Veterinary Professional Training

Veterinary Professional Training

Created as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.

This veterinary professional development course has been created as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.

The course is aimed at veterinarians and veterinary nurses and focused at improving the knowledge and skills of veterinary staff related to wildlife triage, first aid, treatment and care.

Taronga’s Veterinary Professional Training in Wildlife Treatment and Care is specifically designed for veterinarians and veterinary nurses and focuses on building the confidence, knowledge and skills required for the triage, first aid, treatment and care of (wild) Australian species.

This course is accredited with the Australian Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia for CPD points and is delivered via a blended learning model combining online distance education and an optional one-day intensive practical workshop.

To be eligible for participation in the course, participants must:

  • Be a fully qualified veterinary professional (i.e. vet, vet nurse or vet tech); and
  • Work in a veterinary clinic or hospital in Australia; or
  • Be an enrolled, final year (or post grad) veterinary science student studying in an Australian University (at this time we cannot accept vet nurse or vet tech students)

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Course details

    The next intake will commence Monday, 14 February 2022. 

    This course includes an online component (20 CPD points), and an optional practical workshop delivered in NSW, QLD or VIC (12 CPD points). 

    The 20-hour, online component of the course can be completed over three months and includes downloadable take-home resources and links to external resources, so that participants may refer back to important information as needed.

    The optional workshop component is a one-day, hands-on practical with multiple presenters and demonstrations on the veterinary treatment and care of wildlife. Spaces in workshops are extremely limited and participation is restricted to veterinary professionals currently working in an Australian veterinary clinic or hospital. Completion of the online component of this course is a mandatory pre-requisite to attend the practical component. 

    Course contents

    The online component encompasses 5 modules of competency. It is estimated that this will take approximately 20 hours to complete. However, the course has been designed so you can complete it at your own pace over three months.

    • Module 1 - Introduction to Treatment and Care of Wildlife
    • Module 2 - Amphibians and Reptiles Treatment and Care 
    • Module 3 - Birds Treatment and Care 
    • Module 4 - Mammals Treatment and Care 
    • Module 5 - Koalas Treatment and Care (developed by the Koala Health Hub)

    The modules have been developed by wildlife veterinarians of the Taronga Wildlife Hospitals, with the exception of Module 5 - Koalas Treatment and Care, which has been developed by the Koala Health Hub.

    For each of these modules, the content will cover the following topics:

    Topic 1

    Regulation, resources and risks. This topic will cover important facts about animal welfare and legislation pertaining to wildlife, what information to record in the initial examination of a wildlife patient, available sources of advice for assessing and treating wildlife patients, wildlife associated zoonotic diseases, and practices for minimising zoonotic disease risk at your practice.

    Topic 2

    Handling and immediate housing. This topic will cover clinically relevant anatomy and physiology, handling techniques, basic housing and feeding of wildlife while hospitalised at your practice.

    Topic 3

    Assessment, triage and emergency care. This topic will cover clinical assessment, first aid, chemical restraint and criteria for euthanasia. Specifically, how to conduct a physical examination in the wildlife patient, the steps that follow initial assessment and triage, the principles of providing basic first aid to wildlife patients, basic information on providing fluids, wound care, the criteria and preferred methods for euthanasia of wildlife.

    Topic 4

    Diagnosis and treatment. This topic will cover common injuries and diseases of wildlife, therapeutics, drug administration, pain management, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The face-to-face workshop is an optional, one-day, hands-on practical with multiple presenters and demonstrations on the veterinary treatment and care of wildlife. Spaces in workshops are extremely limited. Registration for workshops launches after the commencement of the online course and to be eligible to register you must be a veterinary professional (eg vet or vet nurse) currently working in an Australian veterinary clinic or hospital. Completion of the online component of this course is a mandatory pre-requisite to attend the practical component. 

    During the workshop, participants will be presented with real case studies and will conduct diagnostic investigations covering triage, assessment, examination, diagnosis and treatment of wildlife (native reptiles, birds and mammals), as well as participate in a tour of the wildlife hospital facilities to learn about post-treatment care of wildlife. Participants will also learn how to perform necropsy diagnosis of wildlife.

    Application process

    Online applications close on Monday, 24 January 2022.

    Apply using the button at the top of this page. You will be asked to submit valid evidence of your ability to meet the eligibility criteria. 

    You will be asked to upload a letter of recommendation from your clinic/hospital that includes:

    • Your full name
    • Your job title/role at your organisation
    • Name of your organisation 
    • Must be on letterhead

    Taronga staff will review these documents to confirm your identity and eligibility for the course. If your letter is missing any of the above information, unfortunately your application will automatically be rejected. Your personal data will be deleted once it is no longer required.
    Participants will be notified of their enrolment outcome the week preceding course commencement.
    Please note that the application form is not designed to be completed on a mobile device. We recommend a laptop or desktop computer when applying.
    On submission of your application, you should receive a brief confirmation to the email address you gave us. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, please contact us at

    Available subsidies

    Discounted positions

    This veterinary professional development training was created as part of the NSW Koala Strategy and is funded by the NSW Government. Thanks to this funding we are able to offer the discounted rates currently advertised.

    NSW Government

    Fully Subsidised Positions

    This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and their Habitats.

    Applicants who meet the course eligibility criteria and reside in New South Wales, ACT, Queensland, Victoria or South Australia will automatically be assessed for a fully-subsidised position (includes the online course and the optional face-to-face workshop).

    Australian Government




    Priority and Considerations for Australian Government Funded Subsidy Positions (where possible):

    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants
    • Geographical location
      • A resident of Koala range states QLD, NSW, VIC, ACT or SA
      • Clinics, vets and vet nurses in areas with resident koala populations
      • Even (geographical) distribution of funded positions across Koala range states 
    • Currently practicing full-time or permanent part-time in a veterinary clinic/hospital
    • Demonstrate a commitment to wildlife 
      • Prioritise clinics / practitioners that opt-in to receive further communications about supporting wildlife treatment and rehabilitation efforts
      • Prioritise clinics / practitioners that are willing to promote their wildlife treatment and care capabilities (i.e. display certificate or other signage)

    Vets Beyond Borders Membership Packages

    Vets Beyond Borders will be offering a Member Benefits Package to successful candidates. These packages vary however in addition to a VBB membership and course subsidy, they may include course textbooks and financial assistance for travel fees and other associated expenses.

    Visit the Vets Beyond Borders website for more information and to apply.

    Vets Beyond Borders

    Course dates

    Online course

    Semester 1, 2022 of the Taronga Veterinary Professional Training in Wildlife Treatment and Care course will begin Monday, 14 February 2022 and must be completed by Sunday, 15 May 2022.

    You can complete the online course at your own pace over the three months.


    Registration for the one-day, optional workshop component will launch after the online course commences. Workshops take place after the online component concludes.  

    Workshop locations will include:

    • Taronga Zoo Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales
    • Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, New South Wales
    • More to come! Including Queensland and Victoria

    Frequently asked questions

    I am an Australian citizen and registered veterinary professional currently employed outside of Australia. Am I eligible to apply for the course?

    Our funding is currently limited to veterinary professionals working in Australia.