RSPCA NSW runs nationally accredited training programs about animal care and welfare.

Certificate ll in Animal Studies

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 shelters 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 available course dates for 2018, 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:

The RSPCA Blue Mountains Shelter in Katoomba, the Central Coast Shelter in Somersby, the Illawarra Shelter in Unanderra, the Sydney Shelter in Yagoona, the RSPCA Care Centre Rouse Hill and the RSPCA Care Centre Tuggerah.

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


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

Subjects studied:

Core (seven)

  • ACMGAS201A Work in the animal care industry
  • ACMSUS201A Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGAS202A Participate in workplace communications
  • ACMWHS201A Participate in WHS processes
  • ACMGAS203A Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • ACMGAS204A Feed and water animals
  • ACMGAS205A Assist in health care of animals

Compulsory electives (five)

  • ACMGAS208A Source information for animal care needs
  • ACMSPE304A Provide basic care of dogs
  • ACMSPE305A Provide basic care of cats
  • ACMGAS206A Provide basic first aid for animals
  • ACMGAS209A Provide information on companion animals, products and services


Why study with the RSPCA Academy?

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 shelter or Care Centres, 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 and veterinarians.

RTO code: 70238


Entry requirements

There are no education requirements for entry into this course. However, due to RSPCA policy, students must be at least 18 years old, with the appropriate approval to study or work in Australia.

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 19 February 2018 – Friday 13 April 2018 – FULL
  • Monday 7 May 2018 – Friday 29 June 2018
  • Monday 30 July 2018 – Friday 21 September 2018
  • Monday 22 October 2018 – Friday 14 December 2018

Dates are subject to change.

Download the RSPCA Academy Student Handbook here.

Download the Certificate II in Animal Studies information sheet here.

Please note that undertaking training through RSPCA NSW or the RSPCA Academy 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

After achieving this qualification, candidates may undertake:

  • ACM30110 Certificate III in Animal Studies
  • ACM30210 Certificate III in Animal Technology
  • ACM30310 Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • ACM30410 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
  • ACM30612 Certificate III in Pet Grooming
  • ACM40410 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (Please note that there are three mandatory Certificate II level units in the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing that we do not currently offer as part of our Certificate II in Animal Studies)