop computer (preferable) or tablet computer to classes

Units of competency

Core Units

  • ACMWHS201 Participate in WHS processes
  • ACMGAS201 Work in the animal care industry
  • ACMGAS202 Participate in Workplace Communications
  • ACMGAS203 Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • ACMGAS204 Feed and water animals
  • ACMGAS205 Assist in the health care of animals
  • ACMGAS206 Provide basic first aid for animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices 

Elective Units

  • ACMGAS210 Prepare for and conduct a tour or presentation
  • ACMGAS305 Rescue animals and apply basic animal care
  • ACMCAN308 Release native animals to natural environment
  • ACMGAS207 Provide Reception Services for an Animal Care Facility

Note: All 12 units (8 core and 4 elective) must be completed to gain the Certificate II in Animal Studies (HSC).


Successful completion of ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies prepares you for jobs such as an animal grooming assistant, kennel hand, pet shop attendant, or animal attendant.

In addition, further study options are available, including:

  • Certificate III in Captive Animals (Zoo keeping);
  • Certificate III in Animal Technology (Vet Nursing); and
  • Certificate III in Companion Animals (boarding, grooming, rescue & retail) 

Please note Taronga only offers the Certificate III Captive Animals. Other qualifications can be completed at other RTO’s:

Application process

Expressions of interest open Monday 29 July 2019 closing on Friday 6 September 2019 and must be submitted by the school via the EVET system on behalf of the student. Please note expressions of interests/applications will not be accepted in any other form.

  • Enrolment in this course needs to be coordinated with the students’ school
  • Entry Requirements: Students will be required to submit further documentation, upon request. Students must meet the selection criteria and demonstrate good English skills, both written and verbal, and basic numeracy skills
  • Applicants will be required to complete an enrolment form in due course. This will be forwarded to the Student by their school once a formal offer of a position has been made by Taronga Training Institute

Important: Acceptance into the course will be based on merit (subject to students meeting minimum entry requirements) and is NOT first in first served.

Terms and conditions

Please read carefully before applying

Thank you for your interest in studying with the Taronga Training Institute.  Please see below for terms & conditions and further instructions on how to apply.

  1. To be considered for a position within the Certificate II in Animal studies (HSC), you must discuss your desire to apply with your school careers advisor/ EVET contact. Together you will need to submit an expression of interest form through the EVET platform/website. This is only accessible through school logins and cannot be accessed as an individual student. Only applications submitted through the EVET website will be considered for the course. Expressions of interest sent via email or in paper form will not accepted.
  2. The completion of the expression of interest form through EVET does not constitute enrolment in the course. In accordance with the EVET timeline, once the EVET applications closes your expression of interest will be evaluated through EVET and if successful, a position will be offered in the Certificate II in Animal Studies with the Taronga Training Institute. Offers will be made through EVET to the corresponding student’s school. Schools with successful students will be required to accept or decline their students offer by the required deadline as set out in the EVET timeline. Offers will be made in line with the EVET timeline dates. Schools may withdraw a student’s application at any stage. Payment of fees should be discussed between school and student prior to submission of their expression of interest.
  3. You understand that if successful in being offered a position in the course, additional documentation will be requested and required to be submitted within the deadlines given by Taronga Training Institute. Failure to do so may result in the student relinquishing their position in the course. Students are required to commit to attending all classes on Wednesdays in Term 1 – 3 (excluding NSW school holidays). Classroom lessons will be held from 12 – 4pm weekly. Students will also be required to complete 9 onsite practical days additional to their weekly class day as a requirement of the course. Practical days will be scheduled in consultation with the student on weekends and throughout the NSW school holidays.
  4. You understand that in order to be eligible to study with the Taronga Training Institute you must be an Australian Citizen, permanent resident of Australia or a New Zealand Citizen residing in Australia.
  5. You understand that it is a requirement of this course that you wear the Taronga Training Institute student uniform when you attend classroom sessions and onsite practical days. The uniform consists of a polo shirt and jumper. The course fee includes one polo shirt and one jumper. Additional uniform items can be purchased at $45 per item.
  6. The Taronga Training Institute is committed to minimising its use of paper. Students must have access to a computer to access course material, and upload assessments. The use of a laptop (preferred) or tablet in the classroom is necessary. Students are to be computer literate and able to access the internet to upload and download assessments and course work when required.
  7. You understand if you enrol into a course with Taronga Training Institute you will be required to access the online student management system on a regular basis to receive and send communication to the institute.
  8. You will answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your ability.


Student Work Health and Safety Considerations:

  1. Self health assessment. Taronga Training Institute is required and committed to ensure that all prospective students satisfy the inherent requirements and job demands of the course for which they are being considered and that all students are safe in fulfilling the components of their course. This information is required for the purpose of assessing your fitness for participation in the course. Please Note: medical clearance may be required if requested by Taronga’s WHS Manager.
  2. Taronga’s Veterinary and Animal Health Team in consultation with Taronga’s Work Health and Safety Manager would like to advise you that working in some areas of the Zoo poses a risk to both animals and humans in the transfer of tuberculosis. Taronga requires you to provide TB clearance prior to commencement if you are identified as being in a high risk category for tuberculosis. You will need to provide TB clearance if you fit into any of the following categories:
  • Born overseas in a high TB incidence country
  • Lived overseas in a high TB incidence country for longer than 3 months
  • Have known exposure to a TB positive person

Please note: TB clearance is not required prior to acceptance of a position in the course

Please be advised that the risk of contracting TB is very low. However, you may choose to seek further advice from your health professional.