ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (Sydney)

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies (Sydney)

The Certificate II in Animal Studies is the introductory level course for those who are interested in the animal care industry and/or pursuing a career as a Zoo keeper.

Students will develop the knowledge and skills in the primary duties of a keeper in the animal care industry, through a combination of weekly theory lessons and activities held within the zoo.

Study format

Classroom sessions will be conducted once a week. Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to nominate their preferred day of attendance. Once allocated, students are expected to attend all classes.

Available class days and time include:

  • Mondays 10.00am to 2.00pm
  • Wednesdays 4.00pm to 8.00pm
  • Thursdays 4.00pm to 8.00pm

For evening classes, this includes the daytime orientation and presentation sessions.

  • Course Structure: This course includes a combination of weekly in-class study with opportunities to head into zoo grounds
  • Study Load:
    - The Certificate II in Animal Studies course encompasses 12 units of competency. In addition to class requirements, you will be required to conduct independent study in your own time
    - The Certificate II Animal Studies is listed as a 600 hours course. This includes all face – face time with TTI as well as independent study. Depending on your level of skill and prior knowledge, you may find that you require more / less independent study than others in the course

Course entry requirements

  • Students must be a minimum of 16 years of age on commencement of the course
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen
  • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons
  • Students should have a reasonable level of health and fitness in order to fully participate in the course
  • Students should demonstrate good English skills, both written and verbal, and basic numeracy skills

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 first aid
  • ACMCAN308 Release native animals to natural environment
  • ACMGAS209 Provide information on companion animals, products and services

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


Successful completion of ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies prepares you for jobs such as an animal grooming assistant, kennel hand, pet shop attendant, 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 TTI only offers the Certificate III Captive Animals. The other qualifications can be completed at other RTO’s:

Application process

Applications for the June 2020 are now open and will close on Thursday 30 April 2020.


Taronga is an equal opportunity organisation and encourages people from diverse backgrounds to apply to study with us. The application process is used to help determine your suitability to complete the course in conjuction with the support of TTI staff & trainers.  

All applications must be submitted online during the application opening period. All applicants must:

  • Read the Course Information above and ensure you can meet the requirements of the course before lodging an application
  • Read the Taronga Training Institute Student Handbook prior to completing an application
  • Complete ALL questions in the online application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and cannot progress any further
  • Read the terms and conditions below before applying - proceed to apply only if you agree and can comply with the conditions

During the online application process you will be required to upload the following documents/provide the following information:

  • If you have completed any of the Units of Competency that make up the Certificate II in Animal Studies, as offered by Taronga Training Institute, you may be eligible for Credit Transfer. Applicants are requested to provide electronic copies of Student Transcripts or Records of Results as evidence that Units have previously been completed. Electronic copies of this information should be gathered prior to commencing your online application as you are requested to submit the documentation during the application process
  • Your Unique Student Identifier (USI) - This can be obtained during the enrolment process if you do not currently have a USI

On submission of your application you should receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided within your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email from Taronga Training Institute within 24 hours, please contact us at

If your application is successful, you will be required to provide the following documents:

  • Certified copy of your birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency
  • Certified copy of your photo I.D.

Course dates

June 2020 intake, Monday class

Orientation Day/Careers Day, 10am - 5pm

  • 29 June 2020
  • Orientation is compulsory for all classes

Weekly classes, 10am - 2pm on the following dates:

  • 6 July 2020
  • 13 July 2020
  • 20 July 2020
  • 27 July 2020
  • 3 August 2020
  • 10 August 2020
  • 17 August 2020
  • 24 August 2020
  • 31 August 2020
  • 7 September 2020
  • 14 September 2020
  • 21 September 2020
  • 28 September 2020
  • Tuesday due to public holiday: 6 October 2020
  • 12 October 2020
  • 19 October 2020
  • 26 October 2020
  • 2 November 2020
  • 9 November 2020
  • 16 November 2020
  • 23 November 2020
  • 30 November 2020
  • 7 December 2020
  • 14 December 2020

Presentation Day (onsite day) 10am - 5pm

  • 7 December 2020

June 2020 intake, Wednesday class

Orientation Day/Careers Day, 10am - 5pm

  • 29 June 2020
  • Orientation is compulsory for all classes

Weekly classes, 4pm - 8pm on the following dates:

  • 8 July 2020
  • 15 July 2020
  • 22 July 2020
  • 29 July 2020
  • 5 August 2020
  • 12 August 2020
  • 19 August 2020
  • 26 August 2020
  • 2 September 2020
  • 9 September 2020
  • 16 September 2020
  • 23 September 2020
  • 30 September 2020
  • 7 October 2020
  • 14 October 2020
  • 21 October 2020
  • 28 October 2020
  • 4 November 2020
  • 11 November 2020
  • 18 November 2020
  • 25 November 2020
  • 2 December 2020
  • 9 December 2020
  • 16 December 2020

Presentation Day (onsite day) 10am - 5pm

  • 9 December 2020

June 2020 intake, Thursday class

Orientation Day, 10am - 2pm

  • 29 June 2020
  • Orientation is compulsory for all classes

Weekly classes, 4pm - 8pm on the following dates:

  • 9 July 2020 
  • 16 July 2020
  • 23 July 2020
  • 30 July 2020
  • 6 August 2020
  • 13 August 2020
  • 20 August 2020
  • 27 August 2020
  • 3 September 2020
  • 10 September 2020
  • 17 September 2020
  • 24 September 2020
  • 1 October 2020
  • 8 October 2020
  • 15 October 2020
  • 22 October 2020
  • 29 October 2020
  • 5 November 2020
  • 12 November 2020
  • 19 November 2020
  • 26 November 2020
  • 3 December 2020
  • 10 December 2020
  • 17 December 2020

Presentation Day (onsite day) 10am - 5pm

  • 10 December 2020

Terms and conditions

Please read carefully before applying

Thank you for your interest in studying with the Taronga Training Institute. By completing this application you acknowledge the following conditions:

  1. Your application will be evaluated and if you are successful, you will be offered a position in the Certificate II in Animal Studies with the Taronga Training Institute.  Payment of course fees are due within two weeks of the offer being made. Note: No payment of course fees is required until being offered a position in the course and the position being accepted at which time payment of the course fees will be required in FULL.
  2. The completion of this application does not constitute enrolment in the course. All applications will be reviewed based on eligibility and merit, with accepted applicants being offered a position approximately 6 weeks after applications close. You may withdraw your application at any stage, prior to being offered/accepting a position.
  3. You understand that if you are successful in being offered a position in the course, you will be assigned to a day of the week (Monday, Wednesday or Thursday) and you are committed to attending all classes on the dates listed on this webpage. Classroom lessons will be held from 10am-2pm On Mondays or 4pm - 8pm on Wednesdays & Thursdays aside from 2 day time sessions starting at 10am and concluding by 3/4pm.
  4. Attendance is expected at ALL classes; attendance of less than 80% of classes may result in the missed unit/s of competency needing to be repeated at the student's expense prior to being eligible for the issue of a qualification.
  5. 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.
  6. You understand that it is a requirement of this course that you wear the Taronga Training Institute student uniform when you attend classroom sessions. The uniform consists of a polo shirt. The course fee includes one polo shirt. Additional uniform items can be purchased at $45 per item.
  7. The Taronga Training Institute is committed to minimising its use of paper. As such you confirm you 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. You are computer literate and can access the internet to upload and download assessments and course work when required.
  8. 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.
  9. You will answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your ability.

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.

Frequently asked questions

What career options does Certificate II in Animal Studies give me?

This certificate prepares you for jobs such as a dog clipper/groomer, kennel hand, pet shop attendant, animal attendant.

This certificate course is an entry level certificate into training for other jobs in the industry such as:

  • 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 extra elective units are required to do vet nursing that are not offered by TTI. You can do these units at another RTO or develop competencies via practical experience at a veterinary surgery. 

How long is the course?

Certificate II in Animal Studies runs for 6 months starting in either January or June.

When do classes start?

Certificate II has two intakes per year at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo and Taronga Zoo Sydney - one commencing in January and another in June. Refer to the specific course pages for application opening dates and class dates and times.

How is this course assessed?

Course assessments are a combination of written answers to questions, reports, case studies, projects, practical activities, observations of students performing tasks, self assessments and supervisor reports.

I have some general questions about studying with Taronga

We have captured the most common questions and answers about studying at Taronga on our general frequently asked questions page.