Specialist Award in Animal Care

Become a Professional Animal Carer through Distance Learning. If you already know your discipline and industry, you have a head start on being a successful animal care specialist. This course is designed to "top up" the skills you already have.

Course Code: VAG028
Fee Code: PA
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Specialist Award
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Become a Professional Animal Carer


If you already know your discipline and industry, you have a head start on being a successful animal care specialist. This course is designed to "top up" the skills you already have; giving you expanded skills you can offer employers or clients; and new ways of applying the knowledge you already have in an industry you already know.

Add training or health concepts and practical skills to your existing skills, to broaden business opportunities or attractiveness to employers. You don't need to commit to a degree to be an Animal Care Professional Many Animal Care professionals are in fact not qualified at all Success in Animal Care comes by having up to date, useable skills; good networking (contacts with industry) and being sensitive to the needs of owners and their pets.

What is a Specialist Award? a type of “specialist” certificate; a way of topping up an existing qualification with professional training that gives your employment prospects a quantum leap forward; designed to provide a qualification to reflect “knowledge or skills” in a specialised area.

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Specialist Award in Animal Care .
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Animal Grooming BAG106
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 20 modules.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Bird Keeping (Aviculture) BAG108
 Dog Care BAG105
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Pet Care AAG100
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Animal Welfare BAG224
 Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Goat Production BAG223
 Horse Care II BAG204
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Animal Breeding BAG301
 Horse Care III BAG302
 

Note that each module in the Specialist Award in Animal Care is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.

There are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in Animal Care; you may submit a reference from your employer (or a reputable colleague or client), in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.

Example Procedure for a Workplace Project

This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.

This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.

The 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.

Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.

If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).

 

Working as a Dog Groomer


Grooming is an important part of dog care and, in some cases, it may become part of a daily task. If you love animals and care for their appearance, comfort and health, then here’s the job for you.
As a Dog Groomer, you will care for both, the hygiene and cleaniness of a dog, as well as earning a living from doing what you love.


Being a Dog Groomer can be quite rewarding as you are in constant contact with the dog creating, therefore, a closer bond as you are handling and caring for the dogs best needs. You will be gratified by knowing the dog is clean and by decreasing its chances from various health problems such as thrush, scratches, infestation, parasites on the skin, and other skin problems, as well as a general health check making sure its free from any cuts, heat, swelling, lameness or temperament changes which, in turn, can be an indication of illness.

As a Dog Groomer you will be in charge of keeping the dog’s coat, nails, skin and health in optimal conditions to satisfy the owner’s desires, as well as giving the owner advice on the dogs general care and diet for maintaining its health.

Opportunities
As a dog groomer, you may work in any organisation that has direct relation to any type of dog such as animal welfare centres, dog handlers, pet stores, kennels, or exhibition dogs. There are also shops that exclusively offer dog grooming services, as well as mobile dog grooming businesses.

Many dog groomers run their own businesses. They may own a franchise business, or they may start their own business (or franchise of businesses).

Risks and Challenges
It may be difficult to gain employment as a dog groomer, and starting your own business has all the challenges of a small business. However, once you have found a job, or become established as a dog groomer your work can be very rewarding.

Not all dogs enjoy being groomed, so you will have the risk of dealing with such animals. This includes the risk of being bitten or scratched.

You will be dealing with a lot of different dogs, so are likely to be exposed to a variety of fleas and parasites so will need to be careful with hygiene.

How to Become a Dog Groomer
To become a dog groomer it is highly necessary to be able to handle dogs firmly but in a very gentle way. You must know how to read dogs well enough to be capable of controlling their fears, calm them down and react assertively to their uneasy and spontaneous reactions. Love for the animal, patience and attention to detail is greatly required.

If you are a dog groomer for exhibition purposes, you will need to know how different breeds should look. It will also be essential to discuss with the owner about the specific type of grooming they would like the dog to have for the show, as well as specific handling requirements.

There are no specific qualifications you need to become a dog groomer, however you will need to have a sound knowledge about dogs. You may benefit from doing training in this area. If you are running your own business you may also benefit from doing a small business course. Most people will become a dog groomer through having a strong interest and love for dogs, then gaining work experience working for someone else.

 

WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

Most people choose this course to fill in gaps in their learning. It allows them a great deal of choice in what they actually study.

If you already have knowledge and experience with animal care; but are aware of specific areas where your knowledge and skill is lacking - this course may be the best decision you ever make.

One student may focus more than two thirds of their studies on cats if they really want, while another may focus two thirds on dogs. For another, there may be little focus on either cats or dogs, and instead their focus may be on birds or on something else.
Some students might focus on animal behaviour rather than disease, while others may study disease with little attention paid to behaviour.

This course offers such variations in specialisation; giving you an opportunity to become a stronger "expert" in one facet of pet care, rather than another. In doing so, you can differentiate your skills set, and such a differentiation is a distinct advantage in business or employment.



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.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
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 in your selected discipline. 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 login.training 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 $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) 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 (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a 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.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

PhD (University of Tasmania), Graduate Certificate in Maritime Safety (AMC) LLM (Environmental Law ANU), GDLP (ANU), LLB (SCU), BL&JS (SCU), MAppSc (Hawkesbury), Graduate Diploma Agriculture (Hawkesbury), Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Certificate IV Frontline Management.

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practising environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Sarah Berry

B.Sc.(Hons)

Sarah completed a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) with Honours from The University of Queensland in 2014. With an honours project focusing on glow worms in Australia, she then moved onto a PhD in Aquaculture from James Cook University working with Australian prawn farmers to grow bigger, better prawns. She has a wide range of scientific experience over the past 5 years in physiology, genetics, ecology, molecular technology, statistics, animal health, care, and nutrition. Sarah is currently continuing her work in research while publishing her PhD work.

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