Offering Info

Certificate III in Captive Animals

  • National Course Code: ACM30317
  • TAFE NSW code: ACM30317-01V02-21MRY-003

Location – Moruya


Part Time


Virtual classroom on campus

Course Start Date

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Study Commitment

Enquire Hours per week


36 Weeks

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed
  • This training is fully government-subsidised under JobTrainer

Course Details

The nationally accredited Certificate III in Captive Animals allows you to immerse yourself in the world of exotic animals as you positively promote, educate and make your impact on species conservation. Look after exhibit animals in zoos and wildlife parks as you work as an assistant zookeeper.


Through a mix of theory and practical course work, learn to:

  • Safely handle and restrain wild, non-domesticated animals
  • Move captive animals with minimum stress and maximum safety
  • Clean and maintain exhibit and enclosures
  • Monitoring the health and wellbeing of animals
  • Educate the public about conservation


Develop the attributes to help you get ahead:

  • Empathy and compassion for animals
  • A passion for animal welfare and conservation
  • A calm and patient nature
  • The ability to collaborate
  • Good communication skills


Completing this course provides you with:

  • A strong pathway to continue your study and enhance your career opportunities

Career opportunities:

  • Trainee captive animal keeper
  • Assistant keeper
  • Animal care attendant
  • Wildlife animal carer


Take your career further with:

  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

This course is superseded. You can still enrol in this course, and you will be contacted if you need to transition into the next version when it is available.

When you study with TAFE NSW, we want you to succeed. Entry requirements allow us to make sure that you have the right pre-existing knowledge and skills to achieve your chosen qualification. You will need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements listed in this section.


To be selected for a place in this course, you need to demonstrate the following:

  • That you have achieved the Certificate II in Animal Studies or an equivalent qualification evidenced by a copy of your transcript
  • That you have access to a captive animal care facility where you can gain practical skills during work placement, evidenced by a letter of support from your employer


TAFE NSW also offers the Certificate III in Captive Animals as a traineeship. In addition to meeting the above requirements, trainees must:

  • Be employed in the captive animal industry as this course is delivered in the workplace
  • Have a signed traineeship contract

Thinking about a traineeship? Enquire today.


Work placement provides you with opportunities to respond to situations and circumstances that cannot be replicated in a learning or simulated environment. Work placement strengthens your training and supports continued learning and assessment in the workplace.

During your course you will undertake a mandatory 8 hours of work placement a week with a suitable industry employer.


To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • Intermediate level fitness to manage the physical demands of the job
  • A passion for animal welfare and conservation, and enjoy working with non-domestic animals
  • The ability to rise early and work outside in all weather conditions
  • Patience and a calm nature
  • Good organisational skills and are able to multitask
  • Access to a computer with a reliable internet connection
  • Enclosed footwear for practical training

If you need help preparing for study, contact us about your options.


With 130 locations across the state, TAFE NSW tailors qualifications to meet the needs of the local community and specific student groups (like apprentices, fast-tracked and online students). To make sure this course is the right fit for you, we will need you to demonstrate that you can meet the additional requirements below.


To be enrolled in this course, you need to be able to provide evidence that you have:

  • prior completion of a Certificate II in Animal Studies (or higher qualification) and confirmation of a captive animal or wildlife park work placement for the duration of your course.

To successfully complete this course, you will need:

  • to undertake studies and work placement to successfully meet the requirements of the course.
  • to have a minimum of 8 hours work experience per week (paid or voluntary) in the captive animal or wildlife industry. The details will need to be confirmed prior to acceptance into the course.


This is a part time day blended course. You will need to attend approximately 7 hours of class, over 1 day a week, for 1 year. As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 14 hours of other study per week.

You may also be required to complete approximately 14 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, research, assignment preparations.

Attendance is currently scheduled on Tuesdays from 9.00am - 4.00pm at TAFE NSW Moruya. Attendance is also possible at TAFE NSW Yallah if more convenient for the student. Delivery will be 7 hours each week of face-to-face classes (with some connected delivery using MS Teams) with the rest of the face-to-face component made up of excursions to captive animal and wildlife facilities and practical workshops held at Yallah animal care facility each term as well as some workplace visits for assessment where appropriate. Students will need to refer to their timetable for workshop and excursion dates. This schedule may change and will be confirmed by your teacher.


This course offering is designed for people who:

  • have already completed Cert II in Animal Studies or have higher animal related qualifications
  • have arranged a minimum of 8 hours placement in a suitable captive animal facility/zoo or wildlife park

The Certificate III in Captive Animals consists of 16 units of Competency, 11 core plus 5 elective units. The assessments for this qualification are a combination of written and skill based assessments. The course requires you to gain practical skills through work placement in a captive animal facility and many of the skills assessments will be based on your work placement.

Job roles covered by this qualification may include:

  • Trainee keeper
  • Assistant keeper
  • Animal care attendant
  • Wildlife animal carer


We offer student services and study support to ensure you can achieve your goals. Learn about TAFE NSW Student Services

As a TAFE NSW student in this course, you will have access to:

  • LinkedIn Learning (formerly
  • Smarthinking - after hours online study support service
  • Easy computing online short courses
  • Access to local TAFE libraries
  • Accessibility and Disability Support Services
  • Access to Read&Write learning support software at TAFE and at home

The way you learn may change during your enrolment to ensure the best learning experience or to keep you safe as COVID-19 restrictions change, and some of our face to face classes may change to online or virtual classroom learning. Also, to ensure that we keep you safe while studying, we may modify our face to face classes to meet physical distancing requirements and increased cleaning on campus. If work placement and the demonstration of practical skills are requirements of your course, there may be a modification or delay in the planned timeframe due to COVID-19 impacts. Be assured, we'll keep you informed every step of the way.

This course is currently scheduled on Tuesdays from 9.00am to 4.30pm at Moruya Campus. This schedule may change and will be confirmed by your teacher.

This is a fully government-subsidised JobTrainer course. Eligibility criteria applies.


This course is government-subsidised, meaning you pay a portion of the full course fee to TAFE NSW and the NSW Government will pay the balance. However, you must meet certain eligibility criteria for this to apply.

Depending on your previous qualifications and experience, your fee may be less than the maximum fee quoted. Your actual fee and eligibility for concession/exemption will be calculated and confirmed during the enrolment process. Payment plans are available through TAFE NSW for Smart and Skilled eligible qualifications.

For further information about eligibility and explanations of the different fee categories, visit Are You Eligible?


Learn about TAFE NSW Fees

Learn about TAFE NSW Payment/Funding


Recognition is a process of acknowledging previously completed qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience relevant to your course. This may reduce the amount of learning required, reduce your course fees and allow you to achieve your qualification faster.

Learn about Recognition at TAFE NSW Recognition

Enrolments for this course have now closed.

Enquire now and we will contact you when enrolments open. Visit our Online Courses to view our range of study options that you can start anytime.

Core Units
Number Title
ACMGAS301 Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
ACMWHS301 Contribute to workplace health and safety processes
ACMCAN301 Work within a captive animal facility
ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housing
ACMCAN305 Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals
ACMCAN306 Monitor animal reproduction
ACMCAN311 Care for young animals
ACMGAS302 Provide enrichment for animals
ACMCAN302 Prepare and present information to the public
ACMGAS303 Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals
ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
Elective Units
Number Title
ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work
ACMCAN309 Develop institutional husbandry guidelines
ACMCAN303 Support collection management
ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning
ACMGAS306 Assist with conditioning animals

Note: Not all elective units listed may be available to study, please enquire for more information.

Trainee keeper
Pre-trade keeper
Assistant keeper
Animal care attendant
Wildlife animal carer

Whether you're a school leaver, an aspiring apprentice, looking to kickstart a career, or you're upskilling, reskilling, or re-training, there's a TAFE NSW course to give you the skills you need for the job you want.

Course Location

2857 Princes Highway, Moruya
Phone 131 601

Fees information

We understand that many students are confused by different fees for similar courses, and want to reassure you that studying with TAFE NSW won't damage your hip pocket.

Learn more about Fees information.

Payment options and assistance

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