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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 at Taronga Zoo.


Graduates of the Certificate III in Captive Animals can seek employment as a zoo keeper, or animal keeper in aquariums and wildlife parks.

Course Structure

Course Dates

Applications open

Applications close

12 months


Weekly classroom lessons on Tuesdays 4.00pm – 8.00pm

June 2018 - June 2019

Class is on Tuesdays

5pm 1 March 2018

5pm 30 March 2018

12 months


Weekly classroom lessons on Mondays 4.00pm – 8.00pm


January 2019 - December 2019

Class is on Mondays


5pm 1 August 2018


5pm 31 August 2018

Course Information

Certificate III at Taronga Zoo (Sydney) - 1 Year course

  • Duration: The Sydney course is run over 1 year full time.  
  • Course Structure: This course includes a combination of class and practical on site days at Taronga Zoo which both occur weekly.
  • Classroom Sessions: Classroom sessions will be conducted once per week on Monday or Tuesdays (Intake Dependant) from 4.00pm to 8.00pm.
  • Study Load: The Certificate III in Captive Animal encompasses 16 units of competency. In addition to class and practical requirements, you will be required to conduct independent study in your own time.
  • Course Location: Classroom sessions and practical placements are conducted at Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Road, Mosman. 
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 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.
  • Practical Requirements: The practical component of this course is one (1) day per week at Taronga Zoo. Practical placements will commence as early as 6.30am and finish by 4.00pm. Practical placements can be scheduled across all 7 days of the week subject to student and campus availability.

In addition, students will be required to attend one full week Monday-Friday from as early as 6am on our Taronga Food Prep division. Students will be given a chance to elect which week they attend within the first 6 months of their course. On this week students will not be required to attend their rostered division but will still be required to attend class.

Units of Competency

Core Units

ACMOHS301A Contribute to OHS processes

ACMGAS301A Maintain and monitor health and wellbeing

ACMGAS302A Provide enrichment for animals

ACMGAS303A Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals

ACMCAN301A Work within a captive animal facility

ACMCAN302A Prepare and present information to the public

ACMCAN303A Support collection management

ACMCAN304A Prepare and maintain animal housing

ACMCAN305A Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals

ACMCAN306A Monitor animal reproduction

ACMSUS201A Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices

Elective Units

ACMCAN310A Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning

ACMCAN309A Develop institutional husbandry guidelines

ACMGAS306A Assist with conditioning animals

ACMINF301A Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work

AHCBIO302A 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
  • The mid-year class is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 3 July 2018.
  • Weekly classes will be held on Tuesdays from 4.00pm - 8.00pm.
  • Class will cease over the Christmas period with the last class for 2018 being on Tuesday 11th December 2018 and class resuming on Tuesday 22 January 2019.
  • The course concludes on Tuesday 18 June 2019

*Dates are subject to change with notice


Upon successful completion of ACM30310 Certificate III in Captive Animals, further study options may be available external to TTI including ACM40210 Certificate IV in Captive Animals and ACM50110 Diploma of Animal Technology.


Course fee includes all course materials and compulsory uniform items.

This training is subsided by the NSW government (Smart and Skilled^). Smart and Skilled funding MAY be available for eligible students - Click here to check your eligibility*

First Qualification*


Second Qualification*




Full Course Value (Without Smart & Skilled Subsidy)**


^Smart and Skilled pricing as from November 2017. Please note these figures may differ for incoming/future intakes

*The Taronga Training Institute MAY have a limited number of Smart and Skilled funded positions available for this intake of the Certificate III in Animal Studies at Taronga Training Institute.

**Full course fee for a private student not in receipt of a subsidised position.

Application Process

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 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 otained during the enrolment process if you do not currently have a USI.

How to Apply: 

Applications for the Certificate III in Captive Animals are to be lodged online only.

  • To apply for ACM30310 Certificate III in Captive Animals at the Sydney Campus applicants will need to complete the online application when applications open.

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. Phone interviews can be organised if required

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

  • Copy of your birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency.
  • 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. 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.