RSPCA NSW runs training programs about animal care and welfare.

ACM20117 Certificate ll in Animal Studies

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies allows students to develop practical skills in animal care, and gain a real understanding of animal welfare requirements. It is a nationally recognised qualification, and an entry point into the animal care and management industry.

Students will learn the fundamental skills needed to care for domestic animals, and undertake a practical work placement at an RSPCA NSW shelter or Care Centre. Students are not required to find their own work placement.

The course will introduce students to the concepts of animal hygiene, providing basic animal first aid, communicating effectively with people, staying safe in an animal-related workplace and sourcing information about the needs of animals.

For full details regarding studying with the RSPCA NSW Training Team, please download the RSPCA NSW Training Team’s Student Handbook here.

For detailed information on the Certificate II in Animal Studies, please download the information sheet here.

For available course dates for 2019, please see below.


Course snapshot

Course duration: 

Eight weeks intensive full-time (four face-to-face days per week, one day of self-directed study per week)




Students are required to wear closed-in shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. A student shirt with the RSPCA logo will be provided.

Work placement locations:

  • Blue Mountains Shelter in Katoomba
  • Central Coast Shelter in Somersby and RSPCA Care Centre in Tuggerah
    (You will be required to attend both the shelter and care centre as part of your work placement.  Please note that there are limited public transport options for the Central Coast Shelter).
  • Illawarra Shelter in Unanderra
  • Sydney Shelter in Yagoona

Please note that regardless of your work placement location, all students must attend the first week and each Monday in weeks two, three, four, five, six and seven at the Sydney Shelter for the classroom component of the course.


ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies. This qualification is nationally recognised.

Subjects studied:

Core (eight)

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

Compulsory electives (four)

  • ACMGAS208 Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMSPE304 Provide basic care of domestic dogs
  • ACMSPE305 Provide basic care of domestic cats
  • ACMGAS209 Provide information on companion animals, products and services


Why study with the RSPCA Training Team?

Our courses are nationally recognised and industry leading. You’ll gain a broad and unique perspective on the animal care industry through your work placement at an RSPCA NSW shelter or Care Centre, where all our staff members are dedicated to improving the lives of animals.

Plus, more than anything, animal welfare is at the forefront of our training. RSPCA trainers are industry professionals, and include highly experienced animal carers.

RTO code: 70238


Entry requirements

There are no education requirements for entry into this course. However, due to RSPCA NSW policy, students must be at least 18 years old, with the appropriate approval to study or work in Australia. Please note that we are not a registered CRICOS provider, so cannot accept enrolments for those seeking to study with a student visa.

As our work placement will involve animal handling and manual lifting, it’s beneficial to have a reasonable level of physical fitness. Due to the nature of the animal industry, emotional resilience is advantageous.

Please note that you must be immunised against tetanus before commencing the course.


Course dates

Monday 4 February 2019 – Friday 29 March 2019 – FULL

Monday 6 May 2019 – Friday 28 June 2019 – FULL

Monday 29 July 2019 – Friday 20 September 2019 – FULL

Monday 21 October 2019 – Friday 13 December 2019 – CLOSED

Dates are subject to change.

Please note that undertaking training through RSPCA NSW does not guarantee an interview for a paid or volunteer position at RSPCA NSW. You can find a list of any available positions at RSPCA NSW here.


Pathways from this qualification

Job role titles covered by this qualification may include:

  • animal care attendant
  • animal shelter attendant
  • cattery attendant
  • kennel hand

Students who study this course may choose to go onto further study in related animal fields such as:

  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Captive Animals
  • Grooming
  • Animal Technology
  • Companion Animal Services

This course is eligible for students to apply for a concession card through Transport NSW. Applications must be made well in advance of the course start date. To apply for a concession card, please visit the Transport NSW website here. If you apply for a concession card, please notify the RSPCA NSW Training Team at