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The Certificate III in Captive Animals is the pathway to zoo keeping. Students will further develop their knowledge in animal husbandry through a combination of regular theory lessons and practical experience with Zoos Victoria.


The Taronga Training Institute is the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) responsible for the delivery and assessment of this course. When enrolling in this course you are registering as a student with the Taronga Training Institute. Graduates of the Certificate III in Captive Animals can seek employment as a zoo keeper, or animal keeper in aquariums and wildlife parks. 

Please note: the Taronga Training Institute has entered a partnership agreement with Zoos Victoria to allow for the delivery of the ACM30317 Certificate III in Captive Animals at Zoos Victoria. Classroom sessions and practical placements will be conducted with Zoos Victoria.

Course Structure

Course Dates

Applications open

Applications close


Classes in 5 x 1 week blocks + 4 x 2 week block practical experience


February- December 2019


Now open. See 'Application Process' section for more details.

 5pm 31 August 2018

Course Information

Certificate III in Captive Animals at Zoos Victoria (Melbourne) - 1 YEAR COURSE

  • Duration:  The Melbourne course is run in intensive study blocks over 12 months. Beginning in February each year. PLEASE NOTE: There is no midyear intake of this course at the Melbourne Campus.
  • Classroom Sessions: Classroom sessions will be conducted in 5 x 1 week blocks over the 12 month period. Classroom sessions are primarily conducted in a classroom at Melbourne Zoo. However there may be times where classes will be held at WORZ with notice given.
  • Practical Requirements: The practical component is scheduled in 4 x 2 week blocks. Practical placement is allocated by ballot and will be spread throughout the course of the year. Successful applicants will be advised of their practical placement prior to course commencement.
  • Course Location: Classroom sessions are conducted at Melbourne Zoo. Practical placements are conducted primarily at Melbourne Zoo, however there may be opportunities to visit Werribee Open Range Zoo and/or Healsville Sanctuary during the course.  
Course Entry Requirements
  • Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age on commencement of the course.
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen.
  • Students must attend all practical days as allocated.
  • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons.
  • Students must hold the Certificate II in Animal Studies or equivalent or have a minimum of 12 months demonstrated experience working with animals, prior to commencing in the Certificate III in Captive Animals.
  • 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

ACMWHS301 Contribute to WHS processes

ACMGAS301 Maintain and monitor health and wellbeing

ACMGAS302 Provide enrichment for animals

ACMGAS303 Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals

ACMCAN301 Work within a captive animal facility

ACMCAN302 Prepare and present information to the public

ACMCAN311 Care for young animals

ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housing

ACMCAN305 Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals

ACMCAN306 Monitor animal reproduction

ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices 

Elective Units

ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning

ACMCAN303 Support Collection Management

ACMGAS306 Assist with conditioning animals

ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work

AHCBIO302 Identify and report unusual disease or plant pest signs

Note: All 16 units (core and elective) must be completed to gain the Certificate III in Captive Animals.

Course Dates

Course dates for February 2019

Class Dates Time

Block 1

Monday 18th February till Friday 22nd of February 2019


Block 2

Monday 6th May till Friday 10th May 2019


Block 3

Monday 15th July till Friday 19th July 2019


Block 4

Monday 16th September till Friday 20th September 2019


Block 5

Monday 18th November till Friday 22nd November 2019


* Course dates subject to change with prior notice


Upon successful completion of ACM30317 Certificate III in Captive Animals, further study options may be available external to TTI including ACM40217 Certificate IV in Captive Animals and ACM50117 Diploma of Animal Technology.


Course fee includes all course materials and compulsory uniform items.

Full Course Value $7230.00

Pay in full (on acceptance) or by 2 equal installments (first payment due at acceptance).

^Course pricing as from February 2018. Please note these figures may differ for incoming/future intakes 

Application Process

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 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 form. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and cannot progress any further. (Tip: Ensure you give careful consideration to your answers before submitting your application.) 
  • Read the terms and conditions below of 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:

  • Copies of your Student Transcript and Certificate II in Animal Studies or evidence that you are enrolled in the course and will complete prior to commencement of the Certificate III or evidence that you have had at least 12 months experience working with animals in the form of a detailed written reference. 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. 

How to Apply:

Applications are open online now. To apply, click here.

Applications for the Certificate III in Captive Animals are to be lodged online only, and will close at 5pm 31 August 2018.

  • To apply for ACM30317 Certificate III in Captive Animals complete the online application. This is only available during application opening times.
  • Please Note: 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

Entry Requirements:

Students must complete the online application and answer the selection criteria questions contained within the application.  Applicants who are short listed to progress to the second stage of the enrolment process will be required to attend an interview, either face to face or by phone, depending on location.

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

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

Applicants are welcome to apply for more than one campus and need only complete the application ONCE.

You can apply for/express interest in between 1 and 4 campuses by listing your preferences within the application. Campuses include Sydney, Dubbo, Melbourne and Perth.  If you are successful in securing a position in the course you will be offered a position at the campus of your choice, where available. If your first preference is not available we will move through your list of preferences. Please give careful consideration to your ability to relocate/ commute should you be offered a position at a campus that is not local to you.

*Please note that the application form is not designed to be completed on a mobile device. Please use a laptop or tablet to complete the application form.


We have captured the most common questions and answers here to make it quick and easy to get your questions answered.

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