Advanced Certificate in Pet Industry Management

Develop a career or business working with animals in breeding and supplying pets, or supplying services or products to pet owners. One of the most extensive education courses for a career in the pet industry short of being a veterinarian.

Course Code: VAG061
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Study for a successful career in the Pet Care Management

Develop a solid foundation of the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective management of the diverse pet industry. 

You can direct your studies to your current area of expertise, or choose a new direction for yourself.  You can also make your course as focused or as broad as you need it to be.

Through practical tasks, research, observation and networking; you are guided to develop not only knowledge of science, but also "understanding", "awareness" and the right "attitude" that is needed to build either a sustainable career or business.

Work with your strengths

This course is different to many others.  It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with a variety of industry professionals, while exploring the nature and scope of the pet care industry and finding where you best fit.

For ongoing success, you need to become "connected".  This networking within the industry will provide the basis to remain "connected", so that you can evolve and adapt to changes as your career moves forward.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Pet Industry Management.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Management VBS105
 Pet Care AAG100
 Research Project I BGN102
 Pet Food Business BAG227
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project I BIP000
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 23 modules.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Grooming BAG106
 Aquarium Management BEN105
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Bird Keeping (Aviculture) BAG108
 Business Studies BBS101
 Dog Care BAG105
 Domestic Cat Care BAG107
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Office Practices VBS102
 Ornithology BEN102
 Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
 Workshop I BGN103
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Entrepreneurship BBS204
 Genetics BSC207
 Herpetology BEN209
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Pet Therapy BPS221
 Animal Breeding BAG301

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Pet Industry Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Opportunities abound to work with Pets.

According to some industry sources, the pet industry in Australia alone was worth more than $4.2 billion in 2005. One can only imagine it's size today; and it's annual turnover.

Australian households are thought to own more than 8 million pets including over 4 million dogs and perhaps 3 million cats.

The scope of the industry is huge, and the opportunities for anyone with a good understanding of pets, is expanding further every year.

Just Consider Cats

Retail and Manufacturing

There are manufacturing and retailing opportunities for producing and selling pet products, specializing in cats, and this can either be done by running a shop or online sales.  Cat toys are usually quite limited in smaller pet stores but this may give an opportunity to create something new and different for the feline species, or find something decent already on the market. All cats need food, and the supply of cat food is in itself a significant industry.

Pet shop retailers also sell products and advise appropriate nutrition, training techniques or devices, and stimulation.  The retailer should have extensive knowledge of animals, especially nutrition and husbandry, with the correct licenses and this should be checked with local councils prior to opening.  

Cat Grooming
All cats, require a certain amount of grooming, and some breeds of cats with certain coat types will most definitely require more grooming than others.  Pet owners may find it difficult to fit grooming maintenance in to their busy lives, or may just prefer to take their cats to a professional groomers.  

Although cats usually do a good amount of self-grooming, it is important that cats are kept clean and free from uncomfortable matted and loose hair.  Matted hair can pull tight on the skin, and can also hide ectoparasites therefore any infestation may not be as visible as they could be.  Grooming cats no matter what the coat type has several functions:

  • Removes loose hair.
  • Removal of loose hair prevents ingestion by the cat when self-grooming, therefore less hairballs.
  • Detects, or aids in the removal of parasites.
  • Improves muscle tone.
  • Full body health check can be taken.
  • Therapeutic for the cat, and perhaps the human.
  • Social bonding between human and feline.

From a young age domesticated cats need to become accustomed to human touch. Grooming sessions with owners can be a great way to achieve this and is also good for some quality, human-cat bonding time.  Any professional working in cat grooming should encourage customers to do supplementary grooming for bonding if nothing else.  It is much easier for groomers to deal with a cat that is used to grooming techniques and the human hands.  

Professional groomers should ensure grooming only occurs when the cat is completely happy and relaxed. Start and finish on a positive note, being sensitive to feline behaviours.  If the cat becomes restless or stressed, grooming should be stopped.  If the cat exhibits the following behaviours  grooming should be paused, or stopped completely.

  • Tail twitching, swishing or thumping particularly at the tip of tail.
  • Rapid turns of the head in the direction of the comb.
  • Skin twitching or tense body.
  • Lip licking or head shaking.
  • Ears flattened backwards.
  • Sudden rapid self-grooming.
  • Growl or hissing sounds.

As a groomer, it is unlikely that there will be a need to wash a cat especially if the cat is healthy.  For cats it is a stressful situation to be washed in a bath and should only really need to be carried out if a cat is heavily infested with ectoparasites, or the coat has been contaminated in a harmful substance.  If this is the case, it would be best to refer to a veterinary practice for further care.  If a cat is healthy, then it should not need to be cleaned or washed.

Cat Breeding Industry

The cat breeding industry poses questions about pet population as there are so many stray, or unwanted cats across the globe.  Thousands of cats are euthanized due to the lack of homes. For every purposely bred kitten, there will be an unwanted animal that has lost a home.  For this reason; government bodies in some countries have placed regulations and licenses on the breeding of cats. This varies from one authority to the next.

As a cat breeder, you do not need a qualification but should have a good knowledge of the breed of cat and their best interests at heart at all times.  The queen must have the proper care throughout pregnancy and post pregnancy.   A clean, appropriate environment must be provided with the correct nutrition available.

The female cat should be fully grown to their adult size before breeding occurs, and this is usually around 18 to 24 months of age.  If the female falls pregnant before she has chance to fully grow then all her energy will go on the pregnancy, rather as her own growth.  The male tom should not be under the age of 18 months before being bred, and this ensures he is in good health with a good temperament.

It is the breeder’s responsibility to ensure the female and the male cat have both had full health evaluations, and this should be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.  Both cats should be checked prior to breeding for;

  • Full physical examinations.
  • Full courses of vaccinations, or ensure they are up to date.
  • Faecal and urinary analysis.
  • Free from parasites or infections.
  • Tested for FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus) and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • Tested for genetic disorders, e.g. polycystic kidney disease, hip dysplasia, patellar luxations and heart disease.

It is also important to check with the vet for any tests which may be relevant to their locality.  Both cats should be an ideal, healthy weight with good temperaments.  It is a better trait, and easier rehoming if the cats are laid back, and not aggressive.

It is the responsibility of the breeder to ensure good homes can be found for all the kittens.  This may be hard as there are so many cats requiring homes, and less space in shelters.  It is important to find homes for lives, rather as a kitten ending up in a shelter.  A vetting can be undertaken of any prospectus owner to ensure that they are going to good homes.

Professional Training and Handling
As a professional cat trainer, or behaviourist, you are required to advise owners about behavioural problems their cats are exhibiting.  You will be required to draw up a programme and demonstrate this to the client which involves excellent communication skills.  These behaviours may be anything from, unwanted noise, toilet training, destructive or aggression. 

Generally, cat trainers will be self-employed and should have completed some type of course, whether this be a cat communication or behaviour course.  There are also associations which can be joined by behaviourists which gives clients a piece of mind, and will also give added benefits as a trainer.  

Along with the theory it is important that it takes practice, and a lot of hands on experience before you can become an expert in feline behaviour.  It is also valuable to remember that all cats will train differently, and have different personalities, so a technique used on a certain behaviour for one cat, may not work the same for another.  

Day Care or Boarding
The popularity of cats has created a market for professional cat carers or sitters.  This job requires good general knowledge and care for cats, with good management and husbandry skills.  Some type of animal care or husbandry study program is beneficial. It may be something some owners look for in their cat carers. 

Owners with busy work schedules may need cat carers for any length of time; from an hour or two a day, to several days or even weeks at a time. To cause less stress to a cat it may be appropriate to hire a sitter or cat day care service on a regular basis to look after a cat in a familiar environment on a regular basis. Some people may require a cat sitter for longer while away on holiday or business, in which case cat boarding at a cattery may be more appropriate.   

Day Care
This would involve visiting the cats in their own houses for the agreed time, as placing a cat in a day care centre would cause unnecessary stress.  Several cats could be visited in one day, and may be routine customers or one offs.  Sessions may include;

  • Pampering.
  • Playing.
  • Feeding.
  • Watering.
  • Brushing.
  • Litter change.
  • Administration of medication.
  • Overnight stays.

Cat Boarding
Owners may wish to place their cats in boarding whilst they are away longer periods of time.  This provides an opportunity to run, or work within, a cattery.  To set up a cattery, you will need an adequate building to place a number of catteries and also offer a satisfactory exercise area.  Each individual cattery should include a warm bed, food, water and stimulation.  Local councils should be contacted to check regulations and licenses for catteries.  Staff should be available to spend time with each individual cat to provide human-cat interaction.  

Cat Rehoming Centre or Fostering
There are opportunities to volunteer with cat rehoming centres, or even foster cats until long term homes can be found.   Cats end up in rehoming centres due to the large population of unwanted cats, strays and litters of unwanted kittens.  Unfortunately, not all get a happy ending but the more people that make themselves available as cat fosterers, or volunteer within a shelter, the higher the chance these cats have of finding forever homes.

It is possible to set up your own cat rescue centre if you have adequate ground or space.  There are some things which would need to be considered;

  • The rehoming of the cats, how will this be achieved.
  • Contact with local council – permission, license, regulations etc.
  • Local vet available.
  • Donations.
  • Volunteers and staff.
  • Equipment.
  • Administration.
  • Insurance.

To run a rehoming centre takes a lot of work, and there needs to be a way of finding the cats suitable homes.  This may be done through website, social media, campaigns, newspaper publicity, sponsors and radio stations.  

Therapy Pets
There are charities available to join which concentrate on using cats as therapy for hospital patients, nursing homes, and schools, children with learning problems or even prisons.  It has been shown from these visits from therapy cats can relieve human stress.  When humans stroke animals the hormone oxytocin is released which triggers the ‘happy’ feeling.  

The cat used as a therapy pet is required to have a good temperament and laid back attitude, be accustomed to human touch, and cope well in stressful situations such as, loud noises or unpredictable circumstances.  The cat should be at least one year old so you know the temperament well.   There may be further requirements and this should be checked with an experienced “Pets as Therapy” group.  You will also be required to carry out further training and tests to ensure the cat is able to cope well.    

Health Care
There are opportunities to work with cats within the health care sector, whether it be a veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse or animal nursing assistant.  With either of these career opportunities you will need extensive knowledge of animal health care.  A veterinary surgeon will train over a number of years before fully qualified, and it is then that they can choose to specialize in the feline species if they wish.  A veterinary nurse or animal nursing assistant will get to work with a variety of species, including cats.  
Some veterinary care services may specialize more with cats than others.

Therapy for Cats
There are a number of therapies which can work alongside vet practices to help improve the health of a cat.  These therapies include hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and massage.  These techniques can be used on older cats with health issues, post-op, arthritis, obesity and to generally improve their health.

Although this is less common with cats, it has had proven health benefits for recovering injuries, arthritis or defects.  The exercises are completed in a controlled environment with a pool, and this really depends on whether the cat will accept the treatment within water.  A qualification can be taken to become a hydro therapist, as well as extensive knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology.    

Physiotherapy involves stretching and flexing of the cat’s limbs and is used for rehabilitation.  It can be used to rehabilitate the cat from injuries, post operation and problems such as arthritis.  A qualification is required to undertake physiotherapy, and the best route to be taken seriously by vets is to complete a human physiotherapy degree, then to specialize in a Masters course of veterinary physiotherapy.  

Pet massage is becoming increasingly popular, and has therapeutic benefits as well as adding to the above techniques of improving health.  A qualification can be completed in massage, however, it is advisable that you take a course with extensive hands on practical sessions.   

Funeral or Memorial Service
There unfortunately has to be the moment in an owner’s life where they say goodbye to their much beloved pet.  This is always a sad time, but does give an opportunity for a service to provide a unique business and make their goodbye as special as they can.
This can be offered with a funeral service tailored to the client’s needs and wishes, with also the outcome of memorial area and stone.  This all depends on the owner’s wishes, and offering a wide variety of services will allow people with financial constraints even have a basic package.  

There will be regulations on burials and building, depending on local councils and if the owners owns their land. 

A good course will grow your understanding of pets and how to care for them

-this course certainly does that


This is a significantly longer and more in depth pet course than most; but the more you study, the more you learn, and the greater your capacity will be to succeed and excel in the pet industry.

You have an opportunity to learn in greater depth about a greater variety of different types of pets, including:

  • Different Breeds of Dogs
  • Different Breeds of Cats
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Reptiles, Rodents and other animals too!

This course will set you on a path to continuing growth in understanding pet care, and a lifetime of  continual growth in experience and industry awareness.

You will not only be better when you finish your course; but will continue to get better beyond that, every year that you continue involvement with pets. This course does that too!

The nature of this industry has changed

The way in which the work is done has changed too; and will most likely continue changing. 

People are increasingly looking for something new as well - new types of pets, new pet products, new pet services. For some people, pets are a very important part of their lives, and pets can become virtually "substitute children". There is nothing too good for their pets, and no expense they would not incur on their pets.

The good news for anyone with a knowledge of pet care and an awareness of the industry is that this is a vibrant, growth industry that is constantly  presenting new exciting opportunities to build a business or career.

Develop a career or business with pets: in breeding and supplying pets, or supplying services or products to pet owners.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
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ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
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ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
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UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

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We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
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