Taronga Training Institute

Certificate III in Captive Animals Course Code: ACM30317

Full-time only
On-Campus Only

What is the Certificate all about?

The Certificate III in Captive Animals is the pathway to zoo keeping. Students will further develop their knowledge in animal husbandry through a combination of regular theory lessons and practical experience at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

Graduates of the Certificate III in Captive Animals can seek employment as a zoo keeper, or animal keeper in aquariums and wildlife parks.

Course details

The Sydney course is run over 1 year full time with intakes in January and June. Classroom sessions will be conducted once per week on Monday or Tuesdays (intake dependent) from 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

  • Course Structure: This course includes a combination of class and practical on site days at Taronga Zoo which both occur weekly.
  • Practical Requirements: The practical component of this course is one day per week at Taronga Zoo Sydney. Practical placements will commence as early as 6.30am and finish by 4.00pm. Practical placements can be scheduled across all 7 days of the week subject to student and campus availability
  • Study Load: The Certificate III in Captive Animal encompasses 16 units of competency. In addition to class and practical requirements, you will be required to conduct independent study in your own time

Course entry requirements

  • Students must be a minimum of 16 years of age on commencement of the course
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen
  • Students must attend all practical days as allocated
  • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons
  • Students must hold the Certificate II in Animal Studies or equivalent or have a minimum of 12 months demonstrated experience working with animals, prior to commencing in the Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Students should have a reasonable level of health and fitness in order to fully participate in the course
  • Students should demonstrate good English skills, both written and verbal, and basic numeracy skills

In addition, students will be required to attend one full week Monday-Friday from as early as 6am on our Taronga Food Prep division. Students will be given a chance to elect which week they attend within the first 6 months of their course. On this week students will not be required to attend their rostered division but will still be required to attend class.

Core and elective units

Core Units

  • ACMWHS301 Contribute to WHS processes
  • ACMGAS301 Maintain and monitor health and wellbeing
  • ACMGAS302 Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMGAS303 Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals
  • ACMCAN301 Work within a captive animal facility
  • ACMCAN302 Prepare and present information to the public
  • ACMCAN311 Care for young animals
  • ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housing
  • ACMCAN305 Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals
  • ACMCAN306 Monitor animal reproduction
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices

Elective Units

  • ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning
  • ACMGAS306 Assist with conditioning animals
  • ACMINF301  Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work
  • AHCBIO302  Identify and report unusual disease or plant pest signs
  • ACMCAN303 Support collection management

Pathways upon completion

Upon successful completion of ACM30317 Certificate III in Captive Animals, further study options may be available external to Taronga including ACM40217 Certificate IV in Captive Animals and ACM50117 Diploma of Animal Technology.


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